Everybody is different so getting the right CPAP mask should be done based on your needs and preferences. When purchasing your mask, make sure to check if it fits your head shape and your facial structure. The mask must be secured on your face and head without causing you any discomfort. This is why finding the right full face mask for CPAP machine may be a challenge for some people.
The mask should not feel too loose or too tight. After all, you are supposed to breathe normally through it so you can get a good night’s sleep and rest well. Here are several tips to help you find the best CPAP mask for you.
Know What Kind of Sleeper You Are
This is the first and most important thing to consider when buying your CPAP mask. Do you sleep on your back, turn to the sides, toss and turn or sleep calmly? Full-face masks are compatible with various types of sleepers, which is a great thing since you don’t have to sleep only on your back.
Go for a mask that includes a CPAP headgear that is compatible with your prefered sleeping position. If you aren’t sleeping still during the night, you should get a mask that has great flexibility and mobility so you can adjust your sleeping position without the mask waking you up.
Check for Pressure Points on Your Face
The best way to check this is to see your face in the mirror after a few nights of wearing the CPAP full face mask. If there are red marks on your nose, mouth and cheeks, that’s a sign that the mask is too tight for you. Buying a new full face mask for CPAP machine will be a good option in such case. Check twice if the headgear has straps that aren’t pulled too tightly.
When putting the mask on, check if your chin cup goes towards your mouth. If that is the case, then the mask is too small; a comfortable mask in the right size should lay comfortably on the bottom of your chin and you should be able to open and close your mouth while wearing it.
Check If You Can See With the Mask On
The mask can easily block your vision if it’s too big. If it lays higher than the bridge of your nose, it is too big. When the mask is on, you should be able to look forward without it blocking your view.
Check the Size Options
Some people find that big and small sizes from a certain manufacturer simply don’t fit their faces – they are either too tight or too loose. If that’s your case, you can find a mask from a manufacturer that offers more than two sizes and various styles of full-face masks. This way you will have a better chance of finding a suitable model that fits your face just right.
It’s a good idea to consult with your CPAP mask provider for more info. They will be able to see how the mask fits your head and face (and if it fits properly). They will tell you why certain models don’t fit and may offer you an entirely new style and design that will meet your needs. Also, if the mask fits well but you still feel some sort of discomfort, then it will not provide a suitable CPAP therapy. Check the styles and materials that sit well on your face and that you’re drawn to. If all criteria are met, then you will likely have a night of normal, pleasant and comfortable sleep.
Maintain Your Mask
Once you find the right full mask for your CPAP therapy, you should maintain it regularly. If you don’t clean it regularly, it will harbour bacteria and will wear down faster. By properly maintaining it, you will keep the silicon cushions and the elastic headgear in good shape so you can wear it for three to six months (it’s recommendable to change the cushions and headgear after this time interval).
Avoid sleeping with worn-out cushions or broken headgear as this will affect your comfort as well as the efficiency of your treatment. Set a date on your calendar as a reminder of when to get new replacement parts. Some patients prefer marking the headgear straps with a sharpie, so they know exactly where to tight the straps for an excellent seal.