What Type of Mask is Right for Me?

There are many options to choose from when going through Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) treatment.  One of them, arguably the most important, is what kind of mask to wear.  Your mask delivers your pressurized therapy air from your machine into your airway.  For this reason, it’s very important that you choose a mask that fits your individual preferences, taking into account how you breathe and your comfort choices to provide a smooth transition into therapy.

Full Face Mask

Psyche Sleep Pillow s3ds_3

Full face CPAP masks are the most full coverage mask option.  They cover both your nose and mouth and are ideal for patients who breathe from both while sleeping.  Many users of full face masks often toss and turn much more in their sleep, finding that the larger contact area of the mask helps keep it in place better throughout the night.  Also noteworthy, these masks are a great option for men with facial hair, as their greater surface area helps keep your mask snug even with a mustache or beard.

Nasal Mask

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Nasal CPAP masks are essentially a smaller version of a full face mask, however they only cover the nose.  These masks are great for those who breathe solely through their nose while sleeping, and are still a good option if you toss and turn as the triangle shape helps keep your mask in place.  These masks can be used in conjunction with a chin strap in order to ensure minimal pressure leakage if your mouth happens to open during the night.

Nasal Pillow Mask

Nasal Pillow Mask

Nasal pillow masks are the smallest mask option.  They insert two soft pillows at the base of the nostrils to deliver your therapy.  These masks have a very light footprint and are great for people who stay relatively still while sleeping, as well as those who have found the larger mask options to be too intrusive on their comfort level.  Nasal pillow masks can also be used alongside a chin strap to eliminate pressure leakage through the mouth.

Oral Mask

oralmask

Oral masks are a relatively new design that inserts into the mouth between the lips and the teeth.  These masks have helped fill the void for users who breath solely through the mouth while sleeping, where previously these users would need to purchase a full face mask even if they didn’t breath through the nose at night.  Oral masks are held sturdily in place thanks to the way they fit around the lip and are a good option for those who find straps too near their eyes to be uncomfortable.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to your CPAP mask options out there, but hopefully you now have a better idea of your choices. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

What are the Parts of My CPAP Equipment?

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are the proven most effective way of treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).  With all of the different options, though, it can get confusing what all of these different parts due, so we’ll try to walk you through some of the basics.  

The most obvious part of your CPAP equipment setup is the machine itself.  These machines come in a variety of types.  All of these machines have the purpose of delivering pressurized air to your airway in order to prevent the instance of apneas, where your throat closes and you stop breathing during sleep.  CPAP machines deliver one pressure while BIPAP and APAP have multiple pressure settings that can help those with more severe OSA.  You can read more about these machine types here.  Machines also contain filters.  These small, usually white pads fit into your machine and filter the air intake to ensure cleaner therapy.  They need to be changed in order to ensure they are doing their job to eliminate particles that could cause you irritation.

Your machine delivers air through a series of tubing.  The tubing attaches at one end to your machine, and at the other on your mask.  Masks fit over your nose, mouth, or both and form a tight seal to ensure you get your prescribed therapy pressure.  Like machines, there are a few different types of masks to choose from.  Full face masks are triangular in shape and fit over your nose and mouth.  They’re a great option for people who breathe from both their nose and mouth while sleeping.  Nasal masks are a smaller triangle that fit only over your nose.  Even smaller are nasal pillow masks that fit on your nostrils.  Each of these masks is fully effective at delivering CPAP therapy, but everyone has their own preferences about which works best for them.  You can read more about which mask might work best for you here.

Your mask is held on by a set of headgear.  The headgear clips onto your mask and then fits around the head to hold it firmly in place even if you toss and turn.  Headgear is often adjustable, so find a comfortable fit that’s snug, but not too tight.  You also may choose to use a chin strap if using a nasal or nasal pillow mask.  These will help keep your mouth closed while resting in order to prevent air leakage.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to complex CPAP equipment, but hopefully you now have a better idea of the basics. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

Will a Nasal or Nasal Pillow Mask Work Better?

When diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), many people can become overwhelmed at the number of choices they need to narrow down to effectively begin continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment.  One of the most important pieces of equipment you will need to choose is what type of CPAP mask would work best for you.  Your CPAP mask is the channel through which your pressurized therapy air is delivered into your airway, preventing apneas from occurring and keeping you breathing smoothly during the night.  There are many types of CPAP masks, but this post will focus on the nasal and nasal pillow masks.

Nasal
Nasal Mask

Both the nasal and nasal pillow CPAP masks deliver your therapy air through the nose exclusively.  These masks are ideal for people who breathe through their nose a majority of the time while sleeping.  However, even if you breathe through your mouth for a small portion of the time, these masks can be used in conjunction with a chin strap, an elastic strap that attaches to your mask and fits under your jaw to help keep your mouth closed.  Chin straps can be an important feature of these nasal oriented masks in order to ensure that your therapy is effective; if your mouth is open, the pressurized air can’t work to keep your airway open!

Nasal Pillow Mask
Nasal Pillow Mask

The differences between these masks are noticeable in their design.  Nasal masks are similar in design to a full face mask but smaller, with a triangle shape that covers the entire nose.  This can have a bulkier feel that some people find uncomfortable, however, it also provides a very stable seal that works well for people who move around a lot while sleeping.  Nasal pillow masks consist of a sleeker design, with two nasal pillows that insert into the nostril opening.  This is a more minimal design that only covers the bottom of the nose and the space between your nose and mouth.  The less intrusive design is ideal for those who stay relatively still while sleeping, as the smaller design can be more easily dislodged from tossing and turning.  Overall, this really comes down to personal comfort preference.  Both masks are completely functional at delivering your CPAP therapy, so whatever you find more comfortable should work perfectly!

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to the nasal masks, but hopefully you now have a better idea of if it will work for you. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

The Basics of CPAP Therapy

When you’ve been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, it might be a little overwhelming seeing the huge amount of choices you have when it comes to your CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy.  When you break it down, though, it’s really not too bad once you have a grasp of the necessary equipment.

Your Machine

ICON Auto Machine
ICON Auto Machine

Your machine is really the core of your CPAP therapy, doing the bulk of the work to help keep your airway open as you rest.  Most machines run off of a traditional AC current where you plug your machine into the wall at home and you’re good to go, but there are a few alternatives.  All machines require filters that are specific to the individual machine or brand of machines and have a pressure setting designated by your doctor.  There are a few different types of machines, and typically the kind you need is determined by your OSA severity and individual preferences:

CPAP MachinesCPAP machines deliver a steady stream of pressurized air to treat your OSA by keeping your airway open while you sleep.  By keeping the airway open, the instances of apneas, where you cease breathing, are virtually eliminated.

BIPAP MachinesBIPAP machines work similarly to CPAP machines with one exception, it uses two pressure settings instead of one.  With the two settings for inhalation and exhalation, some users feel more comfortable and less like they are fighting their machine while exhaling.

APAP MachinesAPAP machines are essentially an evolving machine able to react and change your therapy pressure whenever needed.  They can adjust to variables like your weight loss or gain, sleeping position, or anything else that could change your pressure needs.

Your Mask

maskMuch like your machine, your mask is capable of being individualized to treat your specific preferences.  Your mask in most cases is worn over your nose or mouth and ensures the delivery of your CPAP therapy.  There are a few different kinds of CPAP masks:

Full Face Mask: Full face masks are typically worn over the bottom portion of your face and cover both your nose and mouth, but there are versions which cover the entire face.  These masks are good for those who breathe through their mouth while resting.  

Nasal Mask: Nasal masks are similar to a full face mask, but are worn only covering the nose.  They are ideal for those who breathe exclusively through their nose while sleeping.  These can also be used in tandem with a chin strap to ensure effective therapy delivery.

Nasal Pillow Mask: Nasal pillow masks are worn under the nose and have pillows that fit along your nostrils to form a seal.  They are the most minimally designed masks and can also be used in tandem with a chin strap.

Oral Mask: Oral masks seal outside of the mouth and along the inner lip.  They are good for those who breathe exclusively through their mouth.  It is often suggested that you use a humidifier if using an oral mask to minimize any discomfort from airway drying.

Humidifiers

CPAP humidifiers are devices that often fit onto your machine to add moisture to your therapy air.  Because of the pressurized air used in CPAP therapy, some users experience dryness of the air passages that can lead to sore throat or a desire to stop their therapy.  Luckily, humidifiers can help to eliminate any discomfort and create a more natural sleeping experience.  Whether you’d benefit from using a humidifier depends on a few factors like your personal comfort preferences and your location.  To learn more about the types of humidifiers and whether they would be of benefit to you, click here.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better understanding of the core items used in CPAP therapy. It is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

Do I Choose a Nasal, Full Face, or a Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask?

Overview

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy can be confusing, especially if you’re newly diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).  You don’t have to worry, however, since CPAP Supplies Plus is providing you a helpful guide with which you can make the selection best for your therapy needs.   The three basic types can be categorized as a Nasal CPAP Mask, Full Face CPAP Mask, and Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask.  Each patient chooses a type of CPAP mask depending on their preferred type of comfort and breathing style.

Nasal CPAP MaskNasal

The Nasal CPAP Mask is perfect for the patient who breathes primarily through his or her nose. Often insulated with gel or silicone padding, the mask comfortably fits over the nose. While patients who primarily breathe through their mouth would benefit from a Full Face CPAP Mask or the use of a chin strap in tandem with a nasal mask is tremendously beneficial. The chinstrap secures the jaw, ensuring no air escapes, while the therapy is administered through the nose from the nasal CPAP mask.  The nasal CPAP mask typically maintains mid-range pricing since there is an intermediate amount of material used in the creation of the mask.

Full Face CPAP Mask

Mouth breathers tend to benefit from a full face CPAP mask, at least at the beginning of the therapy experience. The mask is larger than the nasal mask and covers both the nose and the mouth. The main benefit of the full face type over the pure nasal equivalent is to prevent the loss of air if the mouth falls open during sleep, which would negate the therapeutic effects of CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.  The full face CPAP mask tends to be slightly more expensive since more material is involved in the patient’s therapy experience.  These types of masks range from designs that cover the mouth and nose or even the entire face.

Nasal Pillow CPAP Masknasal pillow

The third type of mask, or the Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask, is popular among patients who prefer an extremely low profile design in tandem with a chinstrap.  This the perfect type of mask for those that naturally breathe through their nose.  The nasal pillow mask typically includes the most innovative designs, and offers an aesthetically pleasant CPAP experience in addition to delivering extremely high quality therapy.  The air is delivered directly into the respiratory system through small, soft, “pillows” that rest up against a patient’s nose.  Given the minimalist design, these masks are typically less expensive than their counterparts.

Final Thoughts

Of course, while the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, hopefully you now have a better understanding of the different types of CPAP mask designs and the various pros and cons of each, but it is best to talk to your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/
We would love to hear your comments or questions.