The Original CPAP Mask Design
The full face mask was the first mask used with CPAP machines. Smaller nasal masks have since been introduced; however, some sleep apnea sleepers still prefer full face masks. Full face masks solve the problem often experienced with nasal masks when air leaks out if the sleeper opens their mouth during sleep.
A Solution for Mouth Breathers
The full face mask is an excellent design for mouth breathers. The mask fits snuggly over the nose and mouth, forming a seal that captures the air pressure produced by the CPAP or BiPAP machine. The mask is held onto the face by adjustable straps.
Sleep Help for Stuffy Noses
Sleepers with stuffy noses due to allergies, sinus problems or illness often prefer the full face mask since it allows them to breathe through their mouths and still maintain the proper treatment air pressure.
It Can Feel Claustrophobic
The full face mask can feel claustrophobic because it covers so much of the face. It can take a concerted effort by the sleeper to get comfortable enough with the mask to enjoy a full night of uninterrupted sleep. Some sleepers may feel more comfortable with a smaller full face mask designed with nasal pillows, like the Mirage Liberty mask.
Shifting for Slide Sleepers
Some sleepers find the full face mask to be difficult to wear while sleeping on their side. The mask can touch the pillow causing the mask to shift on the face. This shifting can cause a leak at the edge of the mask. Slide sleepers may find the cut out sides in a CPAP pillow can minimize the shifting of a full face mask.
Sleep Apnea Full Face Mask Types
Be sure you purchase a mask that can be adjusted to fit the contours of your face. Most full face masks come with size adjustment features. Some masks use straps on the forehead and under the chin. Others have forehead faceplates that can be adjusted to fit various facial contours.
Replacement Parts Are Key
Replacement parts such as mask cushions, straps and forehead gel pads can extend the useful life of your mask.
Consider a Mask Wardrobe
Even if you regularly wear a nasal mask or a mask with nasal pillows, you may want to consider having a full face mask available to wear when your nose is congested. There are a wide variety of CPAP mask designs available at very reasonable prices.
Don't give up a night of full treatment with your CPAP or BiPAP machine just because you are having trouble breathing through your nose in the nasal mask. Consider having a full face mask ready when you need it. You deserve, and need, a good night of sleep!