How to choose the right mask

How to choose the right mask

ResMed masks come in a variety of styles and sizes to suit the needs of many patients. How can you choose a mask that best fits your needs? Find the answer with ResMed’s frequently asked questions about masks.

Q. How do I choose a mask that best suits me?

A. It’s important to choose a mask that’s comfortable, otherwise you may not use it regularly. Although you’ll be guided through this process by your equipment supplier or care provider, ResMed recommends trying on as many masks as you can, talking to other users and seeking out mask reviews online.

Q. Should I choose a full face mask, nasal mask or nasal pillows? What’s the difference?

A. A full face mask covers the nose and mouth, a nasal mask covers the nose, and a nasal pillows mask rests at the entrance of your nostrils.

The mask type that best suits you depends greatly on personal needs and preferences. Some things that you may want to take into consideration are your facial anatomy, facial hair, whether or not you’re claustrophobic, etc. Each mask has its own benefits, and you should discuss these with your doctor or equipment supplier so you can try on various mask styles and decide which is best for you.

Q. Are there other benefits from using a full face mask?

A. Even if you don't breathe through your mouth, you may still experience mouth leaks if you use a nasal mask. Mouth leaks can lead to less effective treatment and renewed sleep apnea symptoms.

Q. I normally use a nasal mask. Can I use a full face mask when I have a cold?

A. Yes. You should remember, though, that every mask has slightly different characteristics, so you may need to change the mask setting on the user menu when you switch masks. Always refer to the mask/device compatibility list when changing mask settings on your device.

Q. Can a full face mask be used with bilevel treatment?

A. Yes, absolutely. A recent study* shows that people who are using bilevel therapy are more prone to mouth leak and mouth breathing may be more likely to benefit from a full face mask. Mouth leak reduces the quality of your sleep and causes arousals throughout the night.

Q. Can a ResMed mask be used with another manufacturer's CPAP device?

A. Probably — but if you're using a non-ResMed APAP or bilevel device, you may want to check with the manufacturer to ensure it doesn’t compromise your sleep apnea therapy. The technical specifications of the mask are provided for your clinician or equipment supplier to check that they are compatible with a CPAP or bilevel device. If used outside specification or with incompatible devices, the seal and comfort may not be optimal.

Do you have a question about finding the right CPAP mask that isn’t on this page? Contact ResMed customer support at 1 (800) 424-0737, or click here to submit an online inquiry

References

*Teschler et al. Effect of mouth leak on effectiveness of nasal bilevel ventilator assistance and sleep architecture. Eur Respir J 1999

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