CPAP Nasal Mask Options
A nasal mask for use with CPAP equipment is a triangular-shaped mask that fits over your nose, and it is generally made of silicone or gel. This type of CPAP mask is attached to four-point headgear, and adjustable straps hold it in place to prevent air from leaking. The mask's cushion offers a comfortable fit and creates a seal around your nose.
Types of Nasal Masks
There are three types of nasal masks: the standard CPAP mask, the nasal pillow mask, and the nasal prong mask. Nasal pillow masks are different from standard nasal masks because they create a seal around the base of your nostrils with soft pillows and have less contact with the face.
Some people find it easier to create a seal with a nasal pillow mask because fewer parts need to be adjusted. Those with mustaches or who have a scar or facial mole near their nose may prefer nasal pillow masks over traditional nasal masks. Yet, other users may find nasal pillow masks irritating and opt for other choices.
The nasal prong mask is the most lightweight type of CPAP mask. The headgear for nasal prong masks is worn on the crown of the head. The prongs of the mask rest in the nostrils and inflate slightly in order to create a seal.
Nasal prong masks are non-restrictive, but they may cause irritation and dryness in some users. You may need to use a humidifier in conjunction with a nasal prong mask in order to prevent dryness.
How Are Nasal Masks Different from Other Types of Masks?
The CPAP nasal mask is ideal for users who breathe strictly through their noses. If you breathe through your mouth, using a nasal mask with a chin strap prevents air from leaking from your mouth and encourages breathing through the nose.
People who have to set their CPAP machines to a high pressure may find nasal masks uncomfortable, however.
Users who will benefit from the use of nasal masks include those who sleep on their side or stomach, those who prefer masks with minimal face contact, and those who have allergic reactions to CPAP mask materials.
Nasal prong masks and nasal pillow masks are ideal for users who feel too claustrophobic to wear standard nasal masks or full face masks. Another benefit of using these masks is that they don’t leave red marks on your face.
In addition, since nasal masks have little contact with the face, they do not become displaced as easily when you adjust to different sleeping positions.
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