Finding the most suitable CPAP mask style to treat your sleep apnea is conceivably baffling if you’re unsure where to begin. Hundreds of CPAP device and system options are available, and understanding what factors need to be considered when shopping around for a sleep apnea mask can be frustrating.
We suggest you begin your search by asking your physician for style recommendations that they believe would work well for you. They may also suggest you start by browsing a trustworthy online CPAP supply company like BreatheEasyCPAP.com and research the more popular options.
Nasal Masks are Comfortable and Versatile
A nasal mask, like the Philips Respironics Pico is an excellent first choice for many because of its small and inconsequential weight. This CPAP mask style is secured to your nose and keeps your mouth free as opposed to the more bulky full face mask style. If you have a beard or use reading glasses at night, the nasal mask might be an optimal choice.
Those who have tried full face masks may have experienced dry mouth or discomfort caused by a mouth leak from their larger mask, may find that nasal masks are more agreeable. A mouth leak occurs when a person using a full face mask sleeps with an open mouth, causing air to frequently bypass their lungs and leak pressured air into their oral cavity. In this case, the solution might be to use an adjustable chin strap that prevents the mask from opening, although some sufferers of sleep apnea find this technique uncomfortable.
One drawback to enlisting the help of a nasal mask like a Pico becomes evident when you’re experiencing moderate to severe nasal congestion, sinus obstruction, or a deviated septum. Without open ventilation through your nose, your CPAP therapy cannot be as effective as prescribed.
Full Face Masks Deliver Effective Treatment
Full face masks are often enlisted to prevent air leaks with mouth breathers or with those using a BiLevel device to provide two distinct air flow pressures. The increase in surface area created by a fuller mask allows for a comfortable delivery of higher pressures. Unfortunately, some users report a mask leak occurring near the bridge of the nose at the top of the mask causing dry eyes in the morning. This problem is addressed by checking your mask’s fit, applying eye drops, or even using swim goggles.
As previously mentioned, some CPAP users feel claustrophobic when using the full face mask and stop using their device regularly. This neglect puts them at risk for the dangerous complications related to untreated sleep apnea.
Thankfully, as technology improves, CPAP therapy continues to grow creating more accessible long-term products. A mask like Philip Respironics Amara View is a prime model of the continued improvements to CPAP therapy. This mask provides mouth and nose coverage while keeping a low profile to allow the CPAP user to wear glasses and avoid marks on the bridge of the nose. The Amara View is lightweight and slight, making it ideal for both comfort and functionality.
Research Your Perfect CPAP Mask
Whether you’re more excited by the small, versatile nasal CPAP mask, or comforted by the reliability of a full face sleep apnea mask, ensure that you check your mask/device compatibility before making a final purchase. The doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists at Breatheeasycpap.com look forward to assisting you in making the perfect choice and getting your sleep apnea treatment properly launched.