Choosing the right mask
There is an extensive array of CPAP masks available on the market today. The three basic mask types are a nasal (nose) mask, an oral (mouth) mask or an oral-nasal (full-face) mask. The mask type you choose should depend on what you feel most comfortable with, regards the fitting, the design, the comfort and the breathing route (mouth, nose or both). Some of the most commonly reported side effects from CPAP masks include:
- Mask leaks (develop with head movement on the pillow)
- Nasal congestion/dryness (caused by the dry CPAP air)
- Skin abrasions (on bridge of nose/back of neck from mask pressure/headgear rubbing)
- Forehead dents/marks (from pressure of mask)
- Dry mouth/throat (caused by mouth leak which can develop from nasal congestion)
To help prevent the development of some of these side effects choose your mask carefully. Manufacturers are constantly improving mask designs to provide a better fit. Research has shown that by optimizing mask comfort people will use their machines for longer at night due to less side effects from the mask.