Choosing a Nasal and Full Face CPAP Mask: Detailed Guide

Choosing the right mask for your CPAP device is critical to the comfort and effectiveness of sleep apnea treatment. The two most popular types of masks are the nasal mask and the oronasal mask. In this article we will discuss the differences, advantages and disadvantages of each type to help you make the best choice.

Nasal CPAP mask

What is the Nasal Mask?

The nasal mask covers only the nose and provides a continuous flow of air through the nostrils. There are different types of nasal masks, such as nasal pillows that are inserted directly into the nostrils, and nasal masks that cover the entire nose.

Advantages of the Nasal Mask:
  • Comfort: they are usually lighter and less bulky than mouth masks, making them more comfortable for many users.
  • Mobility: They allow greater freedom of movement during sleep, as they are smaller and more flexible.
  • Less contact surface: They have a smaller contact surface with the face, reducing the possibility of skin irritation.
Disadvantages of the Nasal Mask:
  • Mouth breathing: They are not suitable for people who breathe primarily through the mouth during sleep unless used with a chin strap.
  • Nasal Congestion: May not be comfortable for people with nasal congestion or allergies that prevent breathing through the nose.

CPAP Oral Mask

What is the stomato-nasal mask?

The oronasal mask covers both the nose and the mouth, providing continuous airflow through both. They are designed for people who breathe mainly through the mouth or who have problems with nasal congestion.

Advantages of the Stomato-Nasal Mask:
  • Mouth breathing: Ideal for people who breathe through the mouth or have nasal congestion that prevents breathing through the nose.
  • Stability: They provide greater stability and ensure that air enters the airways regardless of how you breathe.
Disadvantages of the Stomato-Nasal Mask:
  • Comfort: they can be bulkier and less comfortable than nasal masks due to their larger size.
  • Irritation: they have a larger surface area in contact with the face, which can cause skin irritation or pressure marks.
  • Leaks: They can be more prone to air leaks if not properly installed.

Tips for Choosing the Right Mask

  1. Testing Multiple Types: it is important to try different types of masks to find which one is the most comfortable and effective for you.
  2. Examination of the Breath: Depending on how you breathe during sleep, choose the mask that best meets your needs.
  3. Adjustment and Installation: Make sure the mask is properly adjusted and fitted to avoid air leaks and ensure comfort.
  4. Advice from an Expert: Consult a healthcare professional or sleep apnea therapist for professional opinion and guidance.

The right choice of mask can make a difference to the effectiveness of your treatment and the overall quality of your sleep. Choose carefully, try different options and find the one that suits you best.