Sleep Apnea Treatment – CPAP


The most common sleep apnea treatment is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. A CPAP machine uses a hose and mask or nosepiece to deliver air pressure and help the wearer breathe and sleep better.

The Three Different Types of CPAP Masks

A nasal pillow mask has nasal pillows that fit at the nares to supply air pressure. This type of mask may be a good choice for those who:

  • Feel claustrophobic in masks that cover most of their face
  • Want a full field of vision
  • Wear glasses
  • Have facial hair that interferes with other masks

A nasal mask has two straps across the face and one strap that goes over the top of the head. This type of mask is a good option for those who need high air pressure and move around a lot in their sleep.

A full-face mask covers the nose and mouth and is a good option for individuals who suffer from nasal obstruction or congestion. Individuals may need a full-face mask if other types of masks have not helped to keep their mouth closed.

Contact Us Today

5 Tips for Finding and Wearing a CPAP Mask

Some patients will need to try on different masks before finding one that fits and feels comfortable. Here are five things patients should do when searching for, fitting and getting used to wearing a mask.

1. Try on a few different masks.

Different masks offer different features and benefits. For example, a nasal pillow mask offers a greater field of vision, allowing the wearer to read or watch TV while wearing the mask. However, this type of mask is not a good fit for those who move around considerably while sleeping or sleep on their side.

2. Find the right size.

Sizing in masks is not standardized, which means patients may need to try on different sizes when trying on different types of brands of CPAP masks. A doctor or CPAP supplier may help the patient adjust the straps and get the best fit. Once the mask is fitted properly, it should not cause any pain or discomfort.

3. Give yourself time to get used to the mask.

Of course wearing a mask for the first time will feel very unnatural. Patients should try wearing the mask while they’re awake to help get used to wearing the mask. Then, they should start wearing the mask during naps and progress to wearing it at night. Soon enough, wearing a mask will feel like second nature.

4. Use the “ramp” feature.

When patients first start wearing and using a CPAP mask, they may have difficulty tolerating forced air. To help overcome this, use the “ramp” feature. This setting allows patients to start with low air pressure and gradually adjust to increased air pressure as you fall asleep. A bi-level positive airway pressure (BPAP) machine may be another option. It delivers more pressure on the inhale, and less during the exhale.

5. Wear a chin strap.

If patients wake up at night to discover that they’ve somehow removed the mask in their sleep, then the nose may be congested. Patients should consider adding a CPAP-heated humidifier and a chin strap to improve breathing and ensure the device stays on the face.

Adjusting to a CPAP Mask

If patients are still having trouble with their CPAP mask, then they may need to talk to their doctor about other sleep apnea treatments.