Continuous Positive Airway Pressure masks treat a variety of sleeping disorders at home. Patients who have been prescribed CPAP masks as part of their therapy should be aware of the variety of types available so that they can find a one that will provide them with the help they need without causing them to lose sleep due to discomfort or an ill-fitting mask. The best CPAP system in the world is no good if the user stops wearing it due to discomfort or a poor fit.
The main types of CPAP masks are the nasal type, there are also oral, full-face masks, and pillow systems that incorporate this. Important considerations when choosing a mask are that it provides a secure leak free seal, and is comfortable enough that the user can wear it throughout the night without disturbing their sleep. In general smaller masks tend to be more comfortable and leak less than larger ones.
The Full-face type are the most common type of CPAP mask. The full-face type works for both nasal and oral breathers, providing a steady stream of pressurized air to keep the airway open. Triangular and larger than their oral or nasal only counterparts, full face CPAP masks have straps attached to the top and bottom corners of the mask securing it against the nose and mouth. Some also include a chinstrap to provide extra support for individuals who breathe mostly through the mouth.
Oral masks provided constant air pressure for people who breathe primarily through their mouth while sleeping. Smaller than the full-face mask, oral ones are often recommended for patients who breathe through the mouth or who suffer from chronic nasal obstructions. The oral mask should provide a snug leak free seal. CPAP Masks
The nasal type are a great option for people who breathe primarily through their nose. Smaller and lighter than a full-face, nasal masks can be a good option for people who find full-face masks uncomfortable or disruptive to their sleep. The main advantages of a nasal mask over full-face masks are improved fit, reduced weight and ease of use.
Mask pillow systems are the smallest, lightest, and quietest of the CPAP systems. Pillow systems seal directly again each nostril rather than through a mask that covers all or part of the face. Many people who feel “suffocated” by full-face masks have found comfort through pillow systems.
In addition to choosing the right mask, CPAP users should be aware that a variety of accessories is available to help ensure a good night’s sleep. Longer tubes, memory foam pillows, lotions, and other products can help the patient get a peaceful night’s sleep while maintaining the protection that a well designed CPAP system provides.