Being prescribed CPAP therapy for sleep apnea can be unsettling for newly diagnosed people. Sleeping every night with a mask plugged into a machine can make you feel tethered and uncomfortable. However, skipping the therapy is not advisable as it will cause the sleep apnea to worsen.
So is there a way out to continue the therapy without having to give up on comfort? There definitely is. You can always opt for additional products that make the whole process a lot more gentle. The greatest problem that CPAP users complain about is the rashes and bruises on their nose and mouth. It is unavoidable when being fitted into a mask for over up to eight hours. The elastic bands and the airtight seal of the mask are also not the most comfortable, but it does prevent respiratory pauses.
What are CPAP nasal pillow masks for?
Selecting a pillow CP mask could pave your way to a better night’s sleep without compromising on CPAP therapy. There exist a wide range of pillow masks that are compatible with any CPAP device and are a lot more comfortable, along with being easier to use.
In fact, there exist a range of masks for CPAP that are suited for people with different breathing patterns and comfort preferences. One such mask is the CPAP nasal pillow masks with two silicone prongs that fit inside the nostrils. This eliminates the need for wearing large CPAP masks that are fitted in place with straps and are uncomfortable.
The silicone nasal pillows masks come with two prongs designed in a way that they easily fit within the nasal cavity. They mimic the anatomical shape of the passage in order to minimize discomfort.
There is also no need for wearing a bulky, full face mask during sleeping. But the best advantage of the nasal pillow masks is that you change your sleeping positions without the wear of dislodging the mask from your face.
Who should wear a CPAP nasal pillow mask?
Now you might be thinking about whether you need to make the change to a CPAP nasal pillow mask or not. To be honest, it completely depends on your preferences and whether you find your present mask comfortable or not.
But to be more specific, nasal pillow masks are designed for people who breathe primarily through their nose and not from their mouths during their sleep. A person who breathes from both their nose and the mouth could use a nasal pillow mask along with a chinstrap.
CPAP nasal pillows also work their best in low to moderate pressure settings because the air is now directed into the nostrils. At high air pressure, this setting might cause some discomfort.
CPAP nasal pillows are also recommended for people who are claustrophobic and or have a fear of asphyxiation. Wearing larger masks that are secured with straps could heighten this fear among some patients.
It could also be suggested for people who have a lot of facial hair, facial injury, sensitive skin, or any skin problems which might be irritated because of the mask.
Who should not wear a nasal pillow mask?
Nasal pillows masks are created largely for heightened comfort. But the preferences and specifics of comfort vary diversely. As a result, there exist certain cons of nasal pillows as well.
Nasal pillows are not ideal for people who need a high air pressure setting. Furthermore, the incidence of nosebleeds and nasal dryness are increased as now the air is directed into the nostrils.
Lastly, people who breathe from their mouth or both from nose and mouth might require some more adjustments along with the nasal pillow CPAP mask.
What is the most comfortable mask for CPAP?
In the above section, we discussed specifically nasal masks. But there exist other types of CPAP masks with additional facilities that are suitable for everyone. These include:
- ResMed AirTouch F20 (Full Face Mask)– It has an Airtouch feature, which is like memory foam that is soft and pliable. It will mold itself to the shape of your face allowing you to get the ultimate night’s rest. The mask can also be easily disconnected without the need to remove the tubes.
- ResMed AirFit P10 ( Nasal Pillow Mask)– It is very light, and the design is sleek and compact. The design is minimalist and the tube is also attached with bare minimum material. Hence, it is the least restrictive among all CPAP masks.
- ResMed Mirage FX (Nasal Pillow Mask)– The mask, despite its design and materials, is very lightweight. It is also quite light on the pocket. The mask involves only four parts making it easy to assemble and clean.
- ResMed Mirage Liberty Hybrid Mask ( Hybrid Full Face Mask)– The nasal pillows have a certain bouncy action to it, making each pillow move independently of the other. This feature allows greater comfort as the nostrils are not squished anymore and have greater freedom to move.
What is the best CPAP mask for side sleepers?
Wearing a full face mask requires the wearer to sleep in the supine position throughout the night. It is not very comfortable as people are likely to change their positions. Most sleep apnea patients are side sleepers because they find it easier to breathe in that position. Here are some masks that are suitable for side sleepers.
- ResMed Swift™ FX- The sleek design is very lightweight and simple. It does not cover your whole face. The hose connecting the nasal pillows is very stable and will disconnect if you move.
- Philips Respironics Nuance Pro– This mask has gel pillows that provide unmatched coziness to the nose area.
- Fisher & Paykel Opus 360– This mask is specially made for the side sleepers and offers 360 degrees of movement. While most masks have their tubes going downwards. This mask has the tube going upwards over the face.
Does the CPAP pillow really work?
CPAP pillow has a distinct shape, design, and is made up of a material that facilitates the CPAP therapy. It even has a signature cut out to accommodate the CPAP mask and tubes. The pillow material makes it easier to clean and is also resistant to any leaks. Lastly, the CPAP pillow provides great comfort to people and allows them to change their position while they sleep. To get the best comfort, pair a suitable mask based on your preferences with a CPAP pillow, and get the best results from CPAP therapy.