Figuring out what type of CPAP mask will work best for you can be a daunting and sometimes aggravating task if you are unsure what exactly you are looking to purchase. Masks come in all shapes and sizes and are made with the differing abilities to suit varying lifestyles, face shapes, and sleep apnea specificities. It can take some time and trial and error to work out which mask it right for you, but here are some tips and bits of knowledge to ease the process.
First, there are three common types of mask. There is the nasal mask, which, as it implies, covers your nose. There are the nasal pillows mask, which sits at the nostrils. Then, there is the full face mask, which covers both the mouth and nose. Choosing which one of these three works best for you will undoubtedly require some trial and error, but a good source of insight will be to test how and where you breathe from. If you have no issues breathing through your nose, one of the first two options should suit you just fine. If you struggle to breathe through your nose and breathe much better through your mouth, a full face mask is likely the best option for you.
Getting your mask to fit correctly, and therefore function to its highest capacity can also be a difficult task. You will know if your mask does not fit properly because air will leak either out of your mouth or out of the mask, which means that you will not get the full benefits. The mask can also leak if you over-tighten it, which makes it necessary to make sure that it fits and functions optimally. If you feel as though you can not get the mask to fit and seal properly, it is normal to have to return to your primary care provider, as your mask may not be the right one that works for you.
It should not be too loose or too tight, as they will both cause problems and prevent the user from optimally benefitting from it. Your mask should not be making odd noises, sliding and moving around, or leaving marks on your face.
Remember, in addition to this; your primary care physician is there to help and answer all of your more complex questions. Do not be afraid to contact them to make sure that everything is functioning correctly.