Traveling can be stressful. Whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, there are many steps involved in making sure that your trip goes smoothly. No matter how well you plan, there are often variables that you may not anticipate. One is the sanitation of the hotel rooms you inhabit along the way. In any hotel room, you run the risk of picking up bed bugs. If you suffer from sleep apnea and travel with a CPAP machine, the prospect of these nasty little hitchhikers may be even more unnerving.
Can Bed Bugs Infest CPAP?
Bed bugs are notorious for infesting just about anything, and quickly. Your pajamas, day clothing, shoes, and even the lining of your suitcase can offer these parasites a taxi into your home. Plastic environments are not ideal for bed bugs to hide in, though it is possible for them to stow away in the crevices of CPAP machines. They prefer cloth and wood environments that are easy for them to hold onto and hide in.
If you return home from traveling and find yourself waking up with bed bug bites all over your body, you may want to treat your cloth items first. An entomologist (insect expert) or exterminator should be able to help you identify whether or not you have a bed bug infestation. If bed bugs are discovered, you should follow extermination advice on getting rid of these nasty critters. The EPA recommends bagging infested items in plastic for 9-12 months. Although the odds of CPAP infestation are slim, you should also take care to clean your CPAP machine to ensure that there are no bugs taking refuge in the crevices.
Additional CPAP Travel Advice
Once they have entered your home, bed bugs are difficult to eradicate. Some people recommend buying a separate CPAP machine specifically for traveling if you are worried about picking up bed bugs. Doing this will allow you to bag the CPAP and any other items you brought with you just in case.
The Importance of CPAP Sanitation
Even if you aren’t worried about bed bugs, CPAP sanitation is important for your health. Bacteria, mold, and dust particles can accumulate inside of your machine and put you at risk of respiratory infection. As with the risk of bed bug infestation, the risk of infection from CPAP is slim. CPAP machines are warm, moist environments, and yeast or mold could take up residence under the right circumstances. To avoid this risk, you should take time to clean your machine regularly.
The model of CPAP you use will determine what methods you use to clean it. Most machines are designed for easy disassembly. Disassemble your CPAP and carefully wipe down surfaces inside and out with a cloth and warm water. You can use a gentle soap on most CPAP machines too, but you should check the care instructions first. If you don’t have the time to properly clean your device, you might benefit from purchasing a CPAP cleaning machine to sanitize while you are away.
Traveling with your CPAP machine should not be stressful. The odds of picking up bed bugs are about as low as getting an infection from yeast or mold growing inside of your machine. With proper cleaning and maintenance, your CPAP should always work to improve your health rather than endangering it. To learn more about the ways that CPAP can improve your sleep, please call (303) 691-0267 for an appointment with a Denver sleep dentist at the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado.