Troubles with sleeping sadly come in a number of different types, but one of the worst and hardest to deal with is sleep apnea. There are a few disorders of this type in existence, and the most common device prescribed to the patients with which they can treat it and sleep much better is a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure and it is the best chance you have in case you are battling obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
OSA symptoms include pauses and/or interruptions in breathing while sleeping due to the brief collapses or blockage of your airways or throat. It is not always dangerous but it can be in certain situations. Any stoppage of normal breathing is potentially dangerous to humans, and the longer it lasts the more of a problem it tends to be. In short, you will need a CPAP machine if you suffer from a disorder like this.
However, before you start using one, of before you switch to a new one if you are already familiar with them, you have to know a thing or two, mainly how long they are capable of lasting. Life expectancy of gadgets and technology is one of the most crucial sides and a thing customers have to know before they can buy it. With that being said, in this article you will be able to learn how to extend the life of your CPAP machine and can it even be done. Check out aquapap.com in case you wish to find out more about this.
About CPAP Machines
The overall application and the science behind them is not that complex nor difficult to understand. The motor (compressor) produces a stream of pressurized air. This air then travels into a flexible tube through an air filter and the tube delivers the purified air to the nose or the mouth of the patient. The patient wears a mask to which the tube is sealed. The blockages and other airway disorders are no longer a problem and there is enough oxygen in your lungs. The result is a peaceful and healthy night of sleep without constant waking up due to the lack of oxygen.
There are different types of CPAP machines but all of them have certain parts and components that are a constant. The motor sits in a base unit, there is a comfortable cushioned mask, a tube that connects the mask and the motor, and a headgear frame. The tube and the base unit have elbow pieces and joints and there are always enough adjustable straps that allow the patient to customize the device and choose their own fit. The masks can differ the most, as they can either be nasal pillow, nasal, or full masks.
There are no side effects or drawbacks other than the limited comfort, but this depends on the machine you get. On the other hand, the benefits are proven and well-documented as this is the go-to solution for most sleep apnea cases. The best part about using a CPAP is the more you use it, the more you can increase the more beneficial it becomes.
Now that you know a bit more about these machines and how they work, we can finally talk about the life expectancy of an average CPAP. How long do they last and can you do something to prolong their life? The life expectancy of a CPAP machine depends on the type you have and it is has to do with the individual parts it consists of. In general, an average lifespan of a machine is anywhere from 3 to 5 years. This is the machine as a whole, the casing with the motor and the tube. However, the mask needs to be changed much more frequently, at least a few times per year. The mask has a lot of smaller parts that are under heavy duty whenever you are using the machine, which means it wears off the quickest.
Extending the Life of a CPAP
One way you can try to prolong the life of your entire CPAP is to frequently change the masks. On the other hand, you can clean the mask thoroughly after each use, which will eliminate the need to change it due to damage from your skin’s oils. The pillows and cushioning on the mask also tends to stretch out and sometimes fall off, another thing you can prevent with careful use and proper maintenance.
Moving on, the tubes can tear and crack, wear and tear damage that can be avoided with proper handling and storing. The air filters, just like any other air filters, have to be changed too as they wear out and get clogged. If you let the machine work with all of this damage, it will hardly last you the minimum of 3 years it should. Replace what needs replacing, clean what needs cleaning, and handle and store it properly.
Signs to Replace It
As you can see, there is not that much to say about prolonging the life expectancy of your sleep apnea aid machine. They are made to last more than a few years, just like any other gadget, but only if you care for it and give it love. An occasional replacement of a worn and torn part is a must, but other than that there is nothing much you can do. Eventually, there will come a time when you have to replace it and there are certain signs that can point towards this need.
For example, one of the most common early signs is noise while you are inhaling. If the mask and the tubing have been changed in the last three months and the noises persist, the motor may be failing and you should have a closer look at it. The humidifier, another crucial part of the machine, may be faulty. If it does not need refilling like it used to, it means it is not using the water it has, which further means it is not working properly. The most obvious problem is if you are still experiencing the same issues with sleeping while still wearing the CPAP. Whether it is snoring or the lack of oxygen flow, if it happens with the mask on you need a new machine.