After years of battling with sleep apnea, poor sleep, and weariness, the idea of initiating CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy with CPAP masks is welcome for some people. However, for some people, getting used to CPAP and selecting the most suitable mask might take a lot of time and effort.

The Varieties of CPAP Masks

There is a wide variety of masks and headgear available to help you manage your sleep apnea in a way that is most convenient for you. Traditional nasal cpap masks may not work for some people due to differences in preferences, needs, sleeping positions, and facial anatomy. You should try out a few various types of masks to see which one works best for you.

So, let’s take a look at the three CPAP mask varieties: the nasal mask, the nasal pillow, and the full-face mask.

What Then Is a Nasal Mask?

The nose is the only part of the face covered by a nasal mask, sometimes called an oronasal mask. It has a triangular dome shape and is rounded on the inside to conform to the curvature of most people’s faces. These masks are convenient because practically everybody may choose a size and form that works for them. Learn more about home respiratory program.

The Pros and Cons of the Three Types of CPAP Masks

When you put on the nasal mask, pressurised air is piped into the mask’s interior through a tube. Since nasal inhalation is required, this device is ideal for people who have trouble breathing at lower pressures but want to breathe via their nose.

Since this type of mask transmits pressure less directly into the mask, it simulates the sensation of breathing regular air. Those who use a nasal mask need not worry if they change over in their sleep or sleep on their side. People who suffer from allergies or colds that cause congestion in the sinuses or nasal passages may find it difficult to breathe while wearing this sort of mask.

Benefits of Nasal Masks

Using these masks has a number of benefits, such as:

  • Circulation of fresh, unmanipulated air
  • Comfortable
  • Superior to nasal pillows at higher pressure settings
  • Having the Most Organic Experience
  • With a half-face mask, you just have to worry about sealing half as much skin.
  • Countless options to suit every conceivable face shape and trait
  • Perfect if you toss and turn or have restless sleep
The Pros and Cons of the Three Types of CPAP Masks

Flaws in Nasal-Only Masks

Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to using these masks. People who have to breathe through their mouths will find them uncomfortable unless they utilise a chin strap. The bridge of the nose and the forehead may become tender.

If you have a medical problem like a collapsed or restricted nasal valve, a deviated septum, or swollen turbinates, they may not work properly or at all, and having blocked sinuses can also make them less effective.

What Is a CPAP Nasal Pillows Mask?

Nasal splint Smaller CPAP masks, sometimes known as nasal cushions, are available. Instead of going across the bridge of the nose, it goes in at the nostrils’ outer edges and rests over the top lip.

The two cushions or pillows in the mask form a seal around your nose, allowing for a more direct application of pressure than with nasal CPAP masks.

Nasal pillows feature lower profiles, less bulky headgear, and a simpler design, all of which improve the wearer’s field of vision. This is a great option for people who:

  • Make use glasses
  • Read a lot
  • Get some pre-bedtime TV viewing.

Nasal pillows, like nasal masks, solely allow for nasal breathing. Nasal pillows are more effective at preventing air leakage due to the direct nature of the seal. A nasal pillow CPAP mask works well for those who toss and turn throughout the night.

The Pros and Cons of the Three Types of CPAP Masks

Benefits of Nasal Pillow CPAP Masks

The benefits of using these masks are numerous. And they include the following:

  • Fabulous for those who favour sleeping on their stomachs or sides
  • Effectively keeps out moisture
  • Perfect for people who experience claustrophobia when something is placed on their face
  • Offers better visibility than the more common nasal CPAP masks and full-face masks.
  • Given that the bridge of the nose is not covered, patients who need to wear glasses can do so while using these masks.
  • They prevent air from escaping because they funnel air into the nose.
  • Mustache and beard wearers benefit greatly from their use.

Disadvantages of Nasal Pillow Masks 

Consequences include, but are not limited to:

  • Nares irritation is a possible side effect.
  • High CPAP pressures are not well tolerated.
  • Some persons are more susceptible to nosebleeds and nasal dryness when exposed to direct air pressure.
  • Those who have trouble breathing via their nose may find this uncomfortable.

What is a Full-Face CPAP Mask?

Full face CPAP masks are designed to cover more of your face, from beneath your lower lip to the bridge of your nose, and form a tight seal around your mouth and nose. To achieve a tight fit, they usually come with cheek and forehead pads.

This mask is larger than the other two, but some people like it since they can breathe normally through their mouths without having to adjust to the lower pressure levels. This could help alleviate any sense of confinement you might have been experiencing.

This type of mask is helpful for patients with dry mouth since the humidified air moistens the nasal and oral passageways as well. Most people who need a higher-pressure level do well with full face masks.

Benefits of Full-Face CPAP Masks

They have a number of benefits over traditional face masks, including:

  • Those who have tried nasal pillows and a mask but are still experiencing leaks at the mouth can try these.
  • This is the perfect solution for people who have a deviated septum or a high arched soft palate.
  • Ideal for those who like to breathe in via their mouths
  • Perfect for those who suffer from seasonal allergies and chest congestion
  • In contrast to nasal pillows and nasal CPAP masks, which touch your upper lip and bridge of your nose or fit directly into your nostrils, these masks only contact the exterior of your face, making them a good option for persons with claustrophobia.
  • Due to the larger surface area of the mask, even high CPAP pressure settings are more comfortable for the patient.
  • The best position for those who want to sleep on their backs

Drawbacks of Full-Face CPAP Masks 

The disadvantages of using such masks include:

  • Because of the increased surface area, sealing is more difficult.
  • Higher CPAP pressures may be necessary if laminar flow is not present, which may increase the sensation of being trapped.
  • Dry, itchy eyes can be the result of air leaking from the mask’s top.
  • Because of the mask’s size, patients have trouble sleeping on their stomachs and sides.
  • Difficult for people to perform activities requiring vision correction, such as reading, watching TV, or wearing glasses

Final Thoughts on Selecting a CPAP Mask

Some people may have trouble getting acclimated to CPAP therapy at first because of the mask. It’s possible that their mask is either too big or too tiny, doesn’t seal well, or is awkwardly shaped or constructed of uncomfortable materials.

It’s crucial to try out several CPAP masks to find the one that works best for you so that you may continue your therapy without interruption. Finding the most comfortable CPAP mask may require some experimentation on your part.

With the correct mask, it’s much simpler to maintain therapy and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. To maximise the benefits of CPAP therapy, it’s important to choose a mask that works for you.

Do you need further clarification on CPAP masks? Contact us today!

More to read: Will My CPAP Mask Work with Any Machine?