What are some of the factors that affect the fit of a CPAP mask?
There are several factors that can affect the fit of your CPAP mask, including:
- The width and length of your nose
- The size, shape, and circumference of your head
- If you have facial hair (and the amount)
- If you wear dentures
- Whether you breathe through your mouth or nose
- The position you sleep in
- The material the headgear, straps, and mask are made of (i.e. plastic, silicone)
It’s also important to consider your level of movement during sleep. If you frequently toss and turn, you need a mask that allows for motion without risking a leak or compromising airflow.
How can I choose a CPAP mask based on my sleep position?
There are so many different types of CPAP masks out there, it can be difficult to choose one that aligns with your needs. One way to make a quick decision is to consider your sleep position
If you’re a side sleeper, you need a mask with a tight seal that won’t allow air to escape when the mask makes contact with your pillow. Nasal masks and nasal pillow masks are two excellent options. Whenever possible, select a model with soft, flexible straps made of fabric or silicone.
If you sleep on your back, you can likely wear any type of CPAP mask. That’s because the majority of CPAP masks are designed with back sleepers in mind. Still, the type of sleep apnea you have and the severity of your symptoms may affect treatment. Your doctor can make recommendations that align with your needs.
If you’re a stomach sleeper, choosing a CPAP mask can be especially challenging. For example, your mask could make contact with your pillow during sleep, causing a leak and preventing the CPAP machine from doing its job. In this instance, a nasal pillow mask is ideal. It’s small and less likely to become dislodged, even if you move frequently.
Do I need to clean my CPAP mask?
Yes. If you want to keep your CPAP mask in optimal condition, it’s important to regularly clean it. Ideally, try to clean your mask every day. If that’s not possible, clean it at least once a week. Your mask makes direct contact with your skin. Your skin is oily, which causes dirt and bacteria to collect on your mask. Routine cleanings can cut through the grime, ensuring your mask functions at full capacity.