What CPAP mask is right for you?

Having trouble choosing the right mask?  You’re not alone; most CPAP users struggle with the same issue!  Often this dilemma stems from your provider not supplying ample educational materials.  After reading this you will be able to confidently pick which mask is right for you.

CPAP masks can be broken down into two categories for the purposes of this discussion.  Nasal masks and full face masks.  A nasal mask is something which does not cover your mouth and only your nose.  Where a full face mask will cover both your mouth and nose.  Full face masks are often bigger, bulkier, more prone to air leak and require MORE pressure than that of a nasal mask.  All of these cons lead to frequent issues among full face CPAP users.

This is quite evident at our CPAP clinic as we see a lower success rate among patients who use a full face mask.  Despite the obvious pros of the nasal mask being smaller and lighter, they are also prone to less air leak.  Simply put, the nasal mask has less surface area to seal around the face leading to less possible places for air to escape.  Lastly nasal mask users often have a lower therapeutic CPAP pressure.  This is simply due to the anatomy of the airway.  All of these pros of the nasal mask lead to more comfort during the night; more comfort leads to increased usage, and increased usage leads to better health!

In conclusion – Which mask is right for you?  Generally speaking the more severe your OSA is; the better your odds of success are with a nasal mask.  Do full face masks still have a role you might ask?  They do, generally for patients in the mild category.  If you’d like to learn more we’d be happy to work with you at our CPAP clinic. 860-646-4722.

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