How to choose the right CPAP mask
There are many types of continuous positive air pressure masks (CPAP) to treat sleep apnea: full face masks, nasal masks and nasal pillows. So how to choose the right one? Consider it’s a combination of different elements: size, fit, comfort, facial anatomy…
Here are some tips to help you.
Do you know the three different types of CPAP masks? A full face mask covers both nose and mouth. A nasal mask only covers the nose and nasal pillows have to be placed at the entrance of your nostrils.
These three masks are all effective to treat sleep apnea. But depending on your sleep apnea symptoms and severity, your healthcare professional will suggest you a solution over the others.
Benefits and drawbacks of CPAP masks
A full face mask is ideal for very high CPAP pressure settings, mouth breathers, people who frequently have obstructed or blocked nose due to allergies or colds. Full face mask works well for those who sleep on their back.
A full face mask increases the risk of air leakage, irritated eyes sometimes, claustrophobia, and difficulty to read, watch TV or wear glasses.
A nasal mask is also recommended for high pressure CPAP settings and remains the breathe natural. It is not ideal when you have blocked sinuses, deviated septum, or narrow nasal valve for example.
Nasal pillows are lightweight and minimal. Since they offer a better field of vision, this is optimal for readers, glasses wearers or cinema in bed fans before sleeping.
On the other side, nasal pillows are not ideal for high pressure needs and mouth breathers.
Try your CPAP mask on and change it if needed
Choosing the right CPAP mask is mainly a question of needs, comfort and preferences. Your doctor, equipment supplier and home healthcare provider will give you all the medical and technical advice you need. But they don’t know you as you know yourself! And only you will wear your CPAP mask…
Do you breathe with your mouth or nose? Are you frequently or sometimes claustrophobic? Do you have deviated septum? Does your skin easily marks? Are you intimidated by the technical material on your face?
Last but not least, many patients don’t know a important fact when choosing a CPAP mask: they can change it! Try it on, make some adjustments so it fits to your facial anatomy, sleep a few nights with it and call for another one if you really and perfectly don’t feel comfortable.
Your CPAP mask will be a major solution for your life changing
Take your time to find the one that will give you the best results.