When a person gets ready for bed, their body immediately adapts to the position in which they are most comfortable. As the night progresses, one’s body adapts to varied sleeping postures, turning and tossing in their sleep.
Is it, however, possible that sleeping in one posture is preferable to sleeping in the other? According to experts, different sleeping postures have different effects on your health. Depending on your age and the type of medical condition you have, the influence might be negative or beneficial.
This is why a CPAP mask for stomach sleepers is available for sleep apnea patients. Some people like to sleep on their stomachs, and CPAP masks are designed to accommodate this.
Another example is how sleeping on one’s back with their face jutted slightly upwards can aggravate neck discomfort. On the other side, whatever discomfort you’ve been having in your lower back may start to fade. Heartburn sufferers should avoid sleeping on their right side. People with skin conditions, on the other hand, should sleep on their backs. This is due to the fact that sleeping on their stomach might trigger the allergic area of their skin to react to the friction from the bedsheets.
Sleeping on one’s stomach or side is suggested for someone with obstructive sleep apnea. It has the potential to reduce snoring. Certain CPAP masks are more suitable for certain sleeping positions than others for someone receiving CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.
If you’re on CPAP therapy, it’s crucial to figure out what sleeping position you should take.
Let’s see if you prefer to sleep on your stomach with a CPAP machine or on your back. Aside from that, let’s take a look at the various types of masks.
This will help you understand why some sleepers prefer masks over others.
The Types Of Masks A CPAP Patient Can Use
According to studies, getting a good six hours of CPAP therapy or more can help improve patients’ memory and their health. Yet, a lot of patients feel uncomfortable with their masks.
This is because they are not using the right mask and don’t feel comfortable while wearing it. So, let’s learn about the masks and what differs between them. This will help make you more informed decisions.
Nasal CPAP Mask
This CPAP mask spans from the bridge of the patient’s nose and extends right about their upper lip. The CPAP air flows indirectly into your nose with the nasal mask.
It is the best CPAP mask when it comes to patients who need higher air pressure for CPAP therapy to work.
The nasal CPAP mask type comes with lots of options. It is a compromise of sorts. It is a hybrid of the existing nasal pillow mask and the full face mask. The nasal pillow mask can be too light while the full face mask can be too heavy, so this one is ideal for restless sleepers.
Usually, a doctor recommends a nasal mask to patients who move around a lot when they are sleeping.
They also recommend it to patients who need high air pressure for therapy. Patients who don’t want to feel as if they’re wearing a mask on their face also prefer this.
Now, these masks come with some pros and cons.
For one, the airflow is much more natural with this one. It is also supplied to you indirectly. So, your movements are far less restricted.
Two, compared to nasal pillow masks, they work better if the patient has to use a higher pressure setting.
Three, the designs can be far more accommodating. No matter the face structure of the patient, it is possible to find a nasal mask that fits snugly.
Fourth, and the main advantage, it’s the perfect choice for someone who fidgets a lot in their sleep. It is also good if you usually sleep on your side. So, it’s the right kind of CPAP mask for side sleepers.
As with most wonderful things, everything has a downside. Nasal masks have their fair share too.
One, for patients who breathe with their mouth open, they are not a good choice. There is no part of the mask that touches the chin area of the patient. There is simply no resistance. So, if you are using a nasal mask, pair it with a chin strap.
There are also cases of patients getting irritated because of the pressure on the bridge of the nose.
Two, a patient suffering from a cold or allergy might find the mask hard to work with. Their sinus could be blocked, which makes it hard to deliver air pressure.
Nasal masks also won’t be the first recommendation in case your patient finds it hard to breathe with their nose. Say, they have a snoring problem due to a deviated septum. Nasal masks don’t provide the proper therapy in that case.
Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask
This is an extremely lightweight mask. The complete opposite of a full face mask. It is light as it is small in size. It covers a smaller facial area as well.
The patients don’t even feel the mask on their face at some points, thanks to the minimal contact between the mask and the skin.
In this case, the air is provided directly through the nostrils. This is also why the air pressure setting for the patient has to be low or moderate. It is never a good idea to have high air pressure hitting your nostrils directly. That is how you end up with a dry and eventually bleeding nose. Though, a humidifier can fix that.
Nasal pillow masks are for patients who toss and turn a lot while sleeping. It fits snug and is soft so it is hard to displace it.
It is also for those who feel particularly claustrophobic with something huge or heavy on their face. This mask is for people who don’t want their movements to be restricted due to a mask.
Nasal pillow masks also suit people who can breathe properly with their nose. This mask is also ideal for people who have a lot of hair in their nostrils. Compared to a nasal mask that provides indirect air, the air can get restricted due to the hair. That won’t happen with a nasal pillow mask.
Again, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this mask.
Do you like to read or watch tv before you go to sleep? Well, with a full face mask or nasal mask you can’t do that. A nasal pillow mask though is perfect. It doesn’t block your vision in any way.
This mask is also ideal for people who wear glasses. The nasal pillow mask doesn’t go over your nose. it only covers the part under it. As the bridge of your nose is free, you can wear keep your glasses and the mask on without any hassles
As we mentioned, claustrophobic patients particularly feel comfortable in these masks. Neither does it cover a huge part, nor is it too heavy on the face.
It is also important to not that air leaks are less likely to happen with nasal pillow masks. It is directly linked to your nose, so, there isn’t much space for the air to leak. Patients with a beard or moustache also find it to be comfortable.
Well, there is one main disadvantage of nasal pillow masks.
Someone who needs high air pressure can’t use them. The CPAP air goes directly into your nostrils. This can get uncomfortable quite fast on high pressure. Mostly, your nose could get really dry. Or, you could be experiencing nosebleeds frequently. A humidifier with the CPAP machine can fix some of the problems though.
If your patient is a mouth breather, that is, their mouth falls open at night, nasal pillow masks aren’t ideal. Then again, chinstraps exist and are a quick fix to this problem. So, one could use it to keep the mouth shut through the night.
Full Face CPAP Mask
The CPAP full-face masks cover a little more than just the nose. The nasal mask and nasal pillow masks were mainly for the nose, as the name already suggested. The full-face mask covers the mouth and the nose.
A good portion of your face is covered with this mask. Thus, CPAP therapy is done through both the airways.
This also means the mask is quite bulky, which can be uncomfortable for the patient. Yet, for patients who breathe through their mouth or need CPAP therapy to be on high positive airway pressure, this is the perfect solution.
Mostly, full-face masks are for patients who breathe through their mouths, and for patients who need higher pressure. If they find it hard to breathe through their nose, then this mask is perfect for them.
Mostly, full-face masks are good for people who sleep on their backs.
The full-face mask is for patients who have a tendency to breathe through their mouth a lot. This could be because they catch a cold often or suffer from allergies.
Oddly enough, even a lot of claustrophobic patients love the full face mask. This is because the mask merely covers the exterior portion of the face. There is no direct contact with the inside of the nose. Some people might find the direct connection of the air to their nose to be more uncomfortable than having a heavier mask all over their face.
Sleeping on your back goes well with this mask, which we will discuss further in a later section.
Mostly, patients who need high-pressure settings can use it because the airflow is evenly distributed.
Air leaks are more frequent with this one. It covers a lot, so, more is likely to leak. Patients might end up with dry eyes. There is also a potential of the air streaming into their air eyeballs due to a leak.
The mask is pretty hefty. For patients who enjoy sleeping on their side or stomach, this is in no means suitable. The mask also doesn’t let a patient use glasses; they can’t read or watch anything with the mask on.
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