The Differences in CPAP Masks

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor may have prescribed that you use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. A CPAP works to keep your airway open while you sleep so that you can continue breathing even when you are in the deep REM stages of sleep. While most people assume that all CPAP machines are the same, this is false. There are many different kinds of CPAP machines, all with their own strengths and weaknesses. If you are in the market for a CPAP machine this understanding could help you to choose which machine is right for you. 

Nasal Pillow

The nasal pillow masks are masks that have two small prongs that go in your nose while you sleep. These masks are really good for people who fall asleep while reading or watching TV since they can still watch with the mask on. These masks are the smallest of the common masks, making them ideal for individuals who feel claustrophobic with the larger masks. Unfortunately, nasal pillows are not recommended for individuals who require a lot of air pressure, since that puts a lot of strain on the nose.

Nasal Mask

Nasal masks cover the entire nose down to the upper lip. Since this mask covers the entire nose without forcing the air up the nostrils, higher pressure can be used. Many people use this type of mask since it can be used with a very wide variety of face sizes and anomalies. Some people do not find this mask comfortable, since it requires a second strap at the top of the head to keep it in place.

Full-Face Mask

A full-face mask covers the entire face, making it ideal for people who breathe through their mouth, or those who are unable to breathe through their nose. Since both the mouth and nose are involved, this is ideal for people who require a large amount of air pressure. This mask also works best for people who lie on their backs while they sleep. Unlike other masks that can be difficult to use while you are congested or have allergies, full-face masks work well anytime. 

The mask you choose will depend on how you breathe, as well as how much air pressure you need. If you are unsure of which mask to get, talk to your healthcare provider for more information. Choosing a CPAP mask does not need to be difficult. Do your research for the best results!