When you’re ready to take the next step in treating your sleep apnea, it's important that not only do they have a good mask but also one which will fit well and provide complete comfort. There are many different types of CPAP masks out there for every need.
Choosing the right CPAP mask is crucial to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. With so many different styles, shapes and sizes it can be difficult for patients as there's no "miracle" that works on all accounts of face types or conditions.
Whether you're new to wearing protective equipment or have been using it for years, there are a few important points that every person should consider when choosing their mask. Think about personal habits such as breathing style and whether having an extra layer on helps manage heat levels in hot weather conditions.
Three Main Categories of CPAP Mask Types
The nasal pillow mask is considered to be among the most popular options for those using a CPAP machine. With its minimal design, this lightweight and simple plastic frame rests on your upper lip as air passes through two soft tubes that insert into each nostril; it's secured by straps around the head.
This type of sleep apnea mask is held in place by a frame that rests on the forehead and upper cheeks. Nasal pillow masks are available in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials to provide the most comfortable fit possible.
Benefits of Nasal Pillows:
- Nasal pillow masks are small, lightweight and unobtrusive.
- They provide a clear field of vision and don't block your line of sight.
- Nasal pillow masks are easy to put on and take off.
- They're less likely to leak than other types of CPAP masks.
Drawbacks of Nasal Pillows:
- This massager is not ideal for patients with higher-pressure needs as the airflow can cause discomfort at high settings.
- Some people have found that direct air pressure leads to higher incidences of nasal dryness, and in some cases even nose bleeds.
Nasal masks are available in various shapes and sizes, making it easy for anyone to find the perfect fit. The triangular design helps block out noise while also staying comfortable during use of an apnea machine or other medical devices that require nose coverage.
This type of CPAP mask is held in place by a strap that goes around the head. Nasal masks are available in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials to provide the most comfortable fit possible.
Benefits of Nasal Masks:
- Nasal masks provide a good seal and are less likely to leak than other types of CPAP masks.
- They're available in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials to provide the most comfortable fit possible.
Drawbacks of Nasal Masks:
- Nasal masks provide a good seal and a clear field of vision.
- Nasal masks can be uncomfortable for some people.
- They may block your line of sight.
- Nasal masks may cause nasal congestion.
Full Face Mask
Full face masks fit over the nose and mouth and deliver pressurized air directly into the nostrils and lungs. This type of CPAP mask is held in place by a strap that goes around the head. Full face masks are available in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials to provide the most comfortable fit possible.
Benefits of Full Face Mask:
- Face masks were originally designed to help mouth-breathers and those who had trouble with the nasal mask/chin strap combination.
- These masks are the perfect solution for patients with nasal obstruction or frequent congestion due to allergies and cold symptoms.
- This mask is great for CPAP users with high pressure settings because it has a wide surface area and feels less direct than other masks.
Drawbacks of Full Face Mask:
- The larger surface area of this mask is the cause for more air leakage.
- The full face mask is not for everyone. It's bulky and uncomfortable to wear, especially if you have trouble breathing in tight spaces or are extremely anxious about being confined indoors.
- If you're a stomach sleeper, the bulk of this mask will make it difficult to sleep comfortably on your abdomen.
The most important thing to remember about mask choices is that everyone's preferences vary. A good way of finding the right one for you would be through trial and error, or asking other people who have had experience with different kinds!
The mask you choose will ultimately come down to personal preference. However, it's important to keep in mind the benefits and drawbacks of each type of mask before making a decision.
Comfort is key when it comes to CPAP therapy, so make sure to choose a mask that you're comfortable with.