CPAP mask choices – Do I need a Nasal Mask or a Full Faced Mask?

03 Nov CPAP mask choices – Do I need a Nasal Mask or a Full Faced Mask?

For new patients diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), you will require an initial CPAP titration sleep study. During this study your sleep technician might trial one or two different type of masks. Generally in the first instance you will trial a nasal mask. A nasal mask is recommended first because an effective seal with a nasal mask can be better achieved than with a full-faced mask. Sometimes with a full-faced mask the straps may be adjusted too tightly causing the jaw to be pulled backwards making the back of the tongue block the airway and potentially increase the occurrence of apnoea’s, thus interfering with the effectiveness of your CPAP treatment. The effectiveness of your CPAP therapy can be dependent upon choosing the correct CPAP mask. After you have been applying the CPAP therapy for some time and you have a review CPAP titration sleep study you will be asked to bring your current mask. As there are often new masks available this will be the perfect opportunity to trial the mask without having to purchase the mask first.

Finding the right CPAP mask for you is essential when trying to achieve the best possible results from your CPAP therapy. If you are new to CPAP therapy there are a wide range of masks available and if you have been using CPAP therapy long-term, there may be a new mask on the market that is more comfortable and effective than your current mask. When trying to find the right CPAP mask for you please consider the following;

  • What type of mask’s are there?
    • nasal with pillows
    • nasal without pillows
    • full-faced mask
  • Do I need a chinstrap?
    • If you use a nasal mask and you tend to open your mouth when you sleep you will require a chinstrap.
  • Does the mask fit comfortably?
    • Are the straps too tight?
    • Does the mask frame irritate your face?
  • Do you have the correct size of cushion of your mask?
    • Nasal masks – fitting around your nose or under the nostrils without air leaking
    • Full faced mask – fitting around your nose and mouth without air leaking.

As problems arise adjusting to CPAP therapy these can sometimes be associated with mask issues. So it is important for you to be comfortable with your mask and ensure a correct fitting. It is recommended that you pay sufficient attention to the exact nature of the problem and have the issue resolved by a competent commercial CPAP equipment-provider. At the Wesley CPAP clinic we have well-trained CPAP educators that are available to assist you with mask fittings. During an initial or review CPAP sleep study our highly trained sleep technicians are able to determine if your current or new mask is effective, and if you are using the appropriate type of mask.