One of the most popular therapy options for the treatment of sleep apnea is using the CPAP medical device. This device comprises of smaller components like the tube and the mask where the mask is connected to the tube that in turn is linked to the machine that delivers compressed air, at a pre-determined pressure level in order to open up the blocked air passage and ease breathing.
As is evident the sleep apnea mask is one of the most important components of CPAP therapy and therefore great care ought to be taken while selecting the item. There are several types, styles and designs of CPAP masks, of which the CPAP face mask is perhaps the most common.
CPAP face masks: what are they like?
CPAP face masks cover most of the face, starting from the nasal bridge to the end of the lower lip and chin. A CPAP mask would also have extra straps at the forehead and close to the mouth to add required support and to prevent slipping.
CPAP face masks: advantages and disadvantages
The CPAP face mask is most suitable for people who breathe through their mouths. Some of the advantages of this type of masks are that they allow you to breathe through your nose as well. Such masks can be used even when the nose is congested due to cold, etc. These masks also have very little chance of slipping off, while you are sleeping.
However there are quite a few disadvantages of CPAP face masks as mentioned below:
Feeling of claustrophobia and discomfort. This could be due to ill-fitting of the CPAP face mask, where the strap is either too tight or too loose. The key to solving the problem is to go for a more snug fit that prevents leakage but does not cause any discomfort.
Claustrophobic feeling usually eases with time. Be more patient till you get used to the CPAP face mask.
High instances of leakage. Again, this problem can be solved by re-adjusting the straps.
Sore skin at the bridge of the nose. This happens if you sweat or even when the mask is loose and leaky. You could overcome this problem by regular cleaning of the mask and keeping it dry. Cleaning your face before using the mask can also help in preventing skin irritation.
A poorly-fitted CPAP face mask is more likely to slip and fall off while you are sleeping, than masks that fit you more snugly. A better fit and continuous use of the mask every night would help you get used to sleeping with the mask and with time, this problem should substantially reduce if not go away completely.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of using CPAP face masks is that it allows you to sleep only on your back. This limitation adds to its inflexibility of use.