Friday, January 13, 2012

4 Easy Ways to Ensure a Perfect Fitting CPAP Mask

One of the key points to choosing the Best CPAP Mask for you is making sure you have a proper fit. No matter which mask you want to choose if it does not fit then you will be uncomfortable and less likely to continue using it. We have provided 4 steps to ensure a perfect fit because a CPAP Mask that fits correctly and comfortably is the key to achieving CPAP compliance. One of the best reasons for ordering on line is that it allows you to test the mask in your environment to insure a proper fit.
The reason you want a mask to fit is simple. If a mask is too big it will no doubt leak that could cause skin irritation or sleep interruption. You may find yourself tightening headgear to try to correct the leak and that could result in red marks or added pressure to your face which again can lead to discomfort and lack of compliance in wearing the mask. If a mask is too small it could potentially leak but more importantly it won’t feel comfortable and you will be less likely willing to continue wearing it. Therefore, when fitting your mask, there are four important steps to follow.
  1. You will need to place mask on your area of face it was designed to fit.
  1. Nasal styles include: Nasal, Nasal Pillow or Nasal Prong style of masks fit them around the nose area.
  2. Full face or hybrid, fit it on the mouth and nose.
  3. Oral fit on mouth only.
  4. Total Face fit around face just in front of hairline and below the bottom lip.The suctions of the mask should not have any spaces or holes to ensure that no leakage happens during therapy. They should feel loose on the face not so much they fall off but there should not be any pressure on or around the designated areas.

2. Fit your headgear for the security of your mask. If there are straps on the forehead, adjust them and test whether you like the feel of the straps or not. The straps should feel comfortable not tight or added pressure to your face. Try moving your head to ensure the mask stays in place and does not feel too loose on your face.
3. Fit the last area with the hose that is attached from the machine to your mask. To ensure that you have the best comfortable mask fit be sure to attach the tube and headgear and turn machine on so that you get the exact feel of how the system is going to work. If you feel any leaks, turn off the machine, try adjusting your mask or repositioning the mask and turn on the machine. If you still feel leaks contact your supplier.

4. Lastly, be sure to lay down in common sleeping positions with machine on to check for leaks. Ordering on line is not only convenient but allows you to try the product in your personal environment so be sure to test your mask just like you will be using it. Store locations allow you to try the mask on while sitting. This can lead to a misleading fit. Think about it you need to test your new mask in your environment to ensure you have a proper fit.

A proper fitting mask ensures the best and most efficient CPAP therapy to your health so educating yourself to achieving that proper fit is your best assurance you will succeed.

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What are the differences between CPAP Masks?

Whether this is your first time purchasing or if you are looking for a new mask one thing is certain; there can be an overwhelming amount of different CPAP Masks available. Not to worry, we are going to make it easy to walk through the differences before you make your decision. We have also included a quick reference chart describing each mask and also the top 5 most popular masks on the market today. Below are some of today’s differences.
 One manufacturer has created a total face mask for adult CPAP users that is specifically designed for those who are unable to get a good seal with a nasal mask, full face type, have experienced skin irritations, or who are claustrophobic. This total face mask is beneficial because there are no pressure points around the nose to cause skin irritation. The seal is created around the outside of your face. Another benefit to this type of mask is that it minimizes leaks and provides airflow through the mouth and/or nasal passages. This permits more natural and comfortable breathing since the air pressure circulates throughout the mask. The mask is made of clear, lightweight plastic, and will not obstruct your vision. This can also help to minimize feelings of claustrophobia.
 A feature to look for in a more standard type of mask is an adjustable forehead pad or an inflatable seal that activates when the CPAP mask is in use. If you require oxygen with your CPAP, be sure to look for masks that have Oxygen bleed ports.
It is important to do your research in advance, and that’s one point we’ll continue to make throughout this CPAP Mask Review. If you want to ensure that your CPAP Mask covers all of your needs, doing your research upfront and asking questions will save you miles of discomfort down the road.

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What Is CPAP?

CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.  These means there is a constant airway pressure applied to the airway when connected to the CPAP machine. 

CPAP is used to treat obstructive sleep apnea.

CPAP requires several things.  First is the CPAP machine.  This is essentially a fan which is controlled by a computer.  The fan creates airflow in a semi-closed system, and this airflow creates a certain level of pressure.  The computer is able to measure the pressure and change the airflow in order to modify the desired pressure.

The CPAP machine needs to be connected to the patient.  This requires some tubing which connects the machine to the interface.  The interface is attached to the patient.  The most common interface is a nasal mask, but there are other options including a full face mask (which covers the nose and mouth), nasal pillows (which plug into the inside of the nose), and newer variations called hybrid masks (which connect to the nose and mouth.

There are many benefits of using CPAP to treat sleep apnea.  However, there are often small problems at the beginning of therapy that need to be worked out.

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How To Set Up Your CPAP Machine


  • 1. Remove the contents of the CPAP kit from its bag. All devices vary, but basic contents include: the control box with all of your pre-adjusted prescribed settings, cables and power supply, a face mask, air hoses and a humidifier. If you plan to travel with your device, there may be an additional kit including a battery connector with a lighter plug and a vehicle power adapter.
  • 2. Fill the humidifier, if one is included on your model. Snap it open and fill it up to the indicated level with cold, pre-boiled water. Place the top back on and make sure it is sealed correctly all the way around.
  • 3. Connect the air hoses. The humidifier has two knobs on which you will connect the ends of the air hoses. Place one air hose on the appropriate knob of the humidifier and connect its opposite end to the control box. The second air hose will be connected from the second knob on your humidifier to your mask.
  • 4. Turn the system on. Attach the cord to the indicated opening in the control box and plug it in. The positioning of the settings buttons will vary from one machine to the next. Push the button to turn the air on full. Turn on the ramp system. Check to make sure air is coming in through the mask.
  • 5. Place the box and humidifier with all the connecting hoses somewhere that is close to your bed and at approximately the same height as your bed. The hoses should be long enough to allow you to move from one side of the bed to the other while you have your mask on.
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