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CPAP Mask Accessories

CPAP MaskAs you can see from the picture on the left, there are quite a few CPAP mask accessories to choose from and sometimes patients have to try several models before they really become comfortable with one of them.

As a recent user of a CPAP machine, I have initially gone with the nasal mask pillow type of mask. In fact it is really not a mask at all. I find it is the least invasive of all of the masks and it works well for me. Basically it has two small outlets which fit on the front of your nose and held in place by straps that go around your head. So far I have found it pretty good since it allows freedom to speak easily and since I cough a bit, I am coughing normally instead of into a mask.

CPAP Mask Accessories

If you are uncomfortable with a nasal pillow mask, there are other units that actually cover the full nose and only touch your face around the nose. You have the same freedom to use your mouth as before, but there is nothing touching your nostrils. I have not tried this one, but I think I might purchase this one as a backup in case I have a cold or something and cannot breathe through my nose.

The other major mask type is one that covers both the nose and the mouth. It is ideal for people who alternately breathe through their nose and their mouth. Also some people may require this type of mask to give them more perceived freedom around the mouth and nose. Personally this one would not work for me, due to the fact that I cough quite a bit from asthma and allergies.

They all come with straps that will hold the mask to your head and keep it on while you move around at night. It is important to have these straps on tight enough to keep the mask in place as you move around, however you also do not want it so tight that it is uncomfortable. The first night I used my nasal pillow mask, I had it on too tight and my nose hurt in the morning. Since then I have loosened the straps and everything seems to work well now.

Adapting to Wearing a Mask

One friend of mine told me that it took him over a month to get used to wearing the mask and sleeping with it. Another told me it took him a couple of weeks. For me, the first night I wore the mask, I had a really great sleep. In fact it was the best sleep that I had in a long time. This was with the straps too tight and it has only got better since then. My adaptation is taking a much shorter time than my friends, but it really is a personal thing and which mask you end up using.

Personally wearing a mask that covers the entire face would take a longer time to adjust to for me than the nasal pillow mask. The nasal pillow mask is soft and conforms to the shape of my nose very easily. Try several until you find the one that works the best for you to provide you with a good nights sleep.

Resisting a CPAP device

Both of my friends as well as myself resisted even going for the sleep test. In fact it was only at the urging of our wives that we actually went for a test. In my case I also have asthma and the doctor told me that it was critical that I take the sleep test.  My oxygen level was low anyway with asthma and it only gets worse with sleep apnea. I was a strong candidate for both a heart attack as well as a stroke.

Talk to your friends or read some of the posts on this blog about CPAP machines. If you have any of the following you may want to talk to your doctor about having a sleep test:

  • Snoring
  • Gasping
  • Stop breathing
  • Tossing and turning
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Always tired and never rested when you get up in the morning.

Tired All of the Time

Basically with sleep apnea, your sleep is interrupted all night long. I had a sleep disturbance on an average of 39 times and hour which is pretty high and I did not even realize it. I was tired all of the time and would fall asleep almost anywhere.

My friend would fall asleep at the wheel of his car. If you have any of these symptoms, it won’t hurt to have the sleep test and then you will know if you have sleep apnea. It is simple to do. Basically you sleep over at a sleep lab and they monitor you all night long with many probes to assess your quality of sleep and your oxygen level. These results will quickly tell you if you have sleep apnea or not. For more information about Sleep Apnea and CPAP issues, click here.

 

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One Response to “CPAP Mask Accessories”

  1. This is one of the best things that I ever did. I sleep fantastic now and I am not tired in the morning when I wake up. If you have sleep apnea, get tested and get a cpap machine.

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