by Manu praba
One of the most effective treatments for obstructive sleep apnea is the use of a CPAP, BiPAP, or APAP machine to force the airway to remain open and reduce apnea caused by collapsing tissue in the throat. This is achieved by forcing pressurized air down the airway to allow the patient to breathe easier in the event that tissue begins to obstruct the airway. This pressurized air is delivered through some form of mask or other apparatus that directs the pressurized air into the nose or mouth.
There are many different interfaces that allow this to occur, and choosing one that best suits you is critical to maximizing the effectiveness of the treatment. An uncomfortable interface can reduce the patient’s ability to sleep peacefully, countering any positive effects the machine may be providing. Therefore, great consideration she be had when choosing an oxygen mask.
Before you choose your sleep apnea oxygen mask, it is important to be informed about the mask you plan on purchasing. Most oxygen masks are triangular and made of a synthetic material such as plastic or rubber. The masks use various sealing methods, such as a soft foam or rubber gasket to form the seal with the face.
Masks come in varying sizes to accommodate a wide variety of customers, and to ensure that each patient receives a mask that can fit the contours of their face. Most sleep apnea oxygen masks have straps that encircle the head and under the chin to ensure a tight seal and to prevent slipping during the night.
Sleep apnea oxygen masks may cover the nose or both the nose and the mouth, depending on the need of the patient. Those patients who have problems breathing only though their nose may require an oxygen mask that covers the mouth as well, as breathing unpressurized air through the mouth will result in less effective treatment. Patients who have excessive amounts of facial hair may find that the seal is unable to form due to the interference from their facial hair. In this instance, it may be recommended that the patient find an alternative to using a face mask, such as using nasal pillows.
Nasal pillows allow the user to forgo the use of headgear in favor of two inserts that form the seal in the nostrils. While this is an effective way to counter facial hair as well as feelings of claustrophobia caused by the face masks, the seal formed is weaker due to the lack of straps, and therefore more apt to break at higher pressures.
Regardless of which type of sleep apnea oxygen mask you choose to utilize in conjunction with your machine, keep in mind that any discomforts can likely be eliminated by switching to another mask. Do not be afraid to try many masks before settling for a particular one, as the oxygen mask is too important a component to compromise with. Make sure that the mask you pick is satisfactory in meeting your wants and needs, as well as functional to your particular situation.
Go to Sleep Apnea Zone to get your free eBook on Sleep Apnea at Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea Zone also has information on Sleep Apnea Oxygen Mask along with a lot of other free information. Come by our new Sleep Apnea Community site today for free eBooks and other free information that can help you today.