You might have heard of a CPAP machine before but not be entirely sure what it is. There are several types of masks, as my hubby and I found out when he was diagnosed with sleep apnea, and a specialist suggested getting a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. Finding the right CPAP masks in Canada, where I live, can seem overwhelming with so many choices. Here are tips to help you find the right one alongside a specialist.
Snoring and the CPAP Machine
Snoring is fairly common. If it is an isolated incident and doesn’t disturb sleep, it’s generally not a problem, aside from being very irritating for you (and your partner, if you have one). But if it appears with breathing interruptions during the night, it usually indicates sleep apnea, and it’s time to see the doctor.
The nocturnal symptoms of this disease, like “fighting” for air, can seem quite dramatic, even though it only lasts a few seconds, and the patients aren’t even aware of their condition. That’s why apnea is often neglected until it triggers more serious health complications, which you can find out about here.
If your doctor diagnoses you with sleep apnea, they might recommend treating this problem with a CPAP machine. It’s a delicate and foolproof device that “pumps” air into your airways under pressure and thus prevents interruptions in the airflow.
This device requires a mask through which the air delivers to your airways. Since people have different facial configurations, there are several types of CPAP masks in Canada and elsewhere. In addition, the doctor can recommend a specific model for your health condition.
Types of CPAP Masks in Canada
This guide is Canada-focused, based on what I’ve discovered here. Before looking for the mask model that suits you, it helps to know all available options. Depending on which part of your upper airway is most obstructed, manufacturers have created masks that fit only the mouth, only the nose, or cover both.
Thus, there are full-face, nasal, and nasal-pillow models. Each of these, that is, their plastic or silicone parts that come over your nose, come in several sizes, from small to large. As the size can differ from brand to brand, it’s essential to look at the sizing chart before purchasing one. The mask shouldn’t be so narrow that it pinches you and not so wide that the air leaks.
Each model has a unique headgear designed to hold the mask firmly on your face and thus enable effective CPAP treatment. It has to fit your face snuggly, be comfortable, and prevent air leaks. So, besides the size, you have to consider the position in which how you spend the most time during the night.
Think of Your Sleep Position
Everyone has different concepts of comfort, especially when it comes to sleeping. Some people prefer to sleep on their stomachs, while others rest best while lying on their backs with their heads elevated. Most people are side-sleepers, finding that the most comfortable sleep position.
If you’re among the majority, you’re a side sleeper. Read more about the advantage of this position at this source. But as for the CPAP mask choice, you may have problems finding the right one.
It can be tricky to keep the CPAP device in place when you don’t sleep calmly and turn your head often. But in general, the nasal model should work, as it stays tightly on your nose even when you turn it towards the pillow. Nasal pillows can also do a good job, but they don’t come with a chin strap, so they might slip from your face if you’re a restless sleeper.
Stomach sleepers can also benefit from nasal pillows due to the lack of a chin strap. This model takes up the smallest area of your face, which means it least bothers you when you press it into the pillow. If your mask features tubes, be sure they’re not positioned to push your head while lying down, as that can put pressure on your neck and back, leading to pain over time.
Back sleepers have the most possibilities. Since their face isn’t in contact with the pillow, they can wear any mask. As their head is high with the face upward, there’s no risk of falling or pulling the straps down due to contact with the pillow.
Depending on your head shape, you can choose a model with one or two straps to ensure the mask sits tightly. If you’re trying to change your sleeping position (it’s known that back-sleeper snore the most), make it a goal to find CPAP masks in Canada at LibertySleep.ca or another reputable source, with your doctor’s pre-approval, choosing one with good airflow and comfort.
Takeaway on CPAP Masks Here in Canada
Sleep apnea is not a health condition to overlook or minimize. Treating it with the help of a CPAP mask might be the right solution, as we found out here in our house. To find out, consult your doctor. They can refer you to a specialist if they determine you have sleep apnea, and if CPAP is suitable for you, the expert can help you find a suitable model.
Taking care of what’s keeping you up at night means finally getting some sleep. You deserve it!
Please note: This article does not replace medical advice. It is for information purposes only.