Which CPAP Mask is Right for Me?

There are so many options when it comes to CPAP machines and their accessories.  With today’s technology and increasing innovations in equipment design, patients find themselves with more choices than ever.  It can be a challenge to choose the right machine, and after that, it is time to look into masks.

There are four types of CPAP Masks, the nasal mask, the full face mask and nasal pillows.  The first kind of mask is the full face mask.  It covers the mouth and nose, and with a proper seal, it does not matter whether the patient breathes through the nose or mouth.  Either way, the CPAP user benefits from the treatment he or she is receiving from the CPAP machine without worry of losing necessary air pressure.

Nasal pillows are plastic inserts that slide directly into the nostril.  This type of mask does not cover the mouth, so sometimes a chinstrap is necessary to keep the mouth closed and therefore, provide the proper seal and airflow to the CPAP user.  A popular aspect of this type of mask is that a person is better able to read or watch TV because it is not as large or invasive as the full face mask.

The third type of mask is the nasal mask which covers the nose, but again, does not cover the mouth, and can also require the accompaniment of a chin strap.  However, with this smaller mask, the CPAP user is freer to move in the same ways the nasal pillow user is.

With any of these types of masks, the headgear is just as important as the mask itself to make sure to get the proper seal and achieve the maximum benefit of therapy.

Any of the three masks mentioned have been popular with CPAP users.  The important thing to remember is to try the mask with the machine and make sure the seal is complete and that the headgear chosen is comfortable with the chosen mask.  When this is achieved, CPAP therapy is far more successful.