Let’s Talk Masks
If you've seen any of my previous articles you know I recently went back to my sleep doctor for the first time in over 15 years. During my follow-up appointment after my sleep study, my doctor showed me a wall of masks that I could choose from.
This time around, my sleep study was done in my home. I prefer the home sleep study except for the fact of not being able to try different masks.
So many more CPAP mask choices now
When I first started using CPAP 20+ years ago, I don't remember having any choices. I used a mask similar to the ComfortGel Blue Nasal CPAP Mask by Philips. I found this mask to be claustrophobic. This mask covers your nose, and the headgear wraps around your face and forehead.
I remember waking up with indentations on my face in the morning. I used to enjoy falling asleep to the TV, and this mask would obstruct my vision.
I used a nasal pillow mask for over 15 years
The second mask I used was the Philips Nuance Pro Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask. I found this a huge improvement over the ComfortGel Blue Nasal CPAP Mask. I didn't find it to be claustrophobic. This mask sits on your upper lip. It has 2 nasal pillows that sit just inside of your nose. I liked the design of the headgear for this mask. It was one strap from each side of the mask that split into 2 straps at the back of your head. It provided great support.
The one drawback of this mask is that it had 2 small pin-sized holes in the front where air would blow out. This used to annoy me. I found it rather loud sometimes. I also didn't like the extra air blowing on me. Obviously, it's something I got used to because I used this mask for over 15 years.
Giving a new mask a try
Back to the wall of masks at my doctor's office. We talked about my current mask and I explained how the holes annoyed me. I expressed that I liked the smallness of the mask. He suggested I try the ResMed AirFit N30 Nasal CPAP Mask.
Looking at the mask, I was concerned about leaking. This mask is similar in design to the Philips Nuance Pro Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask. The difference is that the ResMed AirFit N30 does not have nasal pillows.
The ResMed AirFit N30 has an opening that creates a suction effect around your nose. There are no additional holes where air can blow out from. I have been using this mask for about 7 months now, and I really like it. It's really quiet and comfortable. The headgear is similar to Philips Nuance Pro Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask. It's a really simple design that works for me.
The right CPAP mask makes a difference
I am a big believer that CPAP masks make all the difference in the success of our CPAP therapy. I know sometimes it can be hard to try something new when we are used to something. However, I think it's important to try new things.
Maybe a new and different mask will improve your experience. If it doesn't, you can always go back to what you were originally comfortable with.
What masks do you use? What are the pros and cons of your mask? I'd love to hear about it. Tell us more in the comments below.
Have you ever had a home sleep study?