Because it directs the air from CPAP machine to your nose and mouth, the CPAP mask is an essential component of the total CPAP therapy you receive. Therefore, as you probably guessed, the CPAP mask you choose needs to be as comfortable as is humanly feasible while providing a full seal around your nose and mouth.
Fortunately, a good number of the maskless CPAP available on the market today that are designed to accomplish exactly that — deliver a perfect night’s sleep without creating discomfort or irritation. Let’s investigate what distinguishes these various CPAP masks unique from one another and the benefits that come packaged with each category of masks.
What Are The Many Kinds Of CPAP Masks Available For Those Suffering From Sleep Apnea?
There are three primary categories of CPAP masks; typically, all sizes are stocked for each category. These masks are also available in “For her” variants, made by some manufacturers, and meant to fit the shape of a woman’s head and face.
- Full-face masks shield both your lips and nose from view;
- Nasal masks are designed to cover only your nose and provide a more comfortable fit than full-face masks
- Nasal pillow masks are more lightweight and basic than nasal masks, allowing a high level of openness and visibility to the wearer while maintaining a comfortable level of airflow.
Based on these descriptions, it may appear self-evident that you would like a lighter mask over a heavier mask or a smaller mask over a larger mask. However, this preference may be different. However, other aspects must be taken into account. For instance, masks covering a larger portion of your face tend to provide a stronger seal against leakage, which can improve the quality of treatment. Similarly, if you have facial hair, you can discover that to obtain a better seal, you need a bigger mask. Alternatively, a less restrictive mask is more pleasant to wear if you have claustrophobia.
Full-face masks are more comfortable to wear, even though they weigh a little more. This is typically a matter of personal choice, as well as how well a particular mask shape will fit over the distinctive features of your face. In any event, your doctor can guide you through trying various masks and determining the best and most comfortable fit.
And this is a significant point! If your CPAP mask is uncomfortable, there is a chance that you may “forget” to wear it on certain nights or that you will remove it in the middle of the night because it is causing you discomfort. Sometimes, you won’t even know that you’ve done this until you wake up the next morning.
After all, if you do not consistently wear your CPAP mask, you are not receiving the full treatment for your sleep apnea. This puts you in a situation similar to the one you were in before you were diagnosed with sleep apnea, which means that you are likely to be drowsy and lack energy throughout the day, in addition to being at risk for many other potential risks associated with sleep apnea.
To conclude, although most continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) masks fit into one of the three categories described above, it is important to remember that these are not the only types of CPAP masks that may be used to treat sleep apnea. Total face masks, oral masks, and hybrid masks are examples of masks that are recommended to patients far less commonly. Total face masks cover the entire face, whereas oral masks cover only the mouth (offering various combinations of the previously described CPAP masks). Although they are not used as frequently as the three described above, your doctor may suggest one of them if your condition is severe, even if we have already mentioned them above.