Sleep apnea is finally recognized as a life-threatening disease. One of the most common treatments for it is having constant positive airway with the help of the CPAP mask. A CPAP mask may not be the easiest thing to get used to, but it certainly helps immensely in improving your sleeping cycle and keeping you breathing properly so you feel well-rested in the morning. Wearing the CPAP mask might feel weird at first, but once you start using it, you will get accustomed to it after a while.
There are several types of CPAP masks to choose from, such as nasal masks, nasal pillows and full-face masks. Out of the whole bunch. people fear that wearing a full face mask will be unpleasant and they won’t sleep at all. However, there are new full face CPAP masks specifically designed to improve your comfort. You can easily adjust your mask and find cosy sleeping positions. Here’s everything you need to know before buying a full face mask for CPAP therapy.
Why Do I Need A Full Face Mask?
Unlike nasal masks that seal on the nose, a full CPAP masks covers the entire face including the mouth, sealing both airways. So, if you’re a mouth breather, a CPAP face mask will close off your mouth preventing it from dropping and becoming dry. Also, if you’re a restless sleeper, a full mask will stay on throughout the night whereas nose masks can easily come off while you move.
People who have chronic sinus problems are advised to wear this kind of mask. Also, people who suffer from congested nose due to seasonal allergies or colds will have improved sleep during the night thanks to this mask. If for some reason you can’t breathe through your nose, a full face sleep mask will help you.
Pros & Cons of Full Face CPAP Masks
One of the best things about such masks is that they put less strain on your nasal passage. It helps reduce the harmful effects of a constant airflow pressure that is pushed directly into your nasal passages which is the case with nasal masks. A full face CPAP mask directs the air toward your mouth or below your nose, without pushing any air straight into your nose. This helps stop dry nose, nose bleeds, scabs, and other bothersome side effects.
CPAP face masks are great for side and back sleepers or sleepers who tend to toss and turn frequently. Many people prefer the face mask because it’s more comfortable for sleeping.
When it comes to the cons, it’s mostly patients complaining about not being able to get used on it. However, even this can be overcome after a while. Air leaking from the top might be a disadvantage too, especially if it’s not placed well. For people who sleep on their stomachs, the mask might be a challenge. People who wear glasses and want to wear the mask and watch TV before bed, may find it difficult too.
Fitting Full Face CPAP Masks
The main question is how to pick a CPAP face mask that will fit your face and head. People with prominent heads and facial contours are great candidates for such masks. However, the mask is adjustable so that it can be fitted on anyone. The soft silicon cushions placed in the nasal area will tightly seal against your face. Keep in mind the size and length of your nose. Make sure there is enough space in both the length and width of your mask so you won’t have to deal with chaffing.
Can People With Deviated Septum Wear It?
If you have a deviated septum, you most likely breathe through your mouth. A full-face mask is an excellent solution for you. It’s especially useful if you used to wake up with dry mouth and throat. The mask will stop that.
Can I Wear It If I Have a Beard?
People who have beards have no issues wearing the face mask. Before putting the mask on, just smooth your beard with lanolin so it softens in places where the masks seals.
Use Your CPAP Mask Every Time You Sleep
You need to be patient and don’t just use it one or two nights a week. Yes, it may be a challenge to get used to, but the benefits of using it are far greater than you can imagine. If you tend to nap during the day, use it for your naps as well. Create a routine and put the mask on your face right before you go to bed.
If you’re a beginner, it’s best to avoid naps until you’re used to the mask. Naps will decrease your sleep depth (it’s a good thing to have when you’re getting used to CPAP treatment because you’ll feel more tired at night). Once you skip your daily nap, you’ll fall asleep faster at night and the CPAP mask won’t bother you that much.