Things to note about different CPAP masks

Estimated read time 6 min read

There are several different types of CPAP masks available. We’ll talk about the many CPAP masks on the market now in this article.

CPAP nasal masks

This mask’s shape resembles a dome, and it forms a shield around the nose. There are numerous options to pick from to match different face features due to the large range of forms that are offered. The airflow seems a little more natural since air is not being driven into the nasal passages directly. Additionally, this enables the use of higher pressures, which is ideal for those with severe sleep apnea.

Despite their name, nasal cpap masks must be worn via the nose in order to be effective. A nasal mask won’t work if you use your mouth to breathe while you sleep rather than your nose. Many items available on the market include chin straps that you may use to prevent unintentionally letting your lips hang open. This choice should not be selected by those who suffer from allergies or persistent sinusitis since it is inappropriate for their circumstances.

Related: These tips will help your CPAP masks fit better

If you have facial hair, the padding on the nasal mask’s seal may not function as effectively, which might lead to air seeping out of the device. Additionally, some customers have complained that the head straps are unpleasant and put strain on their nasal bridges. Correctly altering and fitting the clothing may often help resolve this problem.

Pros of nasal mask

• Because higher pressures may be achieved, it is suitable for treating severe instances of sleep apnea. The shapes available provide a broad range of options for the optimal fit and offer a more comfortable fit than full-face CPAP masks.

Cons of nasal masks include: 

  • the potential for air leakage with facial hair
  • the impossibility to use the mask before night or when wearing glasses
  • the fact that mouth breathers and those with nasal congestion should not use the mask.

Splints and nasal pillows

This kind of mask, also known as a nasal pillow, features two cushioned prongs that are placed directly into your nostrils and is made to lay on top of your upper lip. This CPAP mask is the simplest and most compact of all the alternatives since some people find other CPAP masks to be excessively constricting or uncomfortable.

Since they are less substantial and cover less of your face than other choices, nasal cushions are more practical. This is the ideal method to use if you want to wear the mask for a while before retiring to bed. You won’t need to alter your nighttime routine because of its smaller profile, unlike with other CPAP masks that would need you to do so since they would obstruct your vision and prevent you from wearing glasses.

The usage of nasal cushions may still be advantageous for individuals who have more facial hair since the seal is only created on the nostrils.

It could be highly uncomfortable since air is forced directly into your nasal passages at high pressures. As a result, those with severe instances of sleep apnea may not be the greatest candidates for nasal cushion CPAP masks. Direct airflow may result in nasal passage dryness and discomfort.

Just to be clear, the device only works for those who breathe through their nostrils. Even if you can breathe regularly via your nose while sleeping with your mouth open, utilizing nasal pillows in conjunction with a mouth-shutting device may still be beneficial to you.

Things to note about different CPAP masks

Benefits of using a nasal cushion

It can be worn by those with facial hair, is more pleasant to wear when awake, less prone to produce claustrophobia, and air leakage is less probable.

Cons of utilizing a nasal cushion include: 

  • They are not suitable for those who breathe through their lips
  • High pressures may be uncomfortable, making them less suitable for people with severe sleep apnea
  • They may also cause dryness in the nasal passages.

Full-face CPAP masks

These CPAP masks are best suited for those who breathe through their lips since they are wider and cover the nose and mouth. If wearing a chinstrap has previously been troublesome for you or if you often have congested noses, full-face CPAP masks are an alternative to think about.

A full-face mask allows you to endure much greater pressures since the air does not immediately enter your airway. This mask is a great option for those with severe instances of sleep apnea since it allows for the usage of high pressures.

A full-face mask has a higher potential to come undone throughout the course of the night due to its added weight, which is particularly probable if you have trouble staying asleep. On the other hand, a lot of the straps may be moved about to provide the most comfortable fit. The ideal users of this mask are those who sleep on their backs.

There are more places where air might possibly escape because of the bigger surface area that comes into contact with your face; this is especially true for those who have facial hair. The leaking coming from the top of the mask has the potential to irritate and dry up your eyes.

Full-face masks are difficult to use before bed because of their thickness, which obstructs your field of vision and makes it difficult to wear glasses at the same time.

Pros of full-face mask

It is helpful for those who sleep on their backs and can handle high pressures, making it suitable for severe instances of sleep apnea. It is also the best option for people who breathe through their lips.

Full-face drawbacks include the potential for air leakage, the bulkiness of the mask, which makes it easier for it to stray throughout the night, and the challenge of wearing the mask while awake.

What elements should I take into account while choosing a CPAP mask?

Every individual will have a different experience using CPAP masks. General comfort and feelings of claustrophobia are both subjective and based on the kind of mask, its shape, and how well it fits.

When discussing the potential use of CPAP with your doctor, it is important to be completely honest with them about every aspect of your nighttime routine and sleep habits. This will enable them to choose the mask that will benefit you the most. Remember to try on several styles and make sure the available adjustments give you the best fit possible.

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