Many of us are not strangers to dealing with sleep apnea on a nightly basis; millions of Americans use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines to help treat their sleep apnea condition.
CPAP therapy requires a mask to deliver proper oxygen to the airway and prevent snoring. But did you know that multiple types of masks exist to suit different needs?
Before we discuss the different types of CPAP masks, it’s important to note that you should always consult with your sleep specialist before switching mask types. Not every mask is suitable for every case of sleep apnea.
That said, it’s worth looking into the differences between each type of mask to find out which one is right for you.
The Different Types of CPAP Masks
It can take some experimenting to find the mask that works best for your sleep preferences and airway health needs.
There are three main types of masks on the market today: full face CPAP masks, nasal CPAP masks, and CPAP nose pillows.
The most common and straightforward type is a full face mask, which may have been included with your CPAP machine. This mask covers both the nose and the mouth and is known for being the most uncomfortable of the three options available.
However, full face masks also push out the most amount of pressure, which can be especially helpful for cases of severe sleep apnea.
Nasal masks, on the other hand, are a bit more comfortable than full face masks. They fit over the nostrils, making them a better option for sleepers who might toss and turn throughout the night. Nasal masks are less invasive since they only cover the nose rather than both the nose and the mouth.
Finally, a CPAP nose pillow is the most comfortable option of them all, especially if you’re a side sleeper (which is the most commonly recommended sleeping position). Here’s why.
Are You a Side Sleeper?
If you aren’t a side sleeper, you should be. Side sleeping has been provento help improve insomnia and offer relief for those who suffer from conditions such as acid reflux.
This ideal CPAP mask for a side sleeper must offer:
Flexibility: so that it can freely move against the face when you turn on your side.
Soft, yet durable material: since the mask will be pushed up against the face of a side sleeper, it must be able to withstand pressure over time.
Comfort: the mask itself must not be bulky, while offering soft straps that don’t irritate the face.
A low profile: side sleepers need a bulk-free option that won’t become displaced if they toss and turn.
What type of mask checks all of these boxes? A CPAP nose pillow.
CPAP Nose Pillows, Explained
CPAP nose pillows, also called nasal cushions, are the smallest, lowest profile mask on the market. The best part? They don’t even cover your entire nose. They rest just under the nostrils for an extremely comfortable fit.
To wear one, all you have to do is place the nasal pillow at the outer edges of the nostrils. The mask will rest right above the upper lip, sealing the nostrils and delivering pressure directly into the airway.
Aside from being the best choice for side sleepers, a CPAP nasal pillow offers many benefits that others don’t. Some benefits include:
Unobstructed vision due to the low profile of the mask.
A comfortable fit for CPAP users who wear glasses, since the mask does not cover the upper portion of the nose.
Non-claustrophobic since the mask only covers a small portion of the face.
Best non-invasive option for CPAP users with facial hair.
Reduced air leakage since the air is delivered directly into the nostrils.
Sounds perfect, right? There’s just one problem; CPAP nose pillows aren’t recommended for sleep apnea patients who mouth breathe at night, and more than 60 percent of us do.
Before you give up hope on a comfortable night’s sleep, consider adding mouth tape to the mix to help you nasal breathe while you sleep.
Mouth Tape: A CPAP Nose Pillow’s Best Friend
A CPAP nasal pillow offers the most natural fit for those who toss and turn while they sleep. If you want to make the switch over to one, your biggest roadblock you’ll encounter will be that your doctor won’t recommend one if you breathe through your mouth at night.
This is an issue because mouth breathing reduces the effectiveness of your CPAP therapy, as well as the compliance of your device. Plus, it’s just plain bad for your health.
The only way to ensure that your CPAP nose pillow provides the therapy you need is to make sure you don’t mouth breathe while you sleep. This means you must nasal breathe instead, which offers tons of additional benefits aside from allowing you to wear a nose pillow.
Nasal breathing is the method of breathing that we were all intended to use. The nose warms, humidifies, and filters the air – removing harmful particles and making it easier on the lungs and body to take in.
Nasal breathing also produces nitric oxide, a miracle molecule that lowers stress levels, improves blood pressure, and more.
So how can you make sure you breathe through your noseif you’re asleep? The answer is easier than you might think: tape your mouth shut at night.
Yes, we’re serious. Using mouth tape will keep your lips sealed as you sleep, allowing you the most comfort possible by improving the effectiveness of your CPAP nose pillow.
With mouth tape strips, you can say goodbye to your cumbersome full face mask. Here’s how SomniFix Mouth Strips can help you make the switch!
How SomniFix Can Help
SomniFix is the perfect addition to your CPAP nose pillows. Stop mouth breathing while you sleep and leave your full face mask under your bed.
Our strips are hypoallergenic, latex-free, gluten-free, and created with a gel-like adhesive that won’t irritate the skin. Designed with comfort in mind, our strips also offer a breathing vent that can be used to breathe through the mouth if necessary.
Apply a SomniFix Mouth Strip, put on your CPAP nose pillow, and comfortably drift off to sleep tonight.
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