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Why change my Swift FX pillows?
#21
Using the same two masks for ten years is more than gross. It is an unsafe practice and I do not believe you have never gotten ill from it. I actually find it hard to believe you are being truthful. While I know the Breeze is a well made mask, and I do know that ten years ago they were made more solid than they are now, I do not believe the silicone pillows have survived. Even if they have, there has got to be tons of places bacteria is hiding, especially if you are using bleach.

Like Dave said, masks are not that expensive. There is nothing in your actions to be proud of.
PaulaO2
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Breathe deeply and count to zen.

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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#22
Hmm... I don't have health insurance so everything is out-of-pocket for me.

I use my masks for about 2 years. At about $120 a pop, I just can't afford to buy a new mask every 3 months. Ten years on the same mask seems a bit much, though.

I do clean it on a somewhat regular basis, and so far the mask rubber has not degraded substantially.

And, of course... I'm extremely cheap.

But, if I had insurance that paid for new masks, I'd be getting them as often as I could (and probably stock up on them for a future time when I might not have insurance).

Smile
SuperSleeper
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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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#23
If you want to be cheap, just lurk on eBay until you find a good price. I recently bought five replacement cushions for $50 total.
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#24
(06-10-2012, 09:09 AM)SuperSleeper Wrote: But, if I had insurance that paid for new masks, I'd be getting them as often as I could (and probably stock up on them for a future time when I might not have insurance).

Smile

I do have insurance and I do stockpile! When I got this new mask recently and threw out the old Adam Circuit I probably threw out 6-8 pairs of the "pillows" that the Adam used. I had stockpiled them and I guess I had gathered more than I realize! ha! I also have been stockpiling filters. They send me so many new ones all the time and I look at the old one and you can't even see a color difference. I don't know what type of environment they think people keep, but....seriously? Of course this is all important since I will be moving to out of pocket next year!
As always, YMMV! You do not have to agree or disagree, I am not a professional so my mental meanderings are simply recollections of things from my own life.

PRS1 - Auto - A-Flex x2 - 12.50 - 20 - Humid x2 - Swift FX
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#25
I am dependent on Medicare and Medicaid. My wheelchair is due to be replaced and I hadn't intended to do so. But I'd be stupid to not get it while I can so I am in the process of getting one. I don't see either services being available in ten years. I have a supply of extra mask parts on hand, too.

These insurances would save a small fortune if they repaired things vs replacing them. I don't need an entire new mask every 3 months, just the nasal pillows. I have used a mask for more than a year but I have very oily skin and they never last much longer than that.

We ought to have an exchange group somewhere. I only use one size of the nasal pillows that come in a box so I have a plethora of the other two sizes. They've come in handy when one has been lost but, still, it is a waste.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

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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#26
I agree Paula. I'm in the same boat. I use the medium, but get all 3 sizes! This is problematic since I tend to be somewhat of a packrat! LOL!
As always, YMMV! You do not have to agree or disagree, I am not a professional so my mental meanderings are simply recollections of things from my own life.

PRS1 - Auto - A-Flex x2 - 12.50 - 20 - Humid x2 - Swift FX
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#27
I think it is rather simple. If insured, go by the insurance company's replacement schedule. Schedules may differ with no rhyme or reason. If self-funded and poor, use what you have as long as possible and clean daily. It is easy to tell if replacement is necessary when the seal becomes unreliable or the pillows irritate. A duty cycle of 6 months to a year should not be a problem!
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#28
(06-10-2012, 09:00 AM)PaulaO2 Wrote: Using the same two masks for ten years is more than gross. It is an unsafe practice and I do not believe you have never gotten ill from it. I actually find it hard to believe you are being truthful. While I know the Breeze is a well made mask, and I do know that ten years ago they were made more solid than they are now, I do not believe the silicone pillows have survived. Even if they have, there has got to be tons of places bacteria is hiding, especially if you are using bleach.

Like Dave said, masks are not that expensive. There is nothing in your actions to be proud of.

Wow, such shock and disbelief! :-) Before making my first post I dug into my CPAP bag where I keep all my receipts to find the exact dates that I purchased the equipment. I have a good memory and I do not remember ever buying any mask parts, and I don't have any receipts for them. I've only purchased filters and hoses over the years. So, unless I've forgotten about buying replacement pillows, and also forgot to put the receipt into my bag as I always do, then my story is accurate. As for the mask ever making me sick, well, I've had my share of colds and sore throats like everyone else, but have never had a sinus infection. I generally get fewer colds than others around me. Maybe I just have a good immune system. I don't use bleach on the pillows. I just wash them every morning with antibacterial hand soap and let them dry. I've used various things over the years to disinfect the plenum. I've used a solution of common household bleach, Lysol, SteriClean, and iodine crystals that are used to disinfect water while backpacking. I've never been too worried about what's in the mask. It's the hose and humidifier that bothers me more. It's difficult to sterilize a hose because sterilization depends on contact time with the sterilization liquid, and it's difficult to get all the bubbles out of a hose to soak it properly. The silicone part within the ResMed Autoset Spirit humidifier is also difficult to clean. Early on I thought I was doing a good job washing it, but then I started to see stuff form deep inside the grooves, so I had to be more aggressive, scrubbing deep into the grooves with a toothbrush. I have the standard humidifier tank for the S9, but I plan to buy the dishwasher safe model that can be taken apart for cleaning.

I like this part of your message.

"Like Dave said, masks are not that expensive. There is nothing in your actions to be proud of."

Woo Hoo! It was not a boast of pride. It was in response to someone asking if they really needed to replace their pillows twice a month. Well, it's been my experience that pillows will last longer than that :-)

Using my masks so long was not intentional, and not because I'm cheap. From day to day everything was working fine, and the years just ticked by. I did think abut replacing the Breeze when the plastic part that goes over the head broke, but it was easier to patch with some flexible marine epoxy. My mask was back in service in a day or two instead of having to wait for something to arrive mail order.

My usage is extreme, and as I've mentioned before, I don't recommend that others do the same. I think HeadGear's response, which I've quoted below, is pretty well balanced.

"I think it is rather simple. If insured, go by the insurance company's replacement schedule. Schedules may differ with no rhyme or reason. If self-funded and poor, use what you have as long as possible and clean daily. It is easy to tell if replacement is necessary when the seal becomes unreliable or the pillows irritate. A duty cycle of 6 months to a year should not be a problem!"

After paying so much attention lately to my old masks, I've ordered a new one. I doubt that as long as I have a reasonably healthy immune system that an overused mask is going to take me out, so I'm not worried about it. My wife probably has more germs in her mouth than my bleach disinfected 10 year old mask, but I still kiss her. I'm more likely to die from other risky behavior such as endurance motorcycling. If a bug is going to get me it will probably be from contaminated restaurant food or maybe MRSA from a doctor's office.



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#29
I've had mine a month. Had some leak problems early on until I read a post saying wash them with soap every day. Fot the pillows I just use my hand soap. I seldom have a leak. I got a new pillow today (I can replace them once a month on my Medicare Advantage plan) but I don't intend to use it unless I have problems with the original. Of course I am only running at 6 pressure which probably keeps leaks to a minimum anyway.
"Sometimes the magic works . . . and sometimes it doesn't" -- Chief Dan George in the movie Little Big Man
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#30
In Switzerland the replacement schedule is every six months to a year, depending on the type of system you are using - Swift FX and LX pillows (and the pillows for the Mirage Quatro) are yearly unless the grot factor convinces the LL to replace them sooner (not a common occurrence, the LL tells me). Usually when you bring in your machine for the annual check-up they replace you headgear and pillows as well. Not sure if the insurance companies allow for a quicker replacement schedule than that, but I suspect not - since I am comfortable with L as much as M, I usually get a few left over L pillows from the hospital sleep lab, where they have them by the ton (due to the habit of Resmed of putting all three sizes in every package and replacement kit) - I suggest if you don't take M, you will find that a good solution as well. M, of course, is the most commonly used, so you never find spares of those....

As for me, I have tow or three pairs of pillows, which I rotate every six weeks, washing them and drying them in between, then giving them a good boil before setting them away for the rotation period. So far, no problems, and a tech at the LL tells me that unless you really do nasty things to them, a simple wash in dish soap is enough to keep them in good nick for a year or more, no problem.
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