Many new CPAP users have a tough time getting used to their machines and might have difficulty wearing a mask every night. It can be overwhelming at first; you have to acclimate to a new noise at night, you have to sleep while connected to a long piece of tubing, and you have to adjust to sleeping with something on your face.
Types of CPAP masks
There are three main types of sleep apnea mask: the full-face mask, the nasal mask, and the nasal pillow mask. With each type of mask, there are hundreds of different sizes and styles so that you can find the most comfortable fit for your needs.
- The full-face mask covers the nose and mouth — this type may be ideal if you are a mouth-breather, or if you have difficulty breathing through your nose. One example of a popular full-face mask is the Fisher & Paykel Simplus Full Face Mask
- The nasal mask covers just the nose and might be a good option if you have a high-pressure setting or if you tend to move around in your sleep. An example of a popular nasal mask is the Respironics Wisp Nasal Mask
- The nasal pillow mask inserts a small prong inside the nose and is a good option if you feel claustrophobic in other masks, or if you have facial hair. A popular version of this type of sleep apnea mask is the ResMed AirFit™ P10 Nasal Pillows System
Mask Selection and Setup
When choosing a mask consider the size, fit and comfort of the mask.
Things to consider when picking a mask:
- the size and shape of the patient’s face
- how much facial hair if any
- how long and wide the nose is
- bone structure of the face
- do you have dentures
- have you had issues with nosebleeds or irritations prior to the fitting (if so a non-invasive mask should be used)?
When you get your mask, wear it different positions like while sitting up, lying on your back and your side. You want to make sure the mask is comfortable and will stay on your face. A properly fitted mask will also protect you against mask leaks.
Use a mirror to apply your mask to make sure you put it on correctly. Because each mask fits a certain way, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when applying your CPAP mask. The sequence they provide is important.
After selecting your sleep apnea mask, you will want to be sure you care for mask properly to make sure you are getting the most out of your CPAP therapy. Failure to care for your mask can lead to problems with leaks which can compromise your treatment and improvement.
Caring for Your CPAP Mask
After each use, you should wash your cushion with baby shampoo or another mild soap to remove dirt and facial oils. Once a week you should take apart, and clean, your entire mask with mild soap and water. Alternatively, you could automate the entire cleaning process.
Even with regular washing, it is important to change the cushions on your sleep apnea mask. It is recommended to change the cushion on your full-face mask once a month and to change the cushions every other week for the nasal mask and nasal pillow mask.
Each new sleep apnea mask that you purchase from CheapCPAPSupplies.com also comes with a 30-Day Mask Guarantee, which will allow you plenty of time to get used to your new mask and ensure that you are comfortable with it. If you can’t get used to your new sleep apnea mask, contact CheapCPAPSupplies.com at 1-866-298-6482 and one of our Patient Care Representatives can recommend a mask that may be a better fit.
If you have questions or concerns about your sleep apnea mask, call us at today at 866-298-6483! We are happy to set an appointment with one of our experienced clinicians to help you resolve your mask issues.