How Long Do CPAP Machines Last?

Accessories for CPAP machines deteriorate with time and stop functioning properly after a while. This has an impact on the life expectancy of the machine, but a CPAP machine’s life can be prolonged with proper cleaning and maintenance.

Ultimately, that’s why the question of how long CPAP machines last is one of the most commonly asked questions among users. 

The short answer for the machine itself is: three to five years. However, all the other components like the mask, for instance, which itself has many constituents, have different life spans. It depends on different factors like the oil secreted from your skin and how regularly you clean your CPAP machine. Constant cleaning, on the other hand, can also result in wearing down the mask.

All the various components of a CPAP machine, such as headgear, the mask cushion, and other components also have a specific life expectancy. We’ll go into more detail on this a bit later and even mention specific brands, but first, let’s delineate what CPAP machines are and what they’re used for.

What Is a CPAP Machine and Why Is It Used?

First and foremost, a CPAP machine’s most popular use is treating sleep apnea. 

What Is Sleep Apnea?

There are three types of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea, complex sleep apnea syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnea. The most common type – obstructive sleep apnea – results in intermittent pauses of breathing during sleep.

It is often left undiagnosed since its signs occur during sleep and they’re often brief, so patients fail to notice those. The most common symptoms of sleep apnea are general fatigue, snoring, daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, and the like.

The risk factors for this sleep disorder are the following:

  • Obesity
  • Anatomical factors like small jawbones or tonsils
  • Family history of sleep apnea
  • Being male and older or middle-aged
  • Large neck
  • Nasal congestion
  • Smoking
  • Hypertension, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease

How Does a CPAP Machine Work?

CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. This machine is designed to alleviate sleep apnea by helping open your airways and sending a continuous flow of oxygen in your throat and nose, which allows you to sleep peacefully.

In order to do so, it contains a motor that sends a continuous stream of pressurized air. This air is then passed through a filter for purification.

After that, the purified air moves through a flexible tube and reaches the mask that’s sealed around your mouth and nose area.

This whole system allows you to sleep normally and prevents you from waking up in the middle of the night because of disturbed breathing. What more could you ask?

Well, you could ask that this machine lasts you a long time.

What Is the Life Expectancy of a CPAP Machine?

Can you use the same toothbrush throughout your lifetime? Of course not! Similarly, CPAP machines also have a specific life span, and you can’t use them more than that.

The approximate life span of a CPAP machine is five years

Besides, its life expectancy also depends upon the specific model and brand. Here are some machine types and their life expectancy:

The good news is that most insurance companies like Medicare give you the opportunity of getting a new CPAP machine.

Should You Routinely Replace Your CPAP Machine?

Over time, CPAP machines will keep getting better and better, so their life span aside, it means that you’ll also have several other benefits once you replace your old machine. A new CPAP machine is likely to have some advanced features not available in the one you’re currently using.

You can get the following comfort features after investing in a new CPAP machine:

  • Better Humidification
    The issue with most old humidifiers is that they are quite difficult to clean and fill. But this is not the case anymore since new integrated humidifiers are light and compact. They not only take less space but the process of filling and cleaning them is also quite easier. Improved heated tubes are also yet another upside that prevents water condensation.
  • Quiet Performing Accessories
    Masks and motors in newer models come equipped with multi-directional openings and built-in diffusers. These help the CPAP machine operate quietly so you and your partner can enjoy sound sleep without any disturbance.
  • Lower Pressure
    Another great feature of some of the newer CPAP models is auto-ramp. This is such an amazing feature since it’s designed to lower the pressure automatically when it detects that you’re awake. But once you fall asleep, it will automatically increase the pressure and adjust it as per your prescribed level.
  • Quick Sleep Stats
    Some CPAP machines come with wireless connectivity and are quite easy to use. These send your sleep data directly to your health care team. They also allow you to see your sleep stats on your mobile or computer screen, which can be useful, as it gives you an idea of how well you slept the night before. On top of that, some machines also provide certain tips for improving your sleep quality.

Whenever you want to change your CPAP machine, consider your budget and make sure to talk about it with your doctor. This way, you will get a nearly customized set-up and your money’s worth.

How Long Do CPAP Masks Last?

As we already mentioned, the lifespan of a CPAP mask will depend on how well you maintain and clean it. The mask can last between two to six months, and the different components of the mask have their own life expectancy.

How Often Should I Replace My CPAP Mask?

This will depend on the type of mask you’re using. Nasal pillows have about two months of usage life while full face masks last from three to six months.

Headgear and Mask Cushions

The headgear that comes with a CPAP machine can be used for six months, but consider replacing it if it becomes loose before this period has passed.

Mask cushions also wear out quickly. To improve your cushion’s life span, tighten your mask to keep it firmly in place every time you use it. 

How to Decide If You Need a New CPAP Device?

You should immediately contact your provider if you see that your CPAP machine has stopped working. Furthermore, if you notice that your sleep apnea symptoms are not getting better, you should contact your sleep specialist or medical professional to accelerate the replacement schedule of your CPAP. Most CPAP machines have a warranty of at least one year.

Also, be mindful of the timeframes when CPAP supplies and components are at their best. It’s ill-advised to keep using them past their expiration date. When you do decide that you need a new device, contact your insurance provider and find out whether they can provide a new CPAP machine or not.  

Takeaway

Ultimately, CPAP machines are crucial when it comes to tackling obstructive sleep apnea and improving sleep quality. Once you start experiencing any and all side effects, such as congestion from the nasal mask, skin irritation, or dry eyes, you would do well to seek medical advice and see whether you’re due for a replacement.

While knowing the “life expectancy” of your machine and its components is beneficial, issues like mask leaks or air leaks are common and can occur at any time. The humidifier and air filter should also be checked frequently.

Sleep therapy or CPAP therapy, just like any therapy, will help you only if you don’t get complacent. So, if there’s one last piece of advice we can give to CPAP users, it would be to not postpone checking out any and all issues with their CPAP machine.