Sleep Apnea: The Right CPAP Mask Will Benefit Your Sleeping Comfort

Health & Beauty

Sleep Apnea: The Right CPAP Mask Will Benefit Your Sleeping Comfort

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that affects many adults without them even noticing. The usual symptoms are your good old snoring and frequent waking up during the night. The reason why individuals often don’t notice it is because these things have been so normalised in our society. In Australia, it’s thought to affect 5% of adults, most of them being male. If you’re one of those folks, don’t worry there are many options that can help you get your good night’s sleep back.

Treating Sleep Apnea

Since sleep apnea happens because of an obstruction of the airways, you can try and do some relaxing yoga before bed to help strengthen the upper airway muscles. Additionally, if you’re remodelling your bedroom, adjustable beds are a fantastic aid for anyone who suffers from sleep apnea since shifting the bed frame into an inclined position helps with better airflow. While these methods can be of great help, the most common and effective form of treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy.

cpap masks

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy is done by using a CPAP machine that works in a way by applying mild air pressure to keep your airways open during the night. A CPAP machine has 3 main parts: a mask that goes over your nose, mouth, or both; a tube that’s connected to the mask; and a motor that blows controlled air into the tube. Now, the motor and the tube are more or less universal but there are different types of masks aimed at different problems and consumers’ preferences.

What Is a CPAP mask?

The CPAP mask is a necessary piece of your whole CPAP therapy because it provides oxygen from the CPAP Device to your nasal passages. For your complete comfort, the mask should be fitted to your face and provide a full closure around your nose and/or mouth while making sure that it doesn’t leave imprints on your face nor inflame your skin. The different types of CPAP masks make sure you get the comfort and the correct use for your personal problem.

Nasal Pillow Mask

The most commonly used type is the nasal pillow mask. Because of its small size and lightness, many people choose it as their preferred item. The pressurized air is blown through a small soft tube that is inserted into the nostrils of the user. The whole mask is attached with a band going around the head. Since the air is directly transferred through your nasal passage, it’s also great at preventing leakages.

This type of mask is often chosen by people who want more mobility while wearing it. Restless sleepers, TV watchers, people that wear glasses, etc. Many also choose this one over a full-face one (which we’ll talk about below) because some feel claustrophobic while wearing it.
Since it’s the lightest type of mask, a nasal pillow is not suitable for people that require higher pressure settings. It also can’t be used by mouth breathers unless there is a strap making sure the jaw stays closed throughout the night.

Nasal Mask

nasal cpap

A nasal CPAP device is also another simple and fairly light model that only covers your nose. It’s set up as a triangular suction cup that attaches to your whole nose and it’s also held up by a band around your head. The vacuum that’s created allows for a more natural flow of oxygen to your lungs.

Because of this, getting a nasal CPAP mask is recommended for users needing higher pressure settings for proper breathing and restless sleepers that move around a lot in their sleep. This mask comes in many varieties and sizes so it can be custom fitted to your nose shape.

The same rule for mouth breathers also applies here. An important matter is that nasal masks should not be used by individuals who have a collapsed nasal valve, swollen turbinates, or a deviated septum.

Full Face Mask

A full-face mask forms a seal over both the mouth and nose, allowing patients to receive oxygen via both nasal passages. This design removes the need for a chin strap for those who often breathe using their mouth because of sensitivities, health-related issues, or other causes. The broad mask redistributes the airflow over a bigger surface area, helping to make the intensity of the pressure considerably more bearable than nasal pillows or nasal masks, which can make higher pressure sessions stressful.

A disadvantage with this model can be because of the wider surface an air leakage might occur easier. With air leaking from the top of your mask, it can cause you to wake up with dry eyes.

Hybrid Mask

Individuals who are experiencing problems with finding a suitable and fitting mask due to specific breathing might benefit from hybrid CPAP masks. These masks are a mix of both nasal and full-face masks that are custom-made to fit you and your unique breathing pattern.

Oral Mask

oral cpap mask

As the name mentions, this is a mask that goes over the mouth. It’s a suction cup that creates a vacuum only over your mouth by a single strap. It’s ideal for people who usually breathe through their mouth, people with nasal irritation or congestion with nasal masks, and people that often suffer from allergies.

Total Face Mask

Another choice worth mentioning for individuals who tend to breathe through their mouth is a total face CPAP mask. It’s one that covers your whole face from your forehead to your chin. It acts similarly to the full-face mask only it gives you more facial mobility and vision freedom. And since it sits around your face, you won’t get uncomfortable red lines going across your face where the other masks would usually fit.

Why Is Getting the Correct Mask Important?

With your mask not fitting properly, it can cause leakage. Leakage occurs when the air coming from the CPAP machine escapes the mask due to incorrect fitting and doesn’t go into your lungs.

The first type of leakage is when the mask comes off your face during your sleep. This can cause you to wake up with dry and irritated eyes since if the leakage happens on the top of the mask, the dry air will be going directly into your eyes.

The second and most common leakage is when the person using the CPAP machine opens their mouth while sleeping. This can occur because the airflow is causing nasal irritation or because the nasal passages can’t tolerate the increased airflow. Therefore, that causes dryness in the throat so the user naturally opens their mouth in the hope of relief. Which then the oxygen coming from the machine escapes through the mouth and the patient ends us waking up with swollen nasal passages and a dry mouth. This problem can be easily fixed with proper humidification and a jaw strap if still needed.

Finding the right mask to aid you in your recovery can be a bit difficult. But worry not! There is an option available for everyone. Make sure to contact your doctor or a medical professional to help you choose the fitting mask concerning your issue.

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Olivia Hammonds

As a proud Pisces known for the selflessness, Olivia joined up the blog fascinated by the idea she can help readers with info on topics and their related benefits like health and beauty, travel, food and drinks. When not writing, she likes to call it a day reading comic books in the company of her Tonkinese cat Chatty or binge-watching The Big Bang Theory with her SO like the nerd she is.

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