What are the different types of CPAP masks available?
There are three main types of CPAP masks, and generally they are available in most sizes.
Full Face Masks
Cover both your nose and mouth, this is the only mask type that allows you to breathe through your mouth. Most of these masks sit from the bridge of your nose to your chin.
Fit over your nose only, and some of the newer masks now only cover the tip of the nose, alleviating any pressure on the bridge of the nose.
Nasal Pillow Masks
Are even more lightweight and minimal than nasal masks, offering a high level of openness and visibility. These masks have ‘pillows’ that sit into the nares of your nostrils.
Based on the above descriptions, it may seem obvious that most people would prefer a lighter mask as opposed to a heavier one, or a smaller mask instead of a bigger one. But there are other factors to consider.
For example, masks that cover more of your face can sometimes offer a better seal against leaking, leading to improved treatment. Likewise, if you have facial hair, you may find that you need a larger mask to get a better seal. Or, if you have claustrophobia, it is likely that a smaller mask will feel more comfortable.
Mask choice comes down to personal preference, and how a specific mask style will fit over the unique contours of your face. Some manufacturers like ResMed also offer “For Her” versions of these masks, designed specifically for the contours of a woman’s head and face.
Remember, if you’re not comfortable with your CPAP mask, there’s a tendency to “forget” to wear it some nights, or to take it off halfway through the night because it doesn’t feel comfortable, and sometimes you don’t even realize you’ve done this until you wake up the next morning.
Remember, if you are not wearing your CPAP mask regularly, you are not getting the full benefits of sleep apnea treatment.
This can leave you in a similar situation as before you were diagnosed. You may be drowsy and lack energy throughout the day and be at risk for many other potential dangers of untreated sleep apnea.
If you are struggling with your current mask, or unsure about what mask will suit you, please contact CPAP Club and we can help you determine which mask will offer the best, most comfortable fit for you.