The key to continuous positive pressure (CPAP) therapy is finding the right CPAP Mask. There are many mask styles, sizes, and shapes available. It can be challenging to choose right mask for you. It all boils down to finding the right mask for you, your unique breathing habits, and your comfort level.
3 Main Types Of CPAP Mask
Because of their minimalist design, nasal pillows are popular among CPAP no mask users. The smallest CPAP mask, the Nasal Pillows, rests on the user’s upper lips as it blows pressurized oxygen through two soft nasal tubes. These tubes insert into the nostrils. Straps secure the head.
The Benefits Of Nasal Pillows
Patients who have claustrophobia, or feel uncomfortable with too much material on their faces, will love the lightweight and minimalist design.
- It is ideal for people who enjoy reading or watching TV before bedtime.
- This allows the user to wear glasses without any material covering the bridge.
- Direct airflow to the nasal passages decreases air leakage.
- Active sleepers who frequently toss and turn often will find this useful.
- This mask is best for people with lot of facial hair and may leak into other types of masks.
The nasal masks are triangular-shaped and fit over the nose. They cover the area from bridge of your nose to the top lip. Because of their wide availability of sizes and fittings, they are very popular with CPAP users. This makes it easy to find the perfect mask for you.
The Benefits Of Nasal Masks:
- Natural airflow is more natural than nasal pillows because the pressure delivered isn’t quite as direct.
- Nasal pillows are better for high-pressure settings.
- There are many styles to suit a variety of facial features and structures.
- The nasal mask’s suction helps to keep you secure if you are prone to moving around in your sleep or if your head is tilted.
Full Face Mask
CPAP full-face masks protect the nose, mouth, and any part of the face. Side straps keep the mask in its place. Hybrid face masks can cover the mouth and include nasal prongs that fit in the nostrils like nasal pillows.
The Benefits Of Full Face Masks:
- Face masks work well for those who have had trouble with nasal masks/chinstraps and mouth-breathers.
- This is ideal for patients with nasal obstructions, frequent congestion, or allergies.
- Strangely, some patients with claustrophobia prefer a full-face mask covering the entire face. The mask touches only the outside of the face. The nasal pillows and masks touch only the bridge and upper lip of the nose.
- It is ideal for high CPAP pressure settings. The large surface area of this mask makes it more tolerable than other masks.
- This mask is ideal for person who sleeps on their backs as it allows for the best air seal. The mask can be secured with the help of additional straps and support.
Things To Consider When Choosing An CPAP Mask
- The most important factors in choosing a CPAP machine are size, comfort, and fit. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to use CPAP therapy if the mask isn’t suitable for your needs, doesn’t fit well, or is uncomfortable. Talk to your DME tech about the best mask. Don’t be afraid to change your mind and try another mask.
- Tell your DME tech if you are active sleeper to ensure you have the best mask.
- If you feel claustrophobic, or have trouble with your skin’s sensitivity, tell your DME tech.
- You must find a mask that doesn’t leak if you have facial hair.
- It would help to choose a mask that gives you the best vision to read, watch TV, or use glasses at night.
- You may need a mask for your nose or nasal passages if you inhale through your mouth.
- There are many cushions (gel, silicone, and foam), so choose the most comfortable one.
- Make sure to check if there are replaceable cushion parts on the mask that you select.