How to Wear a CPAP Mask
What's the proper way to wear a CPAP mask? If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea or another sleep disorder and are using a CPAP device, the answer is “every night.” Of course, as Sleep Specialists, we know that the number one challenge for patients using a CPAP device is adjusting to wearing the mask while sleeping. The number two challenge is finding exactly the right style and proper fit for each individual face shape, so the patient stays comfortable all night while wearing the mask, without fear of leaks or shifts.
CPAP Masks: Proper Fit is Everything
Your CPAP mask is the most important piece of equipment in your treatment plan, second only to the device itself. A good fitting CPAP mask is half the battle! When choosing a CPAP mask, it’s all about you. If you have long hair, put it up in a loose ponytail to avoid hair interfering with the seal.
Test the comfort and overall fit of the mask. You must be able to sleep comfortably while wearing the mask, so make sure that the seal and fit can be maintained in a variety of positions without leaks. The mask should always feel snug, but never tight.
Make sure the CPAP mask is properly placed on the bridge of your nose, then adjust the straps to secure the position. Gently pull for a secure, snug but not overly tight fit. Overly tight straps can cause discomfort and set you up for leaks. The mask should be just secure enough to create a proper seal.
Move around! It’s natural to move in your sleep. See how the CPAP mask feels in a variety of positions including upright, lying down, inclined, as well as in your preferred sleeping position. (Remember, that’s supposed to be on your side to limit potential blockages of your airways.) If the mask shifts or leaks in any position, try another style.
Finally, connect the mask to your CPAP device and turn it on. Repeat Step 3 while the machine is running to make sure there are no leaks. If there are leaks, it’s best to start over with a different mask style. Eventually, you’ll find exactly the right one for you.
That’s it! Remember, the time you spend getting the right fit for your CPAP mask will provide a more comfortable, overall CPAP experience. Best of all, a good fitting CPAP mask will help you stay compliant with your treatment plan, improving the quality of your sleep and your health, too.
Still Need Help?
Throughout the month of May, Valley Sleep Center will be holding virtual Community Health Talks and if you still have questions regarding your CPAP, don’t worry, because we have webinars for your viewing as well. Join Andrew Nabors in his CPAP Answers with Andrew series to get real-time answers to all of your PAP questions. Andrew’s ability to connect with patients and skill to troubleshoot their issues has improved patients’ adherence to therapy and helping patients overcome their therapy issues, so these are webinars you won’t want to miss. The best part - They’re FREE!
See the full calendar of events here.