A sleep apnea mask, also known as a CPAP mask, is very important in the use of any CPAP/apnea machine. Without a properly fitted mask, the machine will be pointless and money will be wasted. A mask that’s well-suited to your facial contours and sleep habits will provide you with the maximum relief possible in terms of snoring, episodes of apnea and other sleep-related health problems.
The first thing to consider when choosing a CPAP mask is to take the time to really talk to your doctor. He likely has plenty of great recommendations, and can tell you what will go best with your machine. You also may want to consider having a conversation with your insurance provider, who can advise you on what’s covered under your policy.
An effective mask will fit your nose or mouth, and then snugly fit onto your head via customized headgear. Some doctors will fit you for your mask, while others may send you to a sleep center or provide you with guidelines for online ordering. Comfort always needs to be of the utmost consideration, as you will be wearing this nightly long term. The mask must be snugly fit to ensure air does not run out of the sides.
Another thing to think about when choosing a CPAP mask includes determining if you are a nose or mouth breather. If you breathe through your noise, you may want a mask that covers the nose only. If you breathe from your mouth while asleep, you may require a full face mask.
Are you prone to skin allergies? Most masks are manufactured out of plastic and silicone. If you happen to be allergic to one of these materials, then you’ll need to specially order one made out of synthetic rubber or vinyl.
If you wear glasses, some masks are designed to accommodate them. It’s essential you tell your doctor if you ever plan on wearing glasses right before bedtime or any other time period where you may wear the mask.
Choosing a CPAP mask does not necessarily involve sticking to a single manufacturer. In fact, it’s likely your machine will be made from a different company than the mask you end up with. What’s most important is comfort and convenience – not necessarily brand loyalty. Chat with your doctor to find out what your best available options are.
Erica Ronchetti is a freelance writer interested in promoting CPAP therapy. A properly fitting CPAP mask can make all the difference when it comes to reducing snoring and other sleep-related health issues.
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