Choosing Better Medical Equipment

What Type Of Mask Should You Get For Your CPAP Machine?

Sleep apnea is a very real problem that many people face around the world, and in America, almost 22 million people suffer from it. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, you will almost always be prescribed a CPAP machine if your condition is serious enough. CPAP machines help clear blockages in a less intrusive way than more serious machines, and they come with several different mask options. Here are a few different types of CPAP machine masks and a helpful guide to let you feel more informed when making your choice.

Nose Only

Most people breathe through their nose when they sleep and, consequently, it is a prime place to position your CPAP machine's mask. The thinking behind this is two fold:

  • The nose is above the mouth in the same airway so it makes sense to start as high up as possible to ensure maximum efficiency. 
  • These masks are more comfortable on smaller surfaces, and only covering the nose allows you more relaxation when you sleep, especially at the beginning.

These nose-only masks are probably what you will be recommended at the start if you have a regular case of sleep apnea, and they can be found almost anywhere in a variety of sizes and with different padding.

Nose And Mouth

The main reason why you will be prescribed a nose and mouth mask for your CPAP machine is that you have a much stronger case of sleep apnea. Remember, sleep apnea is dangerous if not treated effectively, and while a CPAP machine can do a lot of good, that is only the case if it is programmed effectively to your personal needs. It is no good using a nose mask only if you are not seeing the benefits, and if you find yourself still struggling to breathe and having other symptoms of sleep apnea with a nose-only mask, then you should talk to your doctor about upgrading.

Hybrid Mask

Hybrid masks are exactly what they sound like: a mask that is able to be set up as either a nose-only mask, a mouth-only mask, or a combination of both. This is rarer but it does allow you the option of choosing. Perhaps your sleep apnea goes through phases of severity depending on other factors, or perhaps you just really don't like the feeling of other masks. Whatever the case may be, these hybrid masks offer the best of all worlds.