All CPAP retailers offer various types of sleep apnea devices including CPAP nasal masks. They promote free breathing so that you or your partner are comfortable while sleeping especially if you or your loved one are nose breathers. CPAP nasal masks are one of the most popular OSA treatment solutions. They come in gel, silicone or cloth style and can make the OSA therapy very effective. Choosing the right CPAP nasal mask is an individual thing because it depends on your OSA symptoms and needs. Also, even though CPAP nasal masks are very effective, they all have a downside – people who suffer from sleep apnea have hard time adjusting and some even feel claustrophobic while wearing them. Thus, if you do not want to have problems with your CPAP nasal mask, it is very important to know how to use it.
CPAP masks are generally divided into three main types:
- A CPAP nasal mask which goes over the nose and has a headgear that holds the mask in place. All CPAP nasal mask models of this type have a similar design with few different features.
- A direct Cpap nasal mask, also known as nasal cushions only covers the nostrils of the nose and features a headgear to ensure cushions stay in place.
- A full face CPAP nasal mask which covers your nose and your mouth with headgear. These masks are designed to prevent patients from opening their mouth during therapy. Some masks feature various adjustments located at the bridge of the nose which helps pull the mask closer to your face or to hold it farther away. It is recommended to adjust the mask as further from your face as possible, yet still having a good seal.
To properly fit the CPAP nasal mask, always place the cushion on the face first. Next, open the headgear from either side and position the nasal cushion on the nose. While holding the cushion, place the headgear over the head. Adjust the straps to secure the CPAP nasal mask starting with the top straps first. Ensure the CPAP nasal mask is secure, but not be too tight. To know if the CPAP nasal mask is too tight, place index and middle fingers under the straps. If the top straps are tight, loosen them to avoid unwanted pressure on the forehead.
Now connect the CPAP nasal mask to the CPAP machine. It is recommended to hold your breath until the CPAP machine starts running. Once it does, try to breath through your nose only. Also, inspect for leaks by running your fingers all the way around the CPAP nasal mask. If needed, adjust the sytaps to ensure perfect fit. For proper removal of the CPAP nasal mask, first remove the bottom straps, slip the headgear and remove the CPAP nasal mask. This way you will prevent the CPAP nasal mask from tear as they are very fragile.