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CPAP Masks: Types and Choosing the Right Mask for Your Sleeping Style
Finding out that you have sleep apnea can be a threatening process. Not only do you have a new diagnosis, but now you are being introduced to various treatment choices for which there are many variables. Assuming that you and your physician have chosen CPAP as your therapy option, your next step will be selecting a CPAP mask.
CPAP masks are the interface between the sleep apnea patient and the CPAP device, and there are many kinds of sleep apnea masks to choose from. Many sleep apnea masks are made of plastic, silicone, or gel-like materials. Most are made of fabric and other hybrid materials. They normally have adjustable straps that help to secure the mask to the face. CPAP masks usually cost between $30 – $150.
There is no one-size-fits-all with sleep disorder masks. The continuous positive airway pressure interface should be personalized to your face and to your comfort level. Once you have a CPAP prescription from your physician, you should meet with a machine professional that specializes in CPAP masks. You can then try on various sleep apnea masks to find the one that best fits you and find the most comfortable.
Different Kinds of CPAP Masks
CPAP masks all work in the same way — they deliver air from the CPAP equipment through a hose to your airway. This keeps your airway from collapsing during sleep and inhibits obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Masks come in a variety of fits, but mainly fall into three various types:
- Nasal Pillows or Prongs which fit directly into nostrils.
- Nasal CPAP Masks, which fit over the nose only.
- Full-Face Masks, which cover your nose and your mouth.
You do not require a physician’s prescription to buy a new mask, but it’s significant to check with a professional to ensure that you choose the correct mask and make sure it fits properly. Patients that have inappropriate masks tend to be non-compliant with their CPAP therapy.
Finding the Correct CPAP Mask for You
The reality with sleep apnea masks is that the best mask for you is the one that you feel contented with. Masks often come in many sizes for different shaped faces and noses. Try on lots of masks to find the best choice for your requirements and preferences. There are some considerations you may need to keep in mind when choosing your sleep apnea mask.
Many persons breathe with their mouths open during sleep. If you use a nasal CPAP mask and the mouth opens during sleep, air will follow the path of least resistance and exit through the mouth, thus reducing its efficiency.
Nasal resistance and obstruction can pose a problem with CPAP when utilizing a nasal mask. For persons with challenging nasal passages, a full-face mask might be indicated.
Mustaches and beards can obstruct the seal between your CPAP mask and your face. Some masks are designed for individuals who have a lot of facial hair.
Many new masks, such as the DreamWear CPAP mask, use the least amount of material and attaching strap possible to deliver air. This allows for a more natural feel during wake and sleep, which can assist patients who have claustrophobia.
Know that the CPAP mask you select this year may be different than the mask you use next year. Your choice of a mask is not a permanent judgment. You will likely get a new mask yearly, or maybe more often because sleep apnea masks are not designed to last forever.