If you have been diagnosed with apnea, your challenges are just beginning. Your doctor will illrescribe CPAP or BIPAP therapy, which consists of a machine and BIPAP mask that pushes a level of air pressure into your lungs during sleep, preventing apnea episodes from occurring.
BIPAP Mask: Meeting Your Needs
There are a number of myths associated with apnea treatment and the type of BIPAP mask you can use. Most people falsely believe that they need to use the same brand of BIPAP mask as their BIPAP device. This is not true because most apnea masks can be used with CPAP or BIPAP machines, regardless of the brand.
In America, it’s true that you’ll need a prescription from your sleep specialist in order to purchase an apnea mask. In recent years, the FDA has changed the rules of apnea treatment to require a prescription for humidifiers and BIPAP masks. However, it’s still possible to get replacement parts for your mask without a prescription.
Before you purchase a mask, it’s important to first consider your needs at night, such as do you sleep on your side, do you enjoy reading at night and do you like watching TV in bed? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you’ll want to avoid using a full face mask and opt for a nasal pillow model instead. Nasal pillow models are very compact, inserting inside the nares and they allow you to read or watch TV without obstructing your view. A full face mask will make it impossible to do these things. A nasal pillow mask is a good option for people who prefer not to have a lot of mask contact on their face.
Next, you’ll need to consider whether you breathe through your nose, mouth or both. Many people are given nasal masks initially and this type of mask will make treatment ineffective if you breathe out of your mouth. If you can’t tolerate breathing through your nose or your mouth falls open during sleep, you can purchase an apnea chinstrap, which works to keep your mouth comfortably closed during sleep.