Breathing air from CPAP and humidifier that contains mold
This past weekend when I was going to wash the Reservior container of my humidifier for my CPAP (it's heated type). I found mold growing on the underside of the lid.
I generally wash the container/hoses/nose pillow every week about 1x to 2x with Palmolive antibacterial dish soap. I only use distilled water to fill the reservior.
My concern is that I used the CPAP this way for anywhere from 2 to 3 days with the mold.
I'm concerned about infection,and Lung Specialist can't see me until 6/28/12. Do you have info on tests that I should actively seek or know of symtoms I should watch for? Thank You
Breathing the humidified air with mold can cause health problems, such as bronchial infections (bronchitis), or allergic responses, such as:
- hay fever,
- irritation of the eyes, nose throat or lungs
These symptoms may appear if you are sensible to mold exposure:
- eye irritation,
- difficulty breathing,
- throat irritation,
So if you don't have these symptoms, I don't think you have to worry about mold exposure. But please clean the humidifier before using the CPAP again. I'll give you some tips to clean your equipment bellow.
If you are a very sensible person, only a small quantify of mold can make you sick. However, we all breathe polluted air all day and most of the time we don't get sick.
So it depends on the person if you can be affected from a small quantity of mold.
For the future, is important to know that allergic problems can appear from dead and from livind mold spores. So usually the surface with mold has to be cleaned with bleach or other disinfectant.
However, it's not healthy to use bleach in the CPAP humidifier. You have to use something else. Palmolive is not strong enough for mold. Use vinegar
, because it kills most mold, bacteria and germs and so far it seems to be working for all CPAP users with mold issues.
The most efficient whay to clean your humidifier tank and mask cushion is to clean them once a week:
- first with Johnson's Baby Shampoo
- then soak everything, including your CPAP hose, in a solution of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water, for 30 minutes
- optional, to remove the smell of vinegar, you may want to use Johnson's shampoo again
I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back. Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide