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Questions: CPAP related infections?
Actually, I use the baby wipes as well. I believe I got it from one of your posts. Perhaps the washing as well is overkill. Maybe the baby wipes do as good a job but are kinder to the cushions. I try to get as much life out of them as I can. The DME recommended change interval of one monthly, I'm convinced, is just to put more money in their pockets.
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Melman, that was an excellent explanation on potential infection (or absence thereof) from the CPAP.

I appreciate the expertise on this forum so much! Thanks!
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Thanks I agree totally!

Admin Note:
PaytonA passed away in September 2017
Click HERE to read his Memorial Thread

~ Rest in Peace ~
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Definitely agree the explanation on the germs and the mask/tubing was great. Thanks.
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(02-17-2017, 11:57 AM)PaytonA Wrote:
(02-16-2017, 11:46 PM)Melman Wrote: Experience. The silicone seal feels a little tacky when clean and is less likely to slide. After I remove the mask in the morning I find it to be slippery. If I don't wash the cushions each day I have more leak problems. I also find it helps to wash my face well just before going to bed. I'm sure this may vary with individuals depending on how oily there skin gets especially around the nose and eyes.

Thanks for the explanation. Sounds like you have it well doped out. We have at least one member who has reported skin so oily that  he must get up in the middle of the night to rewash his face and cushion. I, on the other hand, no longer wash my cushions. I clean them only with baby wipes. I also do not wash my face just before retiring. I think my skin has gotten dry as I have "matured"   Smile  .

Best Regards,


I just use a little plain water on a Kleenex tissue to dampen it and wipe the sheen (facial oil) off the cushion. Wipe the residual moisture dry with the other side / end of the tissue and the sheen is gone. If I don't do this each night, the leaks will increase as the cushion gets slippery. 

Guess there are less chemicals involved too.
The doctor says coffee does not affect my tinnitus and it's got lots of antioxidants....however, the after dinner drinks are a different matter altogether. 
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I tried just wiping with a baby wipe and could still feel some residual oil on the silicone. After washing with Dawn and warm water it seemed to be gone.  Not a scientific study but I think I'll stick with the daily washing with mild detergent. I'm sure this will vary from person to person.
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For what its worth, my ENT instructed me to use saline rinses, as frequently as 5 times a day, when I start coming down with a cold.

"The solution to pollution is dilution". The saline rinses may help reduce congestion, and will definitely lower the concentration of any particulate - inert or infectious - in the area rinsed.
Please organize your SleeyHead screenshots like this.
I'm an epidemiologist, not a medical provider. 
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(02-16-2017, 11:11 PM)Melman Wrote: As a microbiologist with 20 years experience in medical microbiology/infection control and 20 years experience in the sterile pharmaceutical production I strongly doubt you could get an infection from a CPAP.  In general bacteria and fungi need moisture and a source of nutrients. There are bacteria that will grow in distilled water and on moist surfaces with no other nutrients but they are not pathogenic except to immune-suppressed people. The materials in hoses and masks contain no nutrients.  Also you need to inhale them in fairly large numbers. The most likely source of nutrients is saliva and other fluids from your mouth and nose but they are confined to the mask and distal end of the hose because of the air flow and are easily controlled by regular washing with mild detergent.  

I assume you wash your hose, mask, etc. with a mild detergent. The washing and drying will not remove all bacteria and fungi but will reduce the numbers to a level that is not a risk, even if there are pathogens present, which is unlikely. I  assume your drying removes residual water. I connect my hose to my CPAP and run it for a couple of hours to dry the hose. Effective drying will also reduce the numbers of bacteria. Desiccation kills most of them, especially pathogens.

The filters do not protect you from infection. The air you breathe when not using the CPAP contains the same bacteria and fungi. The filters are to protect the machine from contamination with dust, etc which could damage it. They do protect you from the standpoint that to much dust from room air in the machine could provide nutrients for the growth of microorganisms from the room environment but it is very unlikely they would be pathogenic. 

I am comfortable with washing my hose, mask, and humidifier once a week. I wash my cushions daily primarily to remove residual oils from my skin which interfere with sealing. I change my filter every couple of months or if it looks dirty. Filters actually become more effective at removing airborne particulates as they get dirty. The problem with a dirty filter is that it may reduce air flow to the point that the machine may be damaged, probably from overheating, because it needs to work harder to move the required amount of air.

It's unfortunate that you have a sinus infection. I know they can be miserable. It may be the antibiotics have not helped because it's caused by a virus. Mosquitobait is correct in saying that the antibiotic treatments may have set you up for a fungal infection by eliminating the harmless bacteria which are normally present. Steroids, however, although they may be an effective part of treatment, do not kill fungi. If you have a fungal infection (and that's a big if) you need treatments with an antifungal agent. I don't think, however, you need to be concerned about you CPAP as the source, especially given the maintenance schedule you follow.

Wow - this explanation was awesome.  Totally clears up a number of questions I have had.  Thanks @melman
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