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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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