If you're using a CPAP mask, it's important that you keep it in good condition. The mask and its components are not designed to last forever even with proper care, not to mention that many people don't take the time to maintain their equipment.
It is typically recommended that masks be replaced every 6 to 12 months, and headgear just as often, however here are the five signs to tell when your CPAP mask needs replacing:
1) Not feeling refreshed the next morning
If you wake up and still feel tired, it could be a sign that your mask is not functioning properly.
If this happens to you, it might be time to consider replacing your CPAP mask.
2) Experiencing dry mouth upon waking
A dry mouth upon waking is usually not a common side effect of CPAP therapy. However, it becomes an issue when your mask is leaking air. If you experience dry mouth after sleeping with your mask on, it may be that your CPAP mask is leaking air.
Air leaks from the mask can cause a fluctuation of pressure inside it. Your body generally compensates by opening your mouth to stabilise the pressure. However, opening your mouth throughout the night can lose moisture from within your throat. This not only disrupts your sleep —but with a very dry mouth!
3) The mask is not giving you a quality seal
When the mask is brand new, the seal that covers your nose and/or mouth gives you a high-quality seal during therapy. However, with regular use and the build-up of natural oil on your skin, the seal becomes stretched, discoloured and loses its rigidity to create a stronghold around your face.
Poor seals can cause leaks and reduce the effectiveness of therapy. To check for a good seal:
- The mask should feel secure on your face when you breathe normally through it (without snoring). If you feel like there's too much movement in this area, then something isn't right!
4) Mask becomes uncomfortable to wear
If your mask is uncomfortable, it can be a sign that it’s time to replace it. The poor seal can cause leaks during therapy when the mask becomes worn out. This can lead to users tightening their headgear more to compensate for the leak. As these masks are over-tightened, they place more pressure on the face, which can cause discomfort and leave temporary grooves on your skin!
5) Headgear is worn out or lost shape
The elastic fabric on the headgear will wear out over time due to sweating, movement, tightening and cleaning. If your mask no longer fits snugly on your face, or if it is torn or stretched out of shape, then consider replacing your headgear. Worn-out headgear can cause leaks and reduce the efficacy of therapy.
Your CPAP machine is designed to help treat your sleep apnea to get a better night's sleep. However, continuing to wear a worn-out mask can cause discomfort or hygiene issues and compromise the result of your therapy.
So, there you have it. If you feel like your CPAP mask needs to be replaced, then it probably does. We hope this article gave you some insights into identifying when your mask is worn out and in need of replacement. It’s important to remember that if you notice any signs of wear or tear on your beloved mask (or other equipment), don’t hesitate to contact us right away! We can help ensure that you get the most out of your device so that its lifespan remains as long as possible while ensuring optimal comfort and effectiveness during use.