Do you suffer from loud snoring, morning headaches, mood swings and restless sleep? If yes, then it is advisable for you to go for a sleep study to evaluate yourself for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder marked by pauses in breathing during sleep.
If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, there is a high probability that your doctor will recommend Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP as the treatment. CPAP is recognized as the most popular form of treatment for sleep apnea. They are non-invasive and very convenient.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy comprises a CPAP machine and CPAP masks. The aim is to keep the airways open during the time of sleep. For this, the machine delivers pressurized air to the airways through the aid of a mask specially designed for this purpose. The CPAP masks are special masks customized to fit snugly over a person’s nose and mouth.
While purchasing a CPAP mask, your prerogative must be to ensure a proper fitting of the mask as it may otherwise lead to leakage of pressurized air or even worse – allergies, nasal congestions, dry mouth, sores and other side affects. The material of the mask is also very important. It should feel smooth and light on your face and not suffocate you.
Basically, there are three types of CPAP masks available namely, full-face masks, nasal masks and nasal pillow masks.
Full Face Mask
Full-face masks, as the name suggests, cover almost your entire face, from the bridge of your nose to your lower lip and chin. They have additional side straps at the forehead and mouth level to provide secured support. Thus it is less likely to slip off your face. However, they are not very popular as they are known to be very claustrophobia-inducing.
Nasal masks cover your whole nose area reaching out till its bridge and are ideal for restless sleepers. They have double side straps at the mouth and forehead level because of which the mask will not fall off your face even with frequent changes in sleeping positions. The secure suction action ensures that the air is retained inside the mask thereby preventing side affects like watery eyes, dry mouth, stuffy nose and skin allergies.
Nasal Pillow Mask
Nasal pillow masks are ideal for claustrophobic patients. They do not cover the whole face and provide unobstructed vision, so you don’t feel like an alien from a Sci-fi movie. The inserts in nasal pillow masks shoot air directly towards the nose.
With a variety of choices available in each type, it is very easy to choose a CPAP mask that suits your budget and comfort.