Getting Fitted with The Right Sleep Apnea Mask

Choosing the right CPAP mask is one of the keys for a successful CPAP treatment. You will need a mask that fits comfortably, without leaks.

In this section you will learn:

  • The types of CPAP masks
  • How to choose the right type of mask for your face
  • How to test a sleep apnea mask before buying

Each mask was created to solve a specific interface problem or preference. Bottom Line: There is NO one perfect CPAP mask for everyone. Try on many masks and see what is comfortable for you. Know that the mask you choose this year may be different from the mask you use next year. Choosing a CPAP mask is not a permanent decision, and the masks are not designed to last forever. In fact, it is common for CPAP patients to replace their masks more than once each year.

  • Mask fitting tips

Using the smallest mask that fits you properly will help prevent claustrophobia.

Mouth-breathing – Many people breathe with their mouths open during sleep. If you use a nasal CPAP mask and the mouth opens during sleep, air will follow the path of least resistance and exit through the mouth, thus reducing its efficacy.

Nasal obstruction – Nasal resistance and obstruction can pose a problem with CPAP when using a nasal mask. For people with challenging nasal passages, an oral CPAP mask, or full-face mask might be indicated.

Facial Hair – Mustaches and beards can interfere with the seal between the mask and the face. Some of the masks were designed not to interface with the hairy part of the face.

  • How to overcome the most common sleep problems with your mask

Dry mouth or nose. Add humidification to your unit or you can use a nasal spray.

I cannot tolerate the forced air from my mask. The “ramp” feature allows you to start with low air pressure, which is then followed by an automatic, gradual increase that eventually sets itself to the pressure you were prescribed by your provider. The rate of this “ramp” feature can be adjusted by your provider as well.

I am having a skin reaction at my mask site. Make sure your mask is not Latex, and that you are not allergic to Latex. If so you must stop wearing your mask immediately. You also need to clean your mask regularly.

I keep pulling off my mask at night. You may be pulling off the mask because your nose is congested. If so, ensuring a good mask fit and adding a heated humidifier to your CPAP machine may help. A chin strap also may help you to keep the device on your face.

Types of CPAP Masks
There are different mask styles and designs and each type is available in various sizes: small, medium, and large.