A Sleep Apnea Mask – Its Crucial Role in CPAP Therapy

The most popular form of sleep apnea treatment is the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device and a comfortable sleep apnea mask. In fact, sleep apnea professionals state that the success of CPAP equipment therapy is contingent upon air pressures that the patient can tolerate and a comfortably fitted sleep apnea mask.

One would think that delivering tolerable CPAP air pressures and having a comfortable apnea mask is an easy task, but, the statistics prove different in that only 50% of all CPAP users are compliant with their treatment after two months of use. This is unfortunate because if CPAP equipment is used correctly it has almost a 100% success rate in stopping the apnea episodes. As a result, the numbers don’t lie, if you are going to stop your sleep apnea, you need to do serious diligence before you start your treatment and get a correct fitting apnea mask.

Typically, most apnea masks are made out of soft silicone plastic and are in triangular form. The masks are placed over their user’s nose, mouth, or both. From there, the mask is attached to tubing that receives pressurized air from the CPAP device that ultimately opens up blocked or collapsed tissues in the airways. A snuggly fitted apnea mask will prevent leakage of pressurized air. As one could imagine, if an air leak should occur, less pressure will ultimately go to its user and not perform to the correct standard. Thus, the mask is held in place by elastic straps or head gear.

It is a good idea when choosing apnea masks to always go for the one that is smaller so that you can achieve a more firm fit. Additionally, it is also important to note that although the triangular mask is the most popular, be sure that you also look at other options such as nasal pillows or nasal prongs that are much smaller and use devices that either insert directly into the nasal passage or seal around it.

Your Doctor usually is the one who will direct you to a supplier of CPAP equipment. A Home Durable Medical Equipment (DME) provider is usually responsible for supplying CPAP machines apnea masks. Most dealers will bring the equipment to your home and show you how to use it and handle all of the insurance billing too. However, as you can imagine, DME companies are not all the same, and you need make sure your supplier has professional trained sleep apnea personnel and a wide variety of apnea masks to choose from. sleep apnea

This is the time to be very selective, for example, each mask is designed to handle different issues such as facile hair (nasal pillows), mouth breathers (full face mask), nose only breathers (nasal mask), and dry skin or oily skin that can affect the fit of the sleep apnea mask. Your dealer will know what is best for you. Additionally, do not be concerned if you find a comfortable apnea mask that is manufactured by a different company than the CPAP equipment, most are made to fit the generic tubing that comes from the machine.

It is important to remember that sleep apnea is a very serious condition that can lead to significant health problems. Sleep apnea can be defined as numerous episodes of breathing cessation at night that can be accompanied with excessive snoring or interrupted sleep. As a result, sufferers of this condition are not getting correct amounts of oxygen to their blood and are more prone to such adverse health problems as high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attacks. Not to mention, the effects that lack of sleep have on energy levels and alertness. So, it is very important to treat your sleep apnea now and make sure you get the right sleep apnea mask that will allow you to get that comfortable night’s sleep that you deserve!


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