This mask is the original type of CPAP mask and remains the most popular one as well. The mask is made of silicone gel or soft cloths. Here we have answered in detail the most frequently asked question about CPAP nasal masks.
CPAP nasal masks are in the shape of a triangle and seal around your nose as they are held by a four-point headgear. They only cover the nose and do not seal your mouth.
1. When Should I Get a CPAP Nasal Mask?
Sleeping on your side is always preferable to sleeping on your back as sleeping on your back will worsen your symptoms because sleeping in this posture restricts the airways further due to gravity which only aggravates the issue. The CPAP nasal mask is mostly used by side and stomach sleepers owing to the lightweight and small size of it that makes it convenient to keep the mask in position when you move in your sleep. However, sleeping on the side of the stomach can put pressure on the side of the mask that increases the leak rate. The bed pillow can put pressure on the mask that may cause the leaks hence there are special CPAP pillows available that are designed to minimize the contact of the mask with pillow even when you sleep on your size which will minimize the leak.
2. Why Should I Use the Nasal Mask Type?
If you breathe through your nose only, then the nasal mask will offer the best CPAP therapy. This mask is so lightweight that you will not even notice it during the therapy and the nasal cushions create a great seal around your nose, keeping the size of the mask small. These types of masks are made of comfortable materials like silicone, gel, cloth or foam material. Most of these masks have forehead support which offers additional support and stability for the mask creating fewer chances of displacement.
3. Why is Air Leaking from My Mouth?
If you breathe through the mouth during sleep, then the CPAP therapy becomes a little ineffective due to air leaks. The main reason this occurs is because of nasal irritation caused due to the CPAP airflow. It has been concluded that the main reason why this happens is because of the lack of humidification. During CPAP, the nasal membranes are unable to condition the increased airflow adequately and after a few minutes the nasal passages become dry hence due to this you try to obtain moisture by breathing through mouth subconsciously. The CPAP air follows the path that has the least resistance hence leaks out through the open mouth. This results in more dryness in the mouth due to the air leaking, therefore, the patient wakes up with dryness in the mouth and swollen nasal passages.
Hence get a humidifier in the room which may prevent this from happening and further you can also attach a chinstrap to the mask to hold your jaw close. If this does not work for you, then you will have to switch to a full-face mask that covers both nose and mouth.
4. Why Do I Take Off My Mask in Sleep?
Many people tend to subconsciously remove their masks in their sleep because they are not getting enough air. The CPAP pressure reduces if the mask is leaking. The reason could be either your mask is too big for you or if it is too old and needs to be replaced. The cushion of the mask deteriorates with time and becomes too soft for the seal to hold, hence replace the cushion to see if the mask works right.
Now, if the CPAP air is getting delivered effectively without any leaks, then the reason may be that the pressure is set too low. The pressure settings need to be changed if you gain or lose weight. Speak to your doctor if you feel that your pressure needs to be adjusted.
5. Why do I Wake Up with Face Mask?
If you are experiencing marks on the face every morning this means that the strap of the mask is too tight hence adjust it as per your comfort. But if this problem still persists, then you need to use a mask that uses soft side straps to avoid such masks.
6. Am I Using the Right Mask Size?
If you have to over-tighten your mask so that it fits tight then the size is not right for you. The cushion size may be wrong, or the forehead support is incorrectly adjusted. Many masks are set at the optimal position and shifting it too much from it may further cause discomfort hence read the instructions to find the right way to fit the mask and still if you find it too loose or tight then get a different size.
7. What is the Correct Way to Fit the Nasal CPAP Mask?
Fitting the mask properly is important to have a good night's sleep. Facial muscle changes as well when we lie down and relax and even further as soon as we sleep hence always fit the mask in a sleeping position to get the proper seal. You should be in your usual sleeping position while fitting the mask. Use the mask user guide to learn the right way of fitting the mask. The nasal CPAP mask is easy to wear and lightweight so it can easily be fitted and does not touch much of your skin hence chances of seal break is less when you move hence fit the mask properly in your sleeping position which will help you breathe normally in your sleep.
Other CPAP Nasal Mask Tips:
In the end, you will find nasal CPAP masks in different price ranges but avoid low-end masks as due to inferior quality, the comfort will be nowhere near that of a good quality nasal CPAP mask.