We know that patients struggle to pick the right CPAP mask for their therapeutic needs. With three types of mask available — full face, nasal, and nasal pillow — it can be difficult to determine which mask is perfect for you, especially if you’re new to CPAP treatment. At RespShop, we try to make it easier for you to pick the right mask.
To help you pick the right mask, we recommend that you consult the following infographic:
The graphic illustrates some of the benefits of each type of mask. Let’s expand on all of the points found in the mask:
- Active sleeper: most people toss and turn at night, and even if you just fancy a simple roll over once or twice, you’ll need a mask that can withstand the rabble. Full face and nasal masks won’t be dislodged easily and are smart choices for active sleepers.
- Mouth breather: self-explanatory, but if you breathe through your mouth, you’ll need a full face. Most patients don’t need a full face, although many erroneously believe that they do because they’ve spent their whole sleeping lives breathing through their mouth. Of course, sleep apnea was causing them to breathe through their mouth, so once they are on CPAP, they should be able to finally use their nose.
- TV friendly: some people fall asleep to the sound of the television. If you like to watch tv, you might find it difficult to do so while you’re wearing a bulky nasal or full face, although most of them should be fine.
- Claustrophobic: A number of patients REALLY dislike the feeling of weight on their face while they sleep. These patients might struggle with nasal masks and they should absolutely steer clear of full face designs. Nasal pillow masks are less obtrusive, and they may feel more comfortable wearing one of those.
- Facial hair: If you wear a mustache or a beard, the only mask that will work is the full face. If you have a beard but not a mustache, you can get away with using the nasal pillow, but if you have any facial hair above your lips at all, you’ll need the full face.
- Small face: All three masks can work on patients with small facial bones, although the full face masks are larger and bulkier and may not seal effectively. For patients who do have tiny faces, we’d recommend that you use a nasal or a nasal pillow.
The infographic also reminds users of the optimal mask replacement and cleaning schedule. Your mask should be replaced every 6-12 months, and you should be getting new cushions as soon as you notice any signs of collapse in the gel or silicone, which usually happens after 3-6 months of regular use.
As for cleaning, we recommend that you use warm water, a non-abrasive soap, and a soft cloth. We recommend bringing the mask into the shower with you, and making it part of your daily routine to clean it that way. It’s important to always keep your mask clean.