Protect your health and reduce incidences of sinus infections—a CPAP bacteria filter helps prevent airborne bacteria and viruses from entering your air supply and impacting your respiratory health. CPAP bacteria filters are a great choice for those with seasonal allergies, chronic cold or flu symptoms, or those just looking for an added layer of protection for peace of mind. Inline bacteria filters install in less than a minute between your CPAP hose and machine and typically cost less than a cup of coffee. Your CPAP machine will not require re-calibration after the installation of a bacterial filter, but some machines do have an optional setting that will compensate for the filter with some additional pressure.
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CPAP bacteria filters, or bacterial viral filters, protect your health by keeping bacteria and other pathogens from entering your air supply. Typically inserted between your CPAP machine and hose, a bacteria filter will capture and collect germs before they can travel through the hose and into your lungs.
All CPAP machines have standard filters that remove particulates from the ambient air, which handles things like pet hair, dust, and larger allergens. A bacteria filter will catch 99.9% of the bacteria and pathogens that make it through your machine filters, keeping you safe from sickness and respiratory infections.
CPAP machines pull oxygen from their surrounding environment and pass it through at least one filter (some machines have two) before it gets to you. This standard filtration removes airborne particulates in the ambient air such as dirt, dust, dander, pollen, pet hair, smoke, and smoke residue, but standard filters are not rated for the removal of micron-sized pathogens. Adding a CPAP bacterial viral filter to your hose setup will filter out any bacteria that may be floating in the ambient air or living in your humidifier chamber.
Although your CPAP machine may come with an "ultra-fine" filter, standard CPAP filters do not have filtration efficiency ratings. They are not designed or rated for capturing and collecting microscopic particulate matter, which is how an in-line bacteria filter can better protect your lungs. Smaller allergens, viruses, and bacteria can pass through most standard inlet filters, but an in-line bacteria filter for CPAP machine filtration can capture 99.9% of all bacteria and viruses.
CPAP bacteria filters are disposable and feature a connection point on either side - one for your hose and one to connect directly to your CPAP machine's air outlet. In-line bacterial viral filters work the same way a regular filter does; by placing a super-fine paper filter in the path of your therapy air, your air becomes cleaner as bacteria and particulate matter is removed at a microscopic scale.
In-line bacteria filters cannot function properly when wet, so humidifier users should check their bacteria filters after each use. If the filter is wet, it should be removed from its housing and air-dried before its next use.
Finally, adding a bacteria filter to your system can reduce the pressure of the air that's being delivered to your mask. Many machines have an "AB Filter" setting that can be toggled on to account for this loss in pressure, allowing you to benefit from the full force of your prescribed pressure.
In-line bacterial viral filters should only be disposable and should be discarded after 30 days or when the filter becomes noticeably dirty - whichever comes first. These disposable filters should not be cleaned or sanitized, only replaced. Certain lifestyle and environmental factors may make it necessary to change both standard CPAP filters and in-line bacterial filters more often.
For instance, if you smoke in your home, have a pet, use a humidifier with your CPAP machine, or live near a freeway, active construction site, or other sources of pollution/airborne particles, you should visibly inspect your filters once a week and replace them at the first sign of wear or discoloration.