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Choosing the right sleep apnea mask - July 2nd, 2020

If you’ve just been diagnosed with sleep apnea, the key to successful treatment is finding the right CPAP mask. This can prove challenging, as there are many options to choose from. But don’t fret. By following these simple tips, you’ll find the ideal sleep apnea mask for your needs.

1. Select the right style

Generally, sleep apnea masks are designed to deliver air through your nose. They are triangular, constructed of gel or a plastic cushion covering the nose and resting just below the nostrils. The attached headgear is made of fabric, plastic clips or Velcro.

There are many variations on this basic design. For example, you can get a CPAP mask designed to relieve pressure through contact points on the forehead. Some have extra cushioning to prevent leaks or facial marks.

Another design has nasal pillows resembling ear buds for the nostrils. If you are claustrophobic, this is a great option. Another option is masks covering your nose and mouth. These prevent dry mouth and help if you breathe through your mouth.

2. Get the right size

When you undergo a sleep study, staff will have various sizes to choose from. Most mask options (like those mentioned above) come in a variety of sizes. Depending on the manufacturer, masks generally have intermediate sizes, like “small-medium”, right up to “wide” sizes. When choosing your mask, select one large enough to deliver maximum airflow. Avoid extra large sizes if you can. These can shift on your face and may even leak.

Ensure you try it on while attached to a CPAP machine that’s delivering optimal air pressure. Also try the headgear for the total experience.

3. Use accessories for easy compliance

The right accessories will make your CPAP treatment even easier. Headgear that secures your mask can be as varied as the masks themselves. Most are constructed of machine-washable fabric. Some include Velcro for a customisable fit. And others include plastic clips. These allow you to fit the mask properly, and take it on and off with ease.

For more advice on selecting the perfect sleep apnea mask, call or email the Apnea Seal team today.

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