Choosing the perfect CPAP mask has affected many users throughout their CPAP use. Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA, which is the most common of the three apneas, causes people to stop breathing up to 100 times per hour during sleep. OSA can have very serious consequences including hypertonus (high blood pressure), stroke, weight gain, psychological problems, headaches and cardio not to mention daily motor, functions, concentration, and driving.
On the positive part, sleep apnea can be diagnosed and taken care of very effectively. Numerous treatment options can be found to alleviate the symptoms. Once OSA can be diagnosed, the goal of finding a perfectly fitting mask should be a high priority. An appropriate and well fitted mask is the basis for building compliance as well as a higher quality treatment. In determining a properly fitted mask, there are a few challenges which usually a CPAP user needs get over. Let’s explore further three of those challenges.
For better or worse, everyone’s face is shaped differently. This, of course , produces challenges for mask manufacturers such as Respironics and Resmed.
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With the contour of one face very different from another, no mask fits the same on every CPAP user. As a result, it’s very difficult to come up with a nasal mask that fits all the face shapes and creates problems with proper sealing. When the mask does not seal properly, conditions CPAP machine will not afford the user optimal results. So , it is essential that a mask fit properly in order to provide an effective seal.
Fortunately, in some instances, technology has solved some of the issue by the use of gel based mask cushions. These gel cushions tend to take on any facial shape after a “breaking in” period and create an excellent seal. Additionally , some nasal pillow type masks are equipped with various sized pillows which can be properly fitted by the CPAP user for comfort.
Quietness of mask:
Some masks tend to make sound while the excess air is being diffused out of the mask. This can be a problem for individuals who share a bed with a CPAP user. The noise and, sometimes, the stream of air out of air port may disturb the sleep of others. Of course , this does not benefit either person. Thus, it is important to choose high quality nasal masks which have well designed air ports. These vents ought to diffuse the air quietly and far from yourself and partner. Obviously, possessing a room without any noise distractions will enhance the quality level of sleep. Whenever purchasing a mask, make sure you are aware of the environment vents and try to visualize how that will add or detract from the CPAP experience.
Comfort is the most important element in choosing a mask. It also is the take into account which most patients complain. Having to sleep with a mask on may inevitably provide some discomfort, however the degree of discomfort is proportional towards the level of compliance. In other words, the higher the particular comfort level, the higher the compliance rate. Because masks tend to be used for a long time, it is important to fully understand the masks contours and pressure points relative to the face area. This might mean that it will be necessary to try a few different masks in actual sleep situations. Additionally , it is recommended that a CPAP user have multiple face masks in order to reduce the pressure points of using the same mask over long periods of time. Another suggestion is to have an one of each mask type; a full face mask, a nasal mask and a sinus pillow system.
Higher quality masks always manufactured by companies such as Respironics and Resmed have been developed to fit an array of people and now come with customizable features. With the forehead and cushion variable, masks can be better adjusted to suit the face and head of virtually every CPAP user. When a mask is usually adjusted and fitted properly, the CPAP user should barely notice the mask is on the face. Actually the mask should only end up being snug – not cinched down – in order to provide optimal outcomes. If the CPAP user must constantly adjust or tighten the CPAP mask or there is a high degree of discomfort, it’s a clear sign it is an improperly fitted mask as well as the choice should be reconsidered.