Have you been diagnosed with the need to wear a CPAP mask, but are struggling to find the right fit?
If so, you are not alone.
With so many different shapes and types of masks available, it is very possible to choose the wrong one.
However, with persistence, you are sure to find one that fits just right. It is even possible to own several masks depending on your preference that day. Here are some tips and advice on how to find the right mask.
Choose a Mask for Your Needs
Most masks are a triangular shape and worn either just over the nose or over both the nose and mouth. Straps then hold the mask in place over the head.
These straps must be tight enough for a decent fit in a variety of sleeping positions but not so tight that they cause problems with the skin.
Masks comes in a range of styles, colors, sizes and materials.
For people who suffer with claustrophobia, CPAP nasal pillows can be far more suitable. These are small inserts that go up inside the nostrils.
This can also work well for men who have very large beards, where head straps don’t fit properly around the area causing trouble getting an adequate seal. Some other mask styles can accommodate people who wear glasses with their unique shape.
However, keep in mind that if you have recently had surgery for sleep apnea or grind your teeth, you may find you have more limited options as to which mask you can use.
Materials vary, with silicone being a common type, but sometimes rubber alternatives are given especially when an allergy exists.
Ensure You Have the Right Size
Masks that are not the right size can cause all kinds of problems, such as sores from rubbing on the skin or in the nasal passage. Other common problems include a sensitivity to the ill-fitting mask which then result in ulcers and pain, or leakage from a loose fitting.
When using a nasal pillow mask, which is inserted into the nostrils, there are a number of sizes to choose from.
Nasal pillows that are too small can result in air leaking through, meaning the treatment may not be as successful. Those that are too big or bulky may rub or feel uncomfortable.
It is essential that you are fitted by a professional who will ensure your mask fits just right and can be slept in at any angle or position.
Masks can also be custom made if you find that the options available aren’t suitable, so there is always hope of a solution.
Get the Right Accessories
There are a number of accessories that can be acquired alongside your mask.
In some cases, a chin strap is recommended, especially for people who breathe through their mouths. This can help reduce the likelihood of the apnea worsening or causing throat obstructions.
There are also quick release catches that can be built into a mask to ensure rapid removal is possible, and adjustable pads which can be worn on the forehead or nose at night when using a triangular mask for comfort and stability.
Keep Skin Moisturized
Good skin care is essential for ensuring a mask is worn properly and with care. Dry skin can cause soreness and an inability for the mask to stay in place.
As a result, specialized moisturizers are available which can be placed inside the nasal passage and on the skin of the face.
Similarly, highly oily skin can make mask wearing difficult, so good skin care routines with regular washing is important to prevent problems.
Address any Problems Right Away
An ill-fitting mask can be rectifiable. It could be that the mask is too small, too tight or that the skin is not reacting well to the material used.
The sooner a problem is addressed, the better we will be able to prevent problems from worsening.
For more information on finding a mask to suit your needs, get in touch with us today. We aim to ensure that any ill-fitting equipment is replaced and/or adjusted so that you can get a good night’s sleep.