My nasal pillows last a couple months before they start leaking. Not sure if you are referring to these or not.
The company from which I've bought my masks recommended that I get a new one every 3 months because there was evidence that it retained bacteria after that. I never followed that advice. But I did get a new one every year, on average because of what they said. The mask I have now I have had for well over a year. It's a little floppy around the edges but works just fine.
My Simplus FFM is coming up 2 years and going strong. My P10 pillows need replacing about every 6 to 9 months. As far as I know there isn't any hard and fast rule on this. I keep using a mask until I start getting significant leaks.
I suspect much of it depends on who is paying. If it insurance, then more frequently. If out pocket, less so. I beleive the masks would last longer than suggested replacement. The question is about hygiene. The Medicare guidlines are two cushions per month, strap replacement at 3 mo, full mask at 6 months. The reason for this is the mask, tube, and certainly the water chamber is a perfect spot for bacteria to grow; warm, moist, and dark, well the water chamber anyway. As this is respiratory equipment, there is a high risk for bacteria. Viruses could also be a problem if there is an illness.
Clean your mask daily, and I am sure you will get more than a few weeks. I sispect much if it depends on what you are using and how long it lasts with proper care. That said, you are runing warm moits air through it that is going into your lungs for 6-8 hours every day... How long should it last?
Before insurance. I would go a year on a Quattro FFM. Now with insurance, new Airfit F10 FFM mask frame every 3 months, new mask cushion every month, new headgear every 6 months. Using mask wipes nightly can reduce how often I give it a full soaking and wash which I do weekly. I keep the wash water (and white vinegar and baby shampoo) warm and not hot so I reduce the damage to the silicon from the heat.
09-12-2016, 06:44 PM
(This post was last modified: 09-12-2016, 06:48 PM by Mosquitobait.)
Retailers and manufacturers used the Medicare guidelines mostly to push their product, not because of hygiene concerns. If you regularly wash your equipment, it's a non-issue for 99% of folks.
You do not need hot water to wash your equipment. Tepid is fine. It's the cleaner you use - 1:8 vinegar, Dawn, disinfectant - that eliminates bacteria and such. Replace your cushions when leaking becomes excessive, your mask frame when it's not working or breaks and your mask headgear when the velcro fails or the thing is so stretched it is too loose.
You can extend the life of your leaky cushions by boiling them for 5 minutes. It will either work or it won't. If your headgear is loose, try washing in hot water and drying or even removing from mask and tossing in washing machine/dryer. Very often you can shrink it and it will be useful again for a period of time. Mask frames depend on what they are and how they work. The P10 has problems with that mesh gumming up over time. A longer soak in vinegar seems to help, but I know I'll just have to replace the thing annually. Someone found one of those high pressure tooth sprayers (Waterpik) will help clean that out, so if you have one of those, try it out.
I've had my Dreamwear cushion for over a solid 2 months and it is just now starting to have some leaking issues. So, I'll switch off tonight to a new one (my first!) cushion and try the boiling method on the other to see if it works with this new design.
Boiled my wisp cushion after past 4th month, and it worked for a couple more weeks. Boiled it a second time and it didn't function so well compared to a new one. Had already written it off by then but curious about how these consumables perform.
Visual inspection shows the cushion edge shape, where it hugs the bridge of the nose, appearing to straighten out a bit compared to the new one. Lost a bit of its curve. Not sure if it's due to boiling or just wear pressure over time.