CPAP Mask Info
When it comes to selecting the right sleep apnea mask to use with your AutoPAP machine, there are two basic options—nasal mask and full face mask. There are variations among these two basic types, as face shapes, head sizes, and preferences are key factors. Also, masks from different brands will fit your face differently, so it is important to always double-check the sizing of the brand of mask you are interested in.
Here at ApneaMed, we want to help you find the right sleep apnea mask. Below is information on the two basic types as well as instructional videos that can help give you an idea of how each mask functions before you buy one.
The nasal mask is designed to go over your nose and be secured by straps behind your head, with the PAP machine pushing air down your nose to keep your airway open. These masks are often recommended for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Obstructions make full face masks uncomfortable - Individuals with facial hair, wear glasses to read or watch TV before drifting to sleep, or simply want their vision unobstructed, most styles of nasal masks are appropriate.
- Restless sleeper - For those who tend to move around a lot in their sleep, a nasal mask is a good option. While you should not be sleeping on your stomach, you can more easily sleep on your sides with a nasal mask.
- Prevent claustrophobia - As full face masks cover a good percentage of your face, it can trigger feelings of claustrophobia in some people. If you already know you struggle with claustrophobia, the nasal mask will be a less restrictive option for you.
- Need high airway pressure - With a small, concentrated opening to push air through, a nasal mask is ideal if you are prescribed a high pressure setting to support your airway.
Below is a video walking you through the basic steps of putting on, securing, and adjusting your nasal mask. Depending on what brand of nasal mask you purchase, these instructions can vary slightly, so keep that in mind as you watch.
Full Face Mask
A full face mask covers your nose and mouth and is secured by straps that encircle your head to keep the mask in place. Your PAP machine will push air pressure through both the nose and mouth when you wear a full face mask. Some of the reasons this style of mask is recommended to users are:
- Good for breathing through the mouth - If you tend to breathe through your mouth as you sleep, you don't benefit as much from a nasal mask. With the full face mask, you can receive the full benefits of using a PAP machine, particularly if there is a humidity feature that helps prevent your airway from becoming dried out.
- Struggle with nasal congestion - For individuals who are often stuffed up or have difficulties breathing through their nose, a full face mask is a better option, as it allows for both nose and mouth to receive the positive airway pressure.
- Ideal for back sleepers - Those who sleep on their backs can get the best seal on their mask if they use a full face mask.
- Comfortable air pressure dispersal - Having pressurized air pushed through your nose solely can get uncomfortable. Instead of having all the pressure in one place, with a full face mask, the air pressure is dispersed over both your nose and mouth for a more comfortable experience.
Below is a video walking you through the basic steps of putting on, securing, and adjusting your full face mask. Depending on what brand of nasal mask you purchase, these instructions can vary slightly, so keep that in mind as you watch.
Finding the right mask can be the difference between using your PAP machine or not, as an uncomfortable mask can make sleeping difficult. If you have questions about ordering masks, an AutoPAP machine, or need a home sleep apnea test, feel free to contact us.