CPAP Cleaning Products: FSA Eligibility
What are CPAP cleaning supplies?
Continuous positive airway pressure, also known as CPAP, is a series of treatments used to treat breathing problems like sleep apnea by utilizing mild air pressure to keep airways open and alleviate the difficulty that is associated with common respiratory problems. The primary means of treatment for these issues is the CPAP machine, which is a mask that covers the nose and mouth (nose-only devices are called Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (NCPAP)), and is worn each night to open airways to improve sleep and breathing quality (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute).
Because of the continual recirculation of breath through the machine and the buildup of condensation that could foster bacterial formation, one of the most important aspects of CPAP machine maintenance is proper care and cleaning of the device with CPAP cleaning supplies. This will ensure that these devices are working at 100 percent efficiency and will help to prolong the lifespan of the mask, machine and its associated accessories.
What CPAP machine parts are a priority for CPAP cleaning supplies?
CPAP cleaning supplies are specially designed to disinfect the various small parts that make up the device, and these can be as simple as antibacterial sprays and wipes to more advanced air purification systems that can destroy airborne bacteria and viruses. However, no matter what type of cleaning products CPAP users choose, they should concentrate on a few particular areas of their CPAP machines to keep them as clean as possible, including via American Sleep Association:
- Humidifier System: The vast majority of new CPAP machines come with humidifier units that are designed to cut down on morning dry mouth and preventing the nasal passageways from drying out and becoming irritated. This area is a prime spot for bacterial buildup and even calcification over time, so it's vital to clean this chamber daily with warm water and CPAP cleaning supplies. Additionally, this chamber should be rinsed weekly in a 1-part vinegar and 3-parts water solution.
- CPAP Mask: The mask is cleaned in the same way as the humidifier system, as these parts are typically made of hard plastic and should be cleaned daily alongside the device's humidifier system. Be sure to let headgear and chinstraps air-dry and avoid placing them in the dishwasher, and place the plastic portion of the mask in a 1-part vinegar and 3-part water solution each week.
- CPAP Filters: These filters draw in air from the room the wearer is sleeping in and usually consist of a white paper filter that is changed monthly and a second non-disposable filter that should be cleaned on a weekly basis. Pay particular attention to the states of both of these filters to monitor when they should be cleaned/replaced.
Under IRC 213(d)(1), "medical care includes amounts paid for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body." This includes medical equipment, supplies and devices.