How to Choose the Perfect CPAP Mask for Sleep Apnea Treatment?
Topics: CPAP Device, CPAP Machine, CPAP Therapy, sleep apnea treatment
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your healthcare expert might recommend you use a CPAP machine. It is one of the best and most effective treatment methods for curing the condition.
The CPAP device helps keep your airway open and prevents the collapse of the passageway by delivering air into your lungs. It uses a mask and hose for this purpose. This is why sleep apnea patients need to pay serious attention to the type of CPAP mask they opt for.
Selecting the wrong CPAP mask can cause breathing and skin problems. So, to help you find a suitable mask for your treatment, we are providing some information. Have a glance!
Tips to find the right CPAP mask
Choose a suitable style
A CPAP mask is meant to provide a constant stream of air into your system through your nose, mouth, or both. Typically, patients choose one that delivers air through the nose. The nasal masks have a triangular-shaped gel or cushion covering the nose. It rests from the bridge of the nose to below the nostrils. Attached is the headgear made of plastic clips or Velcro and a plastic hose connecting the mask to the machine. In some designs, a brace lessens the pressure by providing some contact points on the forehead.
Another type is the nasal pillow mask with plastic inserts. These seem like earbuds and are inserted in the nostrils. This CPAP mask is ideal for people with claustrophobia, or those, who do not like marks on their faces. However, with that said, it needs to be noted that nasal pillow masks are uncomfortable and not many people prefer using them.
Besides these, sleep apnea patients have one more option that covers their mouth and nose. It is an excellent choice for individuals who breathe through their mouths. The mask covers your entire face, including your eyes, and prevents the mouth from going dry.
Get fitted for the correct size
The mask options, sizes, and pressure settings are usually determined during the sleep study. When you visit a lab, you are given an assistant that helps you choose by suggesting a few mask interfaces. During the process, you should ask for styles and sizes until satisfied. You can find intermediate sizes like medium-small or accommodations like wide.
Select a mask large enough to allow adequate air when making a choice. At the same time, do not pick up oversized masks that might shift on your face or cause excessive air leakage. Also, before finalizing a mask, make sure to try it on once when it is attached to the machine.
Use accessories that can help with compliance
You may want to research some CPAP accessories to ensure the mask is comfortable. They are designed to make the treatment easy and tolerable. For one, you can find options for the CPAP headgear. While some are made from machine-washable fabric, others have Velcro to ensure proper fit. Besides, some headgears also feature a quick plastic release clip that makes it easy to put on and off. This keeps you from constantly adjusting and readjusting the fit.
A chinstrap is another helpful accessory for patients who breathe through the mouth. You should also try the ramp function if you find it difficult to breathe against the pressure. The feature allows the machine to start at low pressure and increases the force when you fall asleep.
Sleep apnea patients who have sensitive skin and are bothered by the plastic may want to try a mask liner. The accessory is also helpful for patients who experience trouble getting a good seal. To improve the fit of the mask, pads and cushions are some other additions.
If you have chosen the mask following the steps mentioned above, you may find one suitable for your face. However, if there is some problem with the mask or the treatment is not rendering any benefit, you should address the problem early. So, if the mask size is wrong, the air is leaking, you have sores or ulcers because of the mask, or any other mask-related problems, visit your sleep expert or equipment provider. He will help you identify and fix the issue.
For using the CPAP machine and managing sleep apnea, finding a suitable CPAP mask that fits your face is necessary. When getting one, make sure that the size and style are fine. You can also try several accessories available in the market to make the treatment more tolerable and comfortable.
Disclaimer: The solutions mentioned above for choosing a CPAP mask are only suggestive. The readers are advised to practice caution and consult a healthcare professional before pursuing any solution.