If you’re noticing some new and uncomfortable symptoms even though you’re still using your CPAP machine like you always do, there may be an unusual culprit. Mouth breathing.
CPAP therapy prevents sleep apnea by using a stream of pressurized air to literally hold your airways open while you sleep. So if that airflow is escaping through your open mouth, you may not actually be getting the full benefit of your apnea treatment!
The solution may just be a simple, inexpensive strap.
Read on to learn how to tell if a CPAP chin strap is right for you, and then check out the best CPAP chin straps on the market!
CPAP and Mouth Breathing
Nasal pillows and nasal masks are incredibly popular for the minimal-contact design that makes them feel less claustrophobic– but they’re not ideal for mouth breathers. Sleeping with your mouth open while using a nasal or nasal pillow mask leads to ‘mouth leak.’
Mouth leak occurs when your airway pressure escapes out of your open mouth, reducing the effectiveness of your CPAP treatment.
In addition to the return of your sleep apnea symptoms– like daytime sleepiness and brain fog– mouth breathing while sleeping can also lead to dry mouth, sore throat, bad breath, and even the risk of tooth decay!
You can reduce most of these symptoms by switching to a full face CPAP mask, but full face masks aren’t comfortable for everyone. If you discover that you’re a mouth breather, but prefer a nasal or nasal pillow mask, you’re not out of luck! Enter the CPAP chin strap!
Stop Mouth Breathing Tonight with a CPAP Chin Strap
A CPAP chin strap is a simple piece of breathable headgear that gently supports your jaw to keep your mouth closed and promote nose breathing.
The strap is typically worn underneath your CPAP headgear, and wraps comfortably under your chin and over the top of your head. Most chin straps are made of breathable cotton, or an elastic material like neoprene, and often feature an adjustable velcro attachment.
A CPAP chin strap is not the same as a regular anti-snore chin strap, and is designed to only be used at the same time as your CPAP device. Using a CPAP chin strap without your CPAP may not allow enough airflow for comfortable sleep. Similarly, these straps are not designed for use with a full face mask, as this may prevent proper seal and lead to mask leak.
Studies have shown that, when used properly, a CPAP chin strap reduced the number of apneas AND made participants more likely to use their CPAP machine!
The Best CPAP Chin Straps
Sunset Healthcare Premium Chin Strap
Boasting the highest customer reviews, the Premium Chin Strap features a vertical design that helps keep it firmly in place, without causing any alignment issues. Compare with the same design as the Philips Respironics Premium Chin Strap, but at a fraction of the price!
Velcro adjustment points on the back strap and top of the head means that it easily and comfortably fits a wide variety of face shapes!
Sunset Healthcare Headgear Chin Strap
Morpheus has improved on their basic chin strap with a premium version made of neoprene for comfortable flexibility. The chin mesh is breathable so won't get too hot. Choose from 3 sizes for the best fit.
"It definitely does the job of restricting my mouth from opening while using the lightweight baseball cap type nosemask. No more leaks. Firm velcro in the back of head." - Diane C.
Sunset Healthcare Headgear Chin Strap
For CPAP users who prefer to minimize their headgear, Sunset Healthcare offers a chin strap that attaches directly to your CPAP headgear!
The fabric chin cup adapts to your face, while the velcro straps attach securely to your mask, leaving the top of your head free and clear.
Deluxe Chin Strap by Spirit Medical
This wide design is often favored by patients due to its ability to keep the mouth closed without digging into the skin. Pressure is distributed over a larger area with this comfortable and easy-to-wear chin strap. The adjustable design also makes it easy to size for almost all CPAP users