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Bacteria/mold in hoses?

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Bacteria/mold in hoses?

Postby Guest » Fri Jan 11, 2008 4:02 pm

I posted earlier about my husband's problems using cpap, between the air swallowing, and constant upper respiratory infections and ear pain, he's not doing well at all on it. (He's now falling asleep even at the wheel, when before cpap, he never did, he just felt like he wasn't quite rested enough. Now he's dead tired all the time.)

I've noticed that the air coming out of the machine has a mildewy smell. (eew!) I'm wondering if this isn't part of his problem. He is not good at keeping the hoses clean (I think the machine has been cleaned once in two months), and generally just takes the mask off the plops hoses et al on the floor. Nothing is dried out or rinsed. The humidifier is refilled only when it runs out, so the water stays in there for a bit. I'm concerned he's making himself sick, but he doesn't want to hear it from "The Nag" (who is dying to scrub that thing out)
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Postby Bearded One » Fri Jan 11, 2008 4:11 pm

The mask, hose, and humidifier should be cleaned at least every week or two; and don't forget to check the filter.

Daily topping off the water in the humidifier is OK, but the humidifier needs to be cleaned occasionally.

If it smells of mildew. it needed cleaning a while ago.
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Postby lynn321 » Fri Jan 11, 2008 7:02 pm

I think the mask and airhose need to soaked in cold water with detergent and chlorine bleach about once a week, some say vinegar also works, and then carefully rinsed

you dont want mould giving off spores that he breathes in
also check the filter on the machine, these block especially with the machine on the floor
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proper cleaning

Postby ZIFF » Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:25 pm

I have a friend (no OSA) who got legionaires disease from a room humidifier that hadn't been properly cleaned. She had a stroke while still in her late thirties and otherwise good health.

that's why I don't use a humidifier, I just keep my bedroom very cold so the humidity is always 40% or higher and I have very little problem with my nose drying out.

I also am not the best at cleaning things, my hose goes for months without cleaning, but now I clean it just before every time I travel. Coiling it up in the carrying case would loosen all the dust and I would be inhaling it all the next night so I always ended up with severe chest congestion while on trips.
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Postby ElleMarie » Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:01 am

Legionaires has been know to lurk in hot water heaters that aren't drained routinely. ONLY use hot water from your tap for showering NEVER use it to cook with. AND DRAIN those water heaters twice a year!!!! As far as the Cpap goes Legionaires shouldn't be a problem if you only use distilled water, but even then it should be cleaned routinely as other things can migrate into the water.

I know that often we women feel like we take on too much but if you are concerned about his health and he isn't so much so maybe you could clean it for him. Then at least you would know it was being done on a routine basis.
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Postby Mrs Rip Van Winkle » Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:20 am

I too am a culprit of not keeping up with the hose cleaning...so, I bought a second one and always have a clean one ready.[/img]
I'm only a sufferer, not a medical pro. What I post are my thoughts as a sufferer, not that of the ASAA. As a moderator on these forums I oversee the posting rules. This is the internet, always discuss what you read with your medical team.
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Postby Maria7 » Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:41 am

I clean my hose by running warm water and a bit of vinegar in it two or three times a month. Fill it 1/3 way and run the water up and down by raising one arm and then the other. Then rinse with clear water the same way. I let it hang over my shower rod then run it on the CPAP for ten minutes to blow out any excess water. I wash out my tank by heating a cup of distilled water and sloshing it around about once a month. The filters get changed periodically. During the day I place my mask in a gallon sized plastic bag on my nightstand.
Last edited by Maria7 on Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mrs Rip Van Winkle » Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:22 am

:lol: :lol: Hey Maria...ya making a wee bit of a salad? :lol: :lol: :lol:
I'm only a sufferer, not a medical pro. What I post are my thoughts as a sufferer, not that of the ASAA. As a moderator on these forums I oversee the posting rules. This is the internet, always discuss what you read with your medical team.
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Postby TossinNTurnin » Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:49 am

One or twice a week I fill both my hose and humidifier tank with 1 part vinegar, 3 part water. (2 oz vinegar to 6 oz per cup and a 6 foot hose takes about 3 cups.

I would have to think it's pretty dangerous not to clean your hose/humidifier at least once a week.
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Postby lking » Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:55 pm

My hose, OptiLife mask, sponge-type filter, humidifier water chamber, and Topaz chinstrap all get a good cleaning once a week with Joy liquid detergent (this is what the DME said to use) and very hot water. I soak the hose for about 15 minutes then rinse in very hot water. The other items just get washed, rinsed and left to air dry for the day...no soaking.

My nose pillows, on the other hand, get washed every day as I found this to be the key to a good tight seal every night! I also wipe down the humidifier area of my machine, including the port area, once a week with a rag that is damp with the same soapy water that the hose is soaking in, then I wipe it again with a clean damp cloth. With this cleaning schedule I do not have a problem with mold or must, or sinus issues (this may be a coincidence).
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Filter Change

Postby Guest00 » Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:59 am

My finance uses a sleep machine and he doesn't clean it too often. He also has not changed the filter in it since he got it last February, 2007. I am worried about him breathing in mildew and its effect on his health. How often does a filter need to be changed? Is this the mildew smell coming from the machine? Can you buy the filters from any sleep clinic if I just walked in?
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Postby Bearded One » Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:11 am

He also has not changed the filter in it since he got it last February, 2007. ... How often does a filter need to be changed? ... Can you buy the filters from any sleep clinic if I just walked in?


I am pretty sure that the filters need cleaning and replacement. It is hard to say how often the filters need to be cleaned or replaced because there are several variables; I would wash the foam filter and check the white filter once a week. The white filter needs to be if it isn't white any more. I do not know where you are and what sort of sleep clinic you are using. In the US you would normally get new filters from whoever provided the CPAP machine (probably a DME) or you can get them from a mail order/online CPAP store. In the US, insurance or Medicare will usually cover CPAP filters.

If the air is dirty or the filters are mall, the filters will need cleaning and replacing more often. Some CPAPs do not have a foam filter, they just have a single, thick white filter, which is fine. Some CPAPs come with only a foam filter and no white filter, you should see if you can get white filters for these.
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Thank you :)

Postby Guest00 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 1:40 am

Thanks for the reply and advice. I am in Canada so I'm sure it works the same. I will check it out.
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Postby melhajj » Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:07 am

i clean my mask and hose everyday; the first one with warm water and soap, the second one with warm water flushing it out three or four times; putting the end of the hose that is connected to the humidifier under the water faucet and the other end hanging down until the job is done; i do put the first end of the hose (the one connected to the humidifier) under the water faucet to AVOID the possible germs that i coughed while i am sleeping going back all around the hose; the end connected to the hose should be cleaner that the other one that is connected to the mask; after washing both, the mask and the hose i hang out the hose for a few minutes while i am cleaning the mask with a clean thin pillowcase or towel, one that allows me to really clean all the junctions inside the mask until i do not see a drop of water inside it; then i connect the hose and mask to the humidifier and run the humidifier on zero so that the machine just blow air, no humidified air which contains water and i let it run for fifteen to twenty minutes until everything is completely dry; i hang the hose vertically in case that there is still a drop that i do not see and the mask also stays hanging all day until it is time to use it again; i do this everyday and clean both every fifteen days with the vinegar/water solution; it is VERY IMPORTANT to clean all the parts of the cpap mask, hose, mask, filters, machine, the water tank, the rubber bands and rubber windows that are in the water tank to avoid mold, because you can be sure that this mold you are going to inhale and go directly to the uppeer and lower airways, i mean, pharinge, larynx, lungs, etc, which could be really a bad thing to treat and cure. take care everybody, if you have something better to advice, let me know.
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Postby Bearded One » Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:08 pm

I understand that in Canada the medical coverage for all things CPAP, including filters, varies somewhat by province.
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