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My first year as a hosehead
#1
Question 
I have now survived my first year using CPAP. On one hand, I know my sleep has improved, as has my overnight O2 levels. However, I still wonder about some things... Like, would a different mask be better? Is the mask my DME gave me the right size?

The instruction booklet that came with the machine spells out how often to clean things and how often to replace the air filters, but, a month or so ago I noticed what appeared to be mold in the difficult-to-reach corners of my humidifier tank. After several attempts to clean it out, with less than complete success, I gave up and ordered a replacement from an online vendor. How often should I replace the tank? Is a year all one can expect it to last? It seemed to be in good condition other than the mold accumulating in places I could not clean.

I see common references that say to replace the interface cushion and other parts "as needed" but nowhere have I seen any specific time recommended.

What I am leading up to, is a question of how often do you replace your interface cushion? How about the hose? Humidifier reservoir? How about the whole mask? Is there anything else I should replace from time to time?

I am not too concerned about the frequency allowed by my insurance company, as I can afford to replace things more often than they will cover. (Well, except for the whole mask. That I find to be prohibitively expensive to "experiment" with.) I would just like to know what is the common replacement schedule for most people.

Any feedback will be appreciated.

remo






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#2
Hi Remo,
CONGRATULATIONS! on your one year anniversary.
I think the recommendation on replacement of supplies is every six months.
Hang in there for more answers to your questions, CONTINUED SUCCESS.!
trish6hundred
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#3
Remo, well done on your one year anniversary, everyone has different opinions on replacements, if your insurance covers it go with their recommended change over periods. In Australia, we don't get it covered and our machines and equipment are about 3 times the price of the US so have to make it last. Most of my gear has lasted nearly 3 years without any problems. With the mould, I think others use white vinegar to clean the chamber, I do mine twice a week and have never had mould, I just use hot water and liquid soap and chuck everthing in a sink together, let it soak, rinse it and air dry it.
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#4
Hi Remo: Concerning your mask, I use the same one (Quattro) and have not had to replace the cushions. If yours are still sealing well, I wouldn't replace them/it either.
If the Quattro model is working for you, you don't have to get a different one, but you may want to experiment a little by trying something else. That's where your insurance come in. It may or may not be viable financially.
The humidifier tank is a little different, as you said there may be mold in yours that you can't reach to clean. I would replace it. Resmed recommends replacing their tanks every six months, but they have one now that comes apart for easy cleaning. I don't know what Respironics recommends.
I guess I like to go by the old adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
Congratulations on your one year CPAP success!
To err is human, but to really mess things up, you need a computer.
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#5
Insurance replacement schedule is more than adequate, you would not need to buy anything else out of pocket

Your machine uses two types of filters ... from the user manual:
Under normal usage, you should clean the gray foam filter at least once every two weeks and replace it with a new one every six months. The white ultra-fine filter is disposable and should be replaced after 30 nights of use or sooner if it appears dirty. DO NOT clean the ultra-fine filter

I still use the same water tank over 3 years old, I wash it once a week in soap and hot water. Its recommended to soak it in vinegar/water solution to remove any deposit build-ups from using tap water, no such problem with distilled water, but do replace other stuff periodically

Mask cushion - 3 months
Headgear - 1 year
Hose - 1 year
Filter - 1 month
Congrats


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#6
(01-11-2014, 05:01 PM)Tez62 Wrote: In Australia, we don't get it covered and our machines and equipment are about 3 times the price of the US so have to make it last.

Ouch!

Quote: Most of my gear has lasted nearly 3 years without any problems. With the mould, I think others use white vinegar to clean the chamber, I do mine twice a week and have never had mould, I just use hot water and liquid soap and chuck everthing in a sink together, let it soak, rinse it and air dry it.

I've been cleaning the tank weekly. Usually just put it in the dishwasher, and hand wash occasionally. Instructions say is it "dishwasher safe" but also say not to use vinegar or alcohol - just a mild dish soap or baby shampoo.

It was right at my 1 year anniversary when I noticed the mold. It was also shortly after a few months of travel for work, wherein I did not always have distilled water available for use. So, it could have been due to some "bad" water along the travels.
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#7
If I have mold in anything I mix a very dilute solution of clorox and water. Say a tablespoon to a gallon. Let it soak for a few minutes, then wash thoroughly and let dry.

Here's my insurance company's (overly generous) replacement schedule:
Tank, mask, chin strap, and foam pre-filter every six months.
Hose every three months.
Nasal pillows and white disposable filter every month.
Sleepster
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#8
(01-11-2014, 05:06 PM)Airstream Wrote: Hi Remo: Concerning your mask, I use the same one (Quattro) and have not had to replace the cushions. If yours are still sealing well, I wouldn't replace them/it either.

My cushions get clouded after 2 -3 months - probably from the oil in my skin - and become prone to more leaks. Then I have to tighten the headgear so much it is very uncomfortable. My DME initially said I can get a new cushion every 3 months, but just recently said it was monthly. I've actually averaged about 4 months. I guess I need to call my insurance company to find out how often they will allow coverage for replacements.

Quote:If the Quattro model is working for you, you don't have to get a different one, but you may want to experiment a little by trying something else. That's where your insurance come in. It may or may not be viable financially.

I started with a nasal pillow, but had a tendency for mouth leakage, and kept loosing the seal when I moved my head at night. Also seemed like the sizes were wrong for me. The medium was the right sized pillow, but the small had the right spacing. It was a fight all night to keep it on and not leaking. After about 3 months I told my DME it was a problem and they gave me the FFM.

What seems crazy to me, is you can go the local hardware store and for $30 get a respirator that fits just fine and does not leak... but for $200 you cannot get a CPAP mask that is comfortable and does not need constant fiddling to stop the leaks. Oh-jeez
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#9
(01-11-2014, 05:19 PM)zonk Wrote: I still use the same water tank over 3 years old, I wash it once a week in soap and hot water. Its recommended to soak it in vinegar/water solution to remove any deposit build-ups from using tap water, no such problem with distilled water, but do replace other stuff periodically

3 years for the water tank - I can see that being the case. My only complaint was the mold that I could not clean out of the small places I could not access. Vinegar seems like a good idea, but the instructions say not to use it, or alcohol. On the other hand, if you have been doing that for 3 years, it makes me wonder what they think the problem is with using it.Dont-know
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#10
(01-11-2014, 05:42 PM)Remo Wrote: [quote='Tez62' pid='54925' dateline='1389477665']
In Australia, we don't get it covered and our machines and equipment are about 3 times the price of the US so have to make it last.

Ouch!

Quote:
Tez62 is correct, stuff in Australia cost more
I buy my stuff on-line from Supplier #10, but now might cost me more with the Aussie dollar falling down
Who knows, if the Aussie dollar keep falling against US dollar, might not work that much cheaper


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