Using two CPAP masks

We believe that there is an ideal CPAP mask for everyone – even if it takes trying out a few to find the right fit for you. But in some situations, people choose to have two CPAP masks that they use alternately.

Several of our blog readers say they’ve used two CPAP masks alternately in certain situations. If you think it may help you, talk to your equipment supplier about getting fitted for a second mask – and about your options for doing so most affordably.

Why use two?

To help with environmental allergies in some cases: If you’re using a nasal or a nasal pillows mask and have nasal allergies with stuffiness and congestion, you may find a full face mask easier to breathe through when your allergies flare up – especially if you also have a deviated septum.

To take pressure off sensitive facial areas: Different masks rest on different parts of your face. And while masks are becoming more comfortable every year, sometimes a part of your face could use a rest. Using a different type of mask (i.e. a nasal pillows, nasal and/or full face) could give relief to a sensitive area.

During recovery from facial surgery: If you are planning to have surgery done on a part of your face that your CPAP mask touches, talk to your equipment supplier right away about getting fitted for a mask that doesn’t touch that area during your recovery period.

But be aware…

Never sacrifice treatment quality. If you ask your equipment supplier about temporarily switching from a full face mask to a nasal or pillows mask, ask how a chin strap can help ensure that your mouth stays closed while you sleep. An open mouth will reduce the quality of a nasal/pillows user’s CPAP treatment and prevent humidification from keeping you comfortable.

Know when to replace each of your CPAP supplies. More masks mean more supplies to maintain. In addition to proper cleaning and storage, be sure you know when to replace each of your CPAP supplies including mask parts, machine filter and water chamber. (We can help! Sign up for free resupply reminders by registering your CPAP equipment here.)

Masks and their parts will last longer if you use them alternately – as long as you clean them according to their instructions each morning after use and store them correctly (ideally in a sealed plastic bag after they’ve been cleaned and dried, and away from sunlight).

This blog post contains general information about medical conditions and potential treatments. It is not medical advice. If you have any medical questions, please consult your doctor.

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