If you experience sleep apnea and need a CPAP machine to help you breathe through the night, it’s important to know about the different types of CPAP machines and masks available. Each type has different advantages for users, and there are some factors to consider before choosing your CPAP mask or machine.
One thing you should always think about is how you breathe while you sleep. Those who breathe through their mouths at night have different needs than those who breathe through their noses.
Read on to learn more about how to choose the right CPAP masks and machines for people who breathe through their mouth.
Why Do People Breathe Through Their Mouths?
Some people breathe through their mouth more if they have seasonal allergies, get frequent colds, have sinus trouble or a deviated septum, as the nasal passages may be blocked or swollen.
And some people just breathe through their mouth because that’s how they breathe. It’s what they do, bro! Don’t question or judge!
Regardless of the reasoning, mouth breathing can restrict oxygen intake because it causes the soft palate to put pressure on the airway, which can sometimes make sleep apnea symptoms worse.
What CPAP Masks Are Best For Mouth Breathers?
CPAP machines are designed to help people suffering from sleep apnea get the oxygen they need to sleep safely and soundly, and wake up well-rested. Some CPAP machine masks cover just the nose, some form a seal just around the nostrils, and some go over both your nose and mouth.
While nasal CPAP masks that cover the nose tend to be smaller and less intrusive, if you breathe through your mouth while sleeping, full masks that cover both the nose and the mouth might be the best solution for you. In many cases, masks that cover just the nose may not deliver the amount of oxygen you need to manage your sleep apnea symptoms.
Full face CPAP masks cover the area from the bridge of your nose to the bottom of your lower lip, creating a seal over both your nose and mouth. Though they are larger and cover more of your face, they offer a few advantages:
- Less nasal irritation – Full face masks may cause less irritation in the nasal passages than nasal masks, especially when the weather is cold and dry, because the air is split between nose and mouth, not just directed through the nose.
- Good for side sleepers – Full face CPAP masks are also a great option for people who sleep on their sides.
- Better for high pressure – Those who need higher pressure can benefit from full face masks.
- Great for jaw dropping sleep – Full-face masks are great for those whose jaw drops during sleep.
What Should I, a Mouth Breather, Look For When Buying A CPAP Mask?
When shopping for a CPAP mask, look for one that fits your unique needs. Because you’ll be sleeping with it on your face every night, you want to make sure it’s comfortable for you and seals securely on your face.
If you find that the headgear on your full face mask is uncomfortable or irritating, look for adjustable and cushioned CPAP headgear. Many CPAP masks will rest against the bridge of your nose, leaving red marks. If you find that this is an issue, there are plenty of masks that offer a unique design to prevent this, such as the brand spanking new Evora mask by Fisher & Paykel! The Evora CPAP mask features headgear that fits like a cap and a unique compact seal that keeps the mask gently and comfortably in place under your nose during sleep.
Some CPAP machines can be loud when they operate, so if noise has been a problem for you in the past, certain machines offer technology that reduces noise.
Though sleeping with a CPAP mask may seem a little daunting when you are first diagnosed with sleep apnea, you’ll find that you get used to it quite quickly. Take note of whether you breathe through your mouth or nose more commonly at night, and choose a mask based on how you breathe. Look for one that will give you the comfort you need to get healthy and restful sleep.
If you have questions about which mask or machine is right for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Our Clinical Team is available to answer any questions and help you get the most out of your CPAP therapy.