July 27, 2014

Information for CPAP Users - Mask Liners

This blog is about an accessory piece of sleep apnea supplies. This is mask liners, which will help in the use of most masks, nasal and full face. The purpose is to provide a soft cloth cushion between the silicone and your skin. RemZzzs™ is an accessory to your mask, made from a special blend of naturally absorbent fibers that are designed to help absorb facial oil and moisture. Both the facial oil and moisture will help deteriorate the silicone in the mask.

In addition, when we sweat, a mask’s silicone cushion tends to lose its seal. This increased moisture usually results in a loss of air pressure, setting off an entire chain of events that can end with scenarios like burping and squealing noises from air leaks, constantly re-adjusting your mask, red marks, and skin irritation, never really getting a good nights’ rest, or eventually just throwing your mask on the floor! This is not the purpose or proper use of the mask.

In using the nasal mask liner, I have found that I have been able to slightly loosen the straps and still have a firm fit with few air leaks even when tossing and turning during my sleep. I have done several experiments to see what can be done to get more use from the CPAP nasal mask liners. The manufacturer strongly recommends using a new liner each night. I have found that if I am careful, turn the liner over, and carefully lay it out, I can use it for two nights. I have tried using it for three and four nights, but then there are problems of the air leaks happening again. The facial oils have filled the pores of the liner and it looses its effectiveness.

Washing the liners in my wife's delicates bag in the laundry does not work. The liner basically disintegrates, as it does not have a sewn edge holding it together. So I took eight of the used liners and soaked them for about four to five hours in a mild laundry soap. I did squeeze them to force the facial oils out two or three times. After rinsing them carefully two or three times to remove the laundry soap, I carefully laid them out on a sweater rack and laid a couple of paper towels over the top using a couple of large bamboo spoons to anchor the paper towels and let them dry. The reason for this is because the liners do curl over and make them more difficult to use and putting them in place when putting your mask on.

I have washed the mask liners up to ten times, but after the fifth washing, they only were effective for one use. After the sixth washing, the air leaks increased. Your results may vary. I have used paper towels under and over the liners with other anchors and that worked as well. Even laying this on the washing machine lid worked.  I also suggest leaving them flat between the paper towels until ready to use.

Yes, this is extra work, but until Medicare started paying for them, this helped me defray my costs. Most insurance now covers them with a co-pay.

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