Pros and Cons of CPAP Masks
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) masks are used for individuals that have been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea and have been prescribed a CPAP machine. In order to see if you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea and need a CPAP machine, see a physician that specializes in sleep medicine so that they can have you do an in depth at home sleep study in the comfort of your own home.
Types and advantages of CPAP Masks:
There are three types of CPAP masks that can be used with a CPAP machine for your own comfort. There are the Nasal CPAP Masks, Nasal Pillows, and a Full face CPAP masks each that serve their own purpose.
- Nasal CPAP Mask: Starting at the bridge of your nose, the Nasal CPAP masks cover your nose to your upper lip and typically recommended for individuals that need high pressure. It offers more mask options due to the fact that there are many fits and sizes and is the most popular between the three because its perfect for individuals that moves a lot in their sleep and provides a more natural airflow.
- Nasal Pillows: They are small compact inserts that are semi inserted into the nostril passages which provides minimal face contact and are recommended for individuals that need minimal to moderate amount of air pressure. They are good for individuals that breathe through their noses more than their mouths, for individuals that toss and turn in their sleep, and for individuals that suffer from claustrophobia or that have a lot of facial hairs.
- Full Face CPAP Mask: The full face CPAP mask covers a larger area of your face, primarily your mouth and nose. It provides the most efficient and effective amount of air pressure to any individual that needs little or more air pressure. It is perfect for mouth breathers and for individuals that sleep on their back.
Disadvantages of each CPAP Mask
With everything in life, everything has downsides. With each of the masks benefits and advantage comes an equal or lesser disadvantage attached.
- Nasal CPAP Mask: The disadvantage that the Nasal CPAP Mask has is that although they offer the most options and are the most popular, it would be least effective for individuals that are mouth breathers and who need high air pressure and can be difficult for individuals that have chronic nasal congestion.
- Nasal Pillows: Similar to the Nasal CPAP mask, the disadvantage to the Nasal Pillows are not ideal for mouth breathing individuals and for individuals that need higher air pressure.
- Full Face CPAP Mask: Unlike the other two masks, the Full Face CPAP mask is different in all aspects because even though it is the most efficient way to get the proper air flow whether you’re a nose or mouth breather or an individual that needs higher or lower air pressure, it is also the most uncomfortable mask. The mask also makes it difficult for individuals that sleep on their side or that tend to toss and turn in their sleep. And due to the fact that it covers more surface area, there is a higher chance of air leaking through if there isn’t a good contact.
The best way to determine which mask best fits you is see a physician that specializes in sleep medicine and allow them to recommend which mask will benefit you the most. Allowing them to focus on the health benefits rather than comfort is important to your health and keep an open communication with the physician about any discomfort you may be having.