Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) therapy offers a leading treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. By delivering pressurized air while you sleep, the device keeps the airways clear of obstruction, allowing a free flow of air to the lungs.
A PAP device can be effective from the start in improving the quality of your sleep.
One of the key elements for effective treatment is the PAP mask, which needs to fit correctly and feel comfortable. Compliance with PAP is important in preventing the return of your sleep apnea symptoms.
For many patients, one of the prime reasons for stopping PAP therapy is having the wrong mask. It may be uncomfortable, causes nose sores, facial lines – signs you’ve got the wrong mask.
The range of sleep apnea masks ResMed provides helps you choose the right one to match your needs.
The Three Main Types
For those just setting out with PAP, the first thing to appreciate is that there are three principal types of masks. These are:
- Full face – covers the nose and mouth
- Nasal – covers the nose
- Nasal pillow – covers the nostrils
With the sleep apnea masks ResMed provides, an F in the product name denotes full, N indicates Nasal, and P is used to identify nasal pillow masks.
The right mask should be comfortable and correctly fitting. You will want to work with your healthcare provider or supplier to determine the most suitable mask.
Six Things to Consider When Choosing Your First Obstructive Sleep Apnea Mask
We are all different and PAP equipment requirements may vary from person to person. With masks, considerations can include how you sleep, how you breathe, allergies and bedtime habits.
These are examples how a patient might determine which mask type and ResMed model would be most suitable.
- You move around a lot during the night. In this case, you may need a model such as the ResMed AirFit N30i that is designed to allow more freedom of movement by keeping the tubing out of the way while you sleep. This is a nasal mask.
- You are a mouth breather. Full face could be the way forward to ensure a tight seal. The ResMed AirFit F20 is a popular solution as it comfortably fits 97% of those who try it. This is a full mask.
- You tend to sleep on your stomach. Similar to when you toss and turn during the night, sleeping on your stomach requires a model such as the AirFit F30i (full mask) or AirFit N30i (nasal mask) that offers minimal contact on the skin and keeps the tubing out of the way. You will be able to switch positions during the night far more comfortably without the issue of entangling the tubing.
- You have allergies. Any condition which causes a stuffy or runny nose can impair the quality of your sleep. Choosing a full face mask can help as you will be able to breathe through the mouth when the nasal passages are congested.
- You have sensitive skin. The AirTouch models could be the answer here, as they possess ultra-soft memory cushions for a more comfortable experience. The nasal AirTouch N20 could also minimize contact with sensitive skin.
- You are a bedtime reader. Reading is a great way to relax when trying to sleep. A nasal or nasal pillow option may be best suited as they are less likely to impede your sight lines when reading.
These are some of the points to take into account when considering the sleep apnea masks ResMed offers. You may find it takes a couple of trials before you find the model that works best for you, but your healthcare provider or supplier will work with you to achieve this.
The Sleep Apnea ResMed Masks Categories
To further help choose the most appropriate product, ResMed divides their products into four categories. You can use these categories alongside your personal requirement considerations to help narrow down the choice. The four categories are as follows:
These are the lightest, least intrusive products. If you require minimal contact with the skin, these could be the products for you. The minimalist category includes the AirFit F30, AirFit N30 and AirFit P10, providing full face, nasal, and nasal pillow options.
As the name suggests, these masks allow for more freedom of movement while sleeping. The tubing connection is located on the top as opposed to the front to keep it out of the way.
Therefore, the Freedom category could be the first port of call for people who toss and turn in the night or sleep on their stomachs. The range includes the AirFit F30i which offers minimal contact for a full face model, the AirFit N30i and the AirFit P30i.
3. Ultra Soft
The patented Ultra Soft memory foam cushioning is designed to provide extra comfort. Comfort is critical for compliance with CPAP, particularly if you have sensitive skin. The AirTouch 20 in this category includes full face and nasal options.
4. Universal Fit
Once more, the category name does a good job of telling you what to expect. The masks in this category are designed to be as universally fitting as possible. The AirFit F20 and AirFit N20 come under this category.
These categories are very helpful when choosing from the sleep apnea masks ResMed stock. You can then delve into the benefits of each mask within the category.
For example, the AirFit F20 is a good option for those who breathe through their mouths or who often suffer from nasal congestion, as well as being designed for a universal fit.
Masks will need their constituent parts replaced regularly to ensure optimal efficiency. Various insurers may have a different replacement schedule, but as a rule of thumb this is how often parts should be replaced:
- cushions – every month
- frames – every three months
- headgear – every six months
This helps maintain the effectiveness of CPAP, as well as comfort and cleanliness, all key for continued compliance. Your healthcare provider or supplier can advise you on replacement parts for the different ResMed masks.
At first sight, choosing your first PAP mask can seem a little overwhelming. However, by considering your personal requirements and engaging with the ResMed categories you can soon better understand which of the sleep apnea masks ResMed offers is best for you.
You can also speak with a SleepQuest Sleep Care Specialist who can help guide you in your mask purchases.