Choosing a mask
Some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a mask are: comfort, quality of the mask's air seal, ease of fit, quietness, convenience, and air venting. However, masks are personal, and people prefer different masks for various reasons. Choosing the right mask with the right fit will set you up for success.
This seems obvious, but however, a lot of patients stop using their CPAP device because they simply are not comfortable wearing the mask. It may cause pressure sores, bruising, and potentially hurt on the face due to an improper fit. The right mask should provide the right comfort for you.
If you are experiencing any kind of discomfort wearing a mask, try the following suggestions:
- Contact us for another mask fit. Your quality of life depends on it. In some provinces and countries, insurance coverage may take issue. Talk to your therapist and they will provide you with the appropriate documentation for you to claim the mask on your insurance.
- Ask your therapist to double check the mask size and fit. Most masks come in several sizes. The first one you try may not be the best one for you. Ask you therapist for a different type of mask. There are many types and many factors and various types of masks with various sizes. You will find one that fits for you.
- Try different mask configurations. Surprisingly, going from a full face mask to a nasal mask to a nasal pillow system can make the different in you being compliant to CPAP therapy.
Ease of fit
Your clinical will fit your mask initially but once you take it apart to wash it, you will have to fit it yourself. Make sure that you have fully understood when a respiratory therapist has educated you on the proper mask fit techniques.
Most masks have exhalation valves. In order for you and your partner to have a good night sleep, you need to have a quiet system.
When looking for a quiet mask, look for the following characteristics:
- Large exhalation ports. The more space available for the air to escape, the less noisy it is.
- You also want to look at the type of exhalation ports that are offered in a mask. There are various types of exhalation ports and find out what is quiet for you. Make sure you ask your therapist to help you determine what is the quietest mask for you.
The mask may fit you perfectly but it is so inconvenient that you will not use it. It is not doing you any good if you are not wearing it.
Try to find the mask with the following features:
- It is easy to put back together when you take it apart. Remember, the first few times you put it together may be difficult, make sure you have a fitting guide or the instructions with you handy.
- Fitting it on a nightly basis does not take forever. If you have to refit a mask every time you have to put it on, you are less likely to wear it. Therefore, it is important that you have a mask that is user friendly with you.
Check the position of the exhalation port. Sometimes, where the exhalation port is, it could provide you or your partner with unnecessary airflow. For example, if the exhalation port is placed squarely in the middle of the mask and there is no cover to divert the airflow, the air can blow straight into your partners face, back, or neck. That in return can wake up your spouse or your partner and therefore waking you up at the same time. If your spouse is not having a good sleep, then you are not having a good sleep.