Around 3 in 10 adults suffer from mild sleep apnea and 1 in 15 suffer from it severely. It is a sleep disorder in which a person has uneven breathing; it stops and starts repeatedly. This makes a person have interrupted sleep because the body and brain do not receive enough oxygen. As a result, it may cause high blood pressure, obesity, cardiac disorder, depression and persistent exhaustion throughout the day. It can be cured completely by changing one’s lifestyle or it can be reduced medically.

Medically, sleep apnea can be reduced by ‘Continuous Positive Airway Pressure’ or CPAP therapy. CPAP is a machine that sends a sustained flow of air pressure to the throat to ensure a clear passage of air for breathing.

CPAP filter ensures pure air, making it a vital component of a CPAP machine. Here is a list of possible queries regarding a disposable CPAP filter:

1. What are CPAP filters?

A CPAP filter cleans the air in the room before it is passed into a person’s airway.

2. How are disposable CPAP filters different from reusable ones?

Disposable CPAP filters are to be discarded after a fixed period of days or when it gets dirty, whereas, a reusable filter can be washed with lukewarm warm water every week and reused.

3. What are CPAP filters made of?

CPAP filters are mostly paper-based material and are not reusable. The material is charged with static electricity to attract foreign particles in the air and prevent them from entering the CPAP machine.

4. Who should use a disposable CPAP filter?

Reusable filters require high maintenance. Anybody who has no time to clean a reusable filter every week, disposable filters are a better option.

5. Can a disposable CPAP filter be washed?

Disposable CPAP filters as the name itself suggests are disposable, they cannot be washed and reused.

6. How often should CPAP filters be replaced?

A disposable filter is recommended to be replaced every 20-30 days and more frequently in a polluted environment. The filter should be replaced immediately after discoloration even if it looks clean.

7. How much does a disposable CPAP filter cost?

The price of a CPAP filter ranges from USD $2 to $15 depending on the brand.

8. What is a hypoallergenic CPAP filter?

Hypoallergic CPAP filters are made of two materials that have a defensive mechanism. One layer is designed to catch smaller particles like dust and germs and the other layer is designed to catch larger particles like hair, insects, etc.

9. How to replace a CPAP filter?

The place where the filter is put varies from machine to machine. In some, it is found at the back or to the left. A medical equipment provider can assist in this matter. However, we can try and replace it ourselves if we find the area through which the air enters.

10. Which way does the CPAP filter go?

If the disposable CPAP has a plastic mesh side and soft side, the mesh side faces towards the device and the soft side faces outside. For paper and foam filters, the paper goes first and then the foam part faces outside.

11. Why is the CPAP filter turning black?

A disposable CPAP filter can turn black for 3 possible reasons:

• Black soot buildup due to an excessive candle burning around a CPAP machine

• Mold growth in filter due to humid conditions

• Severely clogged air filter

12. How do I adjust my air pressure on my CPAP filter?

It is not advisable to self-adjust air pressure. If the air pressure is too high or too low, we need to consult a doctor to redo a titration process to determine a new suitable air-pressure level.

13. What problems can a dirty filter cause?

As we keep on using a CPAP, germs, oil, dead skin cell from our body attach to the filter. On the other side, the filter also picks us dust, allergens and harmful micro-organisms from the surrounding air. Breathing the air that passes through this kind of dirt can cause a sinus infection, skin irritation leading to breakouts and acne, etc... even the airflow catches a pungent, musty odor.

14. How to tell if a CPAP filter is broken?

Other than using a dirty filter, a broken filter can cause severe health risks. To determine if a filter is broken, these are the probable signs:

• Dry and cold airflow because a proper CPAP airflow is lukewarm.

• If the person’s snoring returns.

• If the person feels fatigued during the day due to unsatisfactory sleep.

These are the basic queries that arise about a disposable CPAP filter when using it for the first time. No CPAP machine can cure sleep apnea, can only reduce it.