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Jaycee-questions on mold
#1
I am being curious here and am not trying to be argumentative. Have you seen mold in CPAP systems? If so, where does it generally occur. Does it occur with any particular type of water? Does it seem to be atmospheric humidity related?

I do not have a mold problem with my system because I use bourbon in my humidifier. Too-funny ......Or maybe it is because we have fairly low humidity in SoCal.

Best Regards,

PaytonA
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#2
(05-22-2014, 04:44 PM)PaytonA Wrote: I am being curious here and am not trying to be argumentative. Have you seen mold in CPAP systems? If so, where does it generally occur. Does it occur with any particular type of water? Does it seem to be atmospheric humidity related?

I do not have a mold problem with my system because I use bourbon in my humidifier. Too-funny ......Or maybe it is because we have fairly low humidity in SoCal.

Best Regards,

PaytonA

I think if you're cleaning your system pretty frequently, there should be any opportunity for mold to grow. However, with my original machine I noticed that any water left over the next day had a smell to it whereas my loaner machine doesn't seem to have that problem. So perhaps some machines are more prone to this than others. I'm in a very high humidity area..Alabama.

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#3
I have had it in my hose. This was a years ago back when hoses were darker and not changed out as often. I was doing regularly cleaning.

Short version:
I got sick with allergy like symptoms. Happened all year. Nothing seemed to help. Changed clothes detergent, dryer sheets, etc. Went on vacation to Florida and figured Yay! some ease! Nope, still just as bad. Finally decided it had to be the CPAP. Called the DME. They said it couldn't be anything inside the machine, but could be other parts and immediately said the hose. They sent me all new everything, including a new hose. Everything else but that had been replaced at least once. A few weeks later, if not that long, all symptoms were gone. Yes, I was cleaning my hose. Not daily, but I was hanging it up to dry. Weekends, it got a soap soak and vinegar rinse.
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#4
I use a mild bleach & water solution sometimes with my hose & mask, and I don't even have that much humidity because I don't use a humidifier. Soap and vinegar rinses will help, but bleach kills just about all mold & mildew.

I know a lot of folks will disagree with me saying I'm destroying the rubberized stuff on my mask, but so far I haven't had a lot of problems with any mass destruction.

Of course, I do this early in the morning and rince, rince, rince afterwards, and let dry. By bedtime, most of the bleach smell is gone.

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.



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#5
I think mold is a real possibility.

In Austin, our WAT.ER starts out as earthy and moldy.

I have made the point that it is NOT necessary to dump water every night or clean the hose religiously.

BUT even though, I do not empty water or clean the hose every night or even every week, at the first hint of 'smell' or 'mold' or anything, I get pretty serious about flushing it with a) hot water and b) soaking with vinegar solution.

Sweet Dreams,

HerbM
Sleep study AHI: 49 RDI: 60 -- APAP 10-11 w/AHI: 1.5 avg for 7-days (up due likely to hip replacement recovery)

"We can all breathe together or we will all suffocate alone."
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#6
One thing I like to do is get multiple copies of everything, especially hoses. I wash my hose, tank, and masks once a week, and then let the freshly cleaned parts sit in a clean, dry place for a week while I use my spare set that I washed last week.

I dry the freshly cleaned hoses on an old CPAP machine to get them extra dry. If you don't have that, hang it up somewhere as vertically as possible to let air flow help.

Distilled water in the humidifier is better because mold and germs need certain nutrients to reproduce and make more bacteria. Distilled water has little or none of these nutrients, so it is harder for germs to grow with distilled water. Tap water also causes mineral buildup, which gives the germs more places to hide and grow.

I've bought 4 genuine Respironics unheated hoses for $20 delivered off of eBay, so it's not very expensive to have multiple hoses.

Part of my hose cleaning process is to hook the hose up to the kitchen faucet and run hot water through it. I changed the aerator on my faucet to get one that the hose fits over.
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#7
As most have posted already, I've seen mold in pt's hoses, rubber seals around water tub and water tubs themselves. It's not that uncommon to see a patient come with with equipment that looks like it is rarely (if ever) cleaned.

Weekly washing should solve most problems with mold. Dumping remaining water from water tub every morning is recommended.

If you think you might have mold/bug growth, we recommend solution of white vinegar and water (1 to 2 ratio). Let the equipment soak for at least 30 minutes and then do your normal washing/rinsing/drying.

I would not normally recommend any sot of bleach as if you don't get it all removed it can be very irritating to breath. I also don't recommend putting anything in with your distilled water (but I know a few people that have done it).
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#8
I've found red mold in my water tank, on the oxy-plug at the bottom of my Quatro, and in the flap for the valve. I clean often, but sometimes extend the use of parts long after they should be replaced. The tank was above 6 years. It seems like once the mold bites in, it is very difficult to remove no matter what one does. Only real cure is replacement.

I clean with Planet and use white vinegar as a rinse. The effectiveness of those "all natural" products are seen in the longevity of my mask parts and tank. One new mask and a couple of silicone seals per year! Same with the hose, about once a year. I also use a post-filter to make sure nothing gets to me.

The one addition I use with the distilled water at times (when I have sinus infection or bronchitis) is colloidal silver. It seems to work wonders (and it is highly dilluted at a ratio of about 10:1 distilled water to silver solution. I've found that using it will knock out any infection that I have within a day or so. The use of silver has gone out of fashion with the advent of antibiotics, but it was, at one time, THE choice for dealing with all sorts of infections. It is a great antibacterial agent and the newest use of the product is to weave it into cloth to deal with odors from bacteria.

If one wishes to try the silver, please do a LOT of reading on it and make up your own mind. Don't let me or anyone else sway your opinion. It is YOUR body... Also, I would never recommend to use a LOT of silver, or to use it OFTEN. I generally do so about twice per year for perhaps 1-3 nights during each incident. The cost factor alone (colloidial silver is rather pricey unless one attempts to make it at home, something I don't advocate or do) will halt excessive use. I also don't see how drinking the product can help, but some folks seem to think that it does. Its use has helped me stay off the rather nasty sinus drugs and sprays that were otherwise prescribed for my seasonal episodes that generally turn into at least brochitis. As a for instance, I had such a bad episode while living in Louisville, the city in America with the worst seasonal allergy rates, that the doctor had me on a dose of Leviquin plus steroids. He never shared with me the drug side effects that come from combining these two agents. Turns out that they can destroy tendon connections as much as 6 months after the fact! Turns out that happened to me... Cost me over a year to be able to at least walk somewhat correctly and I'll never be ok again like I was before the incident. No need for any of that nasty stuff with silver (FOR ME!).
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#9
Warning! Mold biological bacteria viruses are  in every day typical inviroments microscopic to the eye period, and cannot be controlled by a fibrous filter. The crudely made   filter being use is a dust filter. I have been getting really sick with upper respiratory infections. I always replace the filter and the hose along with new Mask. My medical provider has had the opportunity several times to clean look / replace it! I've told him I think it's not operating correctly. I don't think they ever do anything. "So let me tell you my story."I am an HVAC air quality control Technician.I provide the air quality to my customers homes. This time being off a week sick I said enough is enough!I got out my Tools and took apart my ResMed machine. I was shocked it has a DC motor encapsulated in an attempt to keep it watertight with an upper Center Fusion Peller and a lower centrifuge impeller. With a rubberized connector to the outdoor exhaust port. They air intake system filters is very crude can bypass and suck air from everywhere. Let me tell you something folks hot and cold makes humidity. My machines 5 years old I've had my technician supposedly look at to verify that it's good in the past. let me explain what's happens over a short length of time. You start of with a nice cool machine temp and the DC motor warms up inside of your machine cool passes thru the aluminum impeller housing.implellers are plastic has plastic Volute caps the plastic helps with not condensating. But the motor housing and all metal parts produce some condensation especially if the humidity around it is 80 - 90% here in East Texas as it is most of the time. A perfect environment for mold and bacteria. The inside veins of these impellers we're grossly dirty cover with growth and the waterproof case holding the DC motor was moldy. So whoever is posting out there it can't happen is delusional. That machine circulates millions of molecules of air through it. You have an indoor ambient temperature. And the inside of your machine has an ambient temperature as that temperature inside increases especially with high humidity and whatever the dew point is creates humidity, a feeding ground for bacteria. Their machine is of poor quality and poor design it should have a mini UV lights on its interior to kill the bacteria colonies that want to grow. You better think again when you read somebody's comments out here that says it's impossible. It's your health we're talking about. Yes the environment around the machine can project what's in that machine. But biological bacteria mold viruses are in the air.  This devices can set the stage for a respiratory infections.So beware don't fall victim to these companies cronies and their comments
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#10
I live in Indiana. although the heat and humidity does not match that of east Texas, it is close much of the year. I have never seen mold or evidence of bacterial growth in my equipment. Fiber filters will reduce the number bacteria and mold spores entering the machine. Bacteria do not float freely in the air. They are carried on other particulate matter or droplet aerosols which can be removed by fiber filters. (I am a microbiologist with almost 40 years experience in the medical field and the sterile pharmaceutical industry.)

Pete is correct in saying that bacteria and mold are everywhere in our environment but he may not realize that most, if not all of the environmental organisms are not pathogenic. If his warning is correct we are all at risk of serious infection if we don't stop using our machines. I've been using CPAP for 10 years, clean my equipment less frequently than most who post in this forum, never use a disinfectant, and aside from an occasional common cold, have never had a respiratory tract infection. I'm not saying it's impossible but the probability is pretty low, especially if equipment is cleaned regularly.

I found the mention of colloidal silver interesting. Silver is antimicrobial. If a real silver coin is placed on a petri dish seeded with bacteria there will be a cleaar zone of no growth surrounding the coin.

In response to Payton's original question; I'm sure mold can grow in CPAP equipment that is not cleaned at some regular interval, especially if it is left moist and unused. In normal use think the hose would be the greatest concern since it is hard to dry out completely. That being said. I have gone months without cleaning my hose but have never seen mold.
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