Having a good continuous positive air pressure mask is essential to getting a good night’s sleep and staying healthy if you have obstructive sleep apnea. If you’re still trying to figure out what the best full face CPAP mask is, consider a convertible mask. Read on to learn about these masks and how they can ease your transition into the CPAP world.
Like all CPAP machine masks, convertible masks help deliver pressurized air to your nose and mouth, ensuring that you get an adequate oxygen supply. A convertible mask has a frame and other headgear components that are compatible with multiple cushions.
To use a ResMed nasal mask or another convertible CPAP device, start by talking to your doctor. He or she can conduct a titration or sleep study to identify whether you need a full or nasal mask. At this appointment, your doctor can also identify the right mask size for your chosen style.
Once you have your doctor’s approval, using a convertible mask is similar to using other CPAP masks. When you swap out your masks, make sure that they are securely installed into your headgear so that no air escapes as you sleep. Also, check that your base unit’s filter is clean and that your machine’s humidifier has plenty of distilled water.
Just before you go to sleep, wash your face thoroughly so that your air supply stays sanitary and your mask doesn’t absorb too many of your facial oils. Then, put the mask securely over your mouth and nose until it is sealed but not uncomfortably tight. Turn on the machine and listen for a few minutes to ensure that you don’t hear a hissing noise, which is a sign that you haven’t installed your mask correctly. If your mask is secure and comfortable, you’re ready to head to bed.
Using a convertible CPAP mask allows you to try out different mask styles without buying new machines every time. It’s much cheaper to buy a new cushion than it is to buy new headgear and base units, particularly if you’ve just been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and you’re not sure what styles you like.
Convertible masks also let you pick the right mask for your current sleep needs. For example, if you’re going to read for a while before turning out the lights, you can swap in a cushion that doesn’t cover your entire face. If you decide to grow a beard, you can get a cushion that’s designed for people with facial hair and then switch back to your original mask when you shave.
Finally, convertible CPAP masks give you some backup in case one of your masks breaks or tears. Sleeping without a CPAP device can be a life-threatening decision, so substituting one of your convertible masks is always a better idea than foregoing your mask.
The next time you need a new CPAP mask, talk to your doctor about trying a convertible one.