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How to tell when a mask needs replacing
#1
Question 
The DME says to replace my nasal mask every two weeks, but they always look fine to me. They don't appear worn or cracked at all. I'm afraid I'm throwing away perfectly good masks way before they need to be replaced. What should I be looking for to determine whether a mask needs replacement?

Thanks.
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#2
Is your insurance company being charged for replacements, and your DME sending them to you, or are you buying them from somewhere else, with your own money? If they are still resilient, and do not leak more than they did new, then they are fine. My DME doesn't even get into replacing anything except whole masks after three months, when they say it is allowed by insurance company. So the mask, and cushion I have had since Sept. will be six months old when it will be replaced, for first time. Go figure.
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#3
Hi Jim Bronson,
I would say that if you are noticing a few more leaks you should change your cushion. Of course, that's different for everybody. For me, changing a cushion every two weeks is overkill.
trish6hundred
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#4
(02-26-2015, 08:25 PM)Jim Bronson Wrote: The DME says to replace my nasal mask every two weeks, but they always look fine to me. They don't appear worn or cracked at all. I'm afraid I'm throwing away perfectly good masks way before they need to be replaced. What should I be looking for to determine whether a mask needs replacement?

Thanks.

Hi Jim,
If you are using a nasal mask, depending on insurance, should be replaced every 3 to 6 months. Now if you are using a nasal pillows mask, then yes, the nasal pillows should be replaced every 2 weeks, not the entire mask.
OpalRose
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#5
I presume he's replacing the "cushion," not the whole mask.

I suggest getting at least two spares of everything as fast as insurance will pay. Then rotate through the parts you have until they start to break or wear out.

Once a week or so, wash everything really well, then put aside the freshly cleaned parts and let them sit somewhere clean and dry while you use some of your other spare parts.

Have used the same Swift FX nasal pillows for a year or so with no obvious problems, but I'm rotating through several pairs of pillows.
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#6
(02-26-2015, 08:25 PM)Jim Bronson Wrote: The DME says to replace my nasal mask every two weeks, but they always look fine to me.
Good if you can get it Coffee

Usually, I replace the cushion as soon as start making an impression on the bridge of my nose or leak into the eyes ... anything 4 to 6 weeks

The frame is different matter altogether, I have a few of hem and only replace when broken and need to thrown away

Headgear: about 6 months






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#7
Every two weeks is a joke. That is what insurance will pay (you better hope). It's fine to get some spares, but the nasal pillows easily last several months. You will notice an increase of leaks and less resilience when they wear out.
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#8
Thanks. From now on I'll just keep using them as long as they work and don't show any signs of damage or wear. Insurance pays for everything so far, but I don't fancy throwing them out if they're still functional. Mask is a Mirage FX nasal type, not the pillow type. I wash them in warm water with mild soap most every morning.
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#9
I was told that the cushion part of your mask regardless of type should be replaced every month. Why? Because the silicone is porous and bacteria get into the pores and are hard to remove even with regular washing. This pitting is microscopic so you cannot see it. Frequent cushion changes which ins and medicare have agreed to is because of research proving this. Changing mask cushions is less expensive for the ins companies than treating pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
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#10
(03-01-2015, 07:49 AM)Lukie Wrote: I was told that the cushion part of your mask regardless of type should be replaced every month. Why? Because the silicone is porous and bacteria get into the pores and are hard to remove even with regular washing. This pitting is microscopic so you cannot see it. Frequent cushion changes which ins and medicare have agreed to is because of research proving this. Changing mask cushions is less expensive for the ins companies than treating pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.

Lukie,
Exactly! You can't always see the breakdown just by looking. More so with the nasal pillows. These pillows sit just inside your nostrils and they do breakdown pretty fast.
They get soft and therefore start to cause leaks.
It is best to follow insurance schedule on replacing these parts. It isn't excessive...your well being is more important.
Coffee
OpalRose
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