Oxygen Equipment: FSA Eligibility
Revenue Ruling 55-261
What is oxygen equipment?
Oxygen equipment refers to any breathing equipment that facilitates increased access to oxygen. Medical conditions and diseases which may require oxygen equipment include sleep apnea, severe lung disease, and low arterial blood gas levels. Oxygen equipment usually consists of an oxygen concentrator and the breathing apparatus equipment such as a mask and hose. All oxygen equipment is eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account.
Oxygen equipment provides users with increased oxygen intake and allow them to live healthy lives which otherwise might not be possible. Oxygen equipment normally consists of a setup of a compressor, power cords for alternating current and direct current, sometimes with an additional battery pack, a nebulizer for individuals requiring medication with their oxygen, tubing, face masks, filters, and more.
Oxygen equipment also may include maintenance items such as cleansing wipes and sprays that clean, deodorize, and remove dirt, grease, oils, and organic residues from the surfaces and interior of the oxygen equipment.
For CPAP machines, which provide continuous positive airway pressure, there is a slightly different setup: 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 Alaska Sleep Clinic:
- 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.