The most important part of obstructive or sleep apnea therapy (CPAP), is the mask you choose. The CPAP masks you use to interface with your CPAP machine must be as comfortable as it can be, keep your nose and mouth closed, and be easy to maintain.
There are many elements that must be considered when ensuring the CPAP suit fits correctly. Consider the shape and size of the patient’s faces, as well as their diet and lifestyle. What is the preferred position for sleeping? Are there any facial hairs or beards? What about nosebleeds? You might also have a deviated Septum. These are just some examples of what you need to consider.
These are just a few concerns. It can also be difficult to decide which CPAP device is best for you. This is especially true if the diagnosis of sleep apnea has just been made and you are starting CPAP therapy. It is possible to find the appropriate CPAP Mask for you. Continue reading to learn more.
3 Main Styles of CPAP Mask
There are many attachments and combinations that can be used, but there are three basic mask styles. Most share the same components: the mask frame, headpiece, or cushion. Let’s now examine each of these primary categories separately.
Complete Face CPAP Mask
Full-face masks have the largest surface areas. It covers both the nose AND mouth from the bridge to the bottom of the lips, unlike the other two designs. It is held in place with a headpiece.
Some CPAP patients experience claustrophobia using a full mask. Others find it more relaxing. Your mouth may open and you can still breathe through it.
If you are:
- Require higher air pressure settings
- You suffer from chronic nasal congestion, allergies, and septal deviation.
- You mouth-breathe
- You are a back sleeper
- They must sleep with their mouths wide open.
Nasal CPAP Mask
A nasal mask sits on the nasal bridge. It seals right below it. Nasal masks can be used by people who suffer from claustrophobia or severe sensitivity to airflow.
A nasal CPAP Mask could prove to be beneficial if:
- Use your nose only, or a chin strap if mouth breathing is a problem.
- Get to sleep on your back or on your side
- Nasal pillow masks do not offer the additional pressure that a nasal pillow mask provides.
- Avoid frequent nasal congestion.
Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask
Let’s finish with the tiny, yet powerful nasal pillow CPAP mask. Also known as a nose cushion mask. This mask has the smallest area and is recommended for those who want a lightweight, minimal-contact mask.
If you are suffering from any of the following symptoms, a nasal pillow CPAP mask may be of use to you:
- You frequently toss and turn during sleep
- You can lie on your stomach or side.
- You can only inhale through your nose.
- Nose congestion not often experienced
- Have facial hair, such a beard or another facial hair
- Find out if other masks cause claustrophobia