CPAP supplies were developed to be comfortable, and to make it easier to keep that mask on all night. They were not created for durability, and are in fact disposable.
Part of this is based on hygiene. It is very difficult to truly keep your supplies clean for the long-term in this environment. The plastics are exposed to the oils on your skin each night, as well as the moist air you’re breathing all night long.
Germs and bacteria thrive in this environment, and show up first in tiny cracks that develop as the plastics age. Most supplies will also last longer when they’re well maintained. Sleep clean and protect your hygiene by washing your mask daily, and cleaning all of your supplies on a weekly basis. Then replace your mask, cushions, and pillows regularly.
That’s not all. Old masks develop leaks, which reduce the air pressure that prevents apneas. It doesn’t take much to go below the level of your prescribed pressure, reducing the effectiveness of your therapy.
You will be more comfortable with masks and headgear that are new and well-fitted. As old parts wear out, they become loose. When you have to over-tighten your headgear it is a sure sign it is time for a replacement.
Replacing the filters protect your machine and can help it last longer. Particularly if you have allergies, you won’t want to sleep with a dirty filter. Make sure the air you are breathing is clean and free of allergens.
Medicare and insurance companies have developed a standard recommended replacement timeframe (see below). This isn’t a requirement, but a good guideline of how often your supplies need replacing.
Develop your own routine that works for you, but be sure you have one. Sleep is critical to your health, and you should do everything you can to protect it.