Trying to choose a mask? Let us help you by informing you of the different mask types.

When you are first diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, I can understand that it might be very daunting to know which mask you should go for from the wide selection available. Therefore I have created this blog post in order to guide you with the mask types available, and what style might be most suitable for you. However, I should mention when it comes to CPAP masks, there is not one CPAP mask that would be great for everyone. Therefore, the truth is that it will all come down to a mixture of personal preference combined with a little trial and error.

Here is a little introduction onto the several mask types available for your CPAP Treatment.

Nasal cushion mask
A nasal cushion mask consists of a cushion that sits around the nose only. They are good for those who breathe nasally at night. They should be avoided by mouth breathers or those with chronic sinus issues.

Some popular examples to browse are:

Circadiance Sleepweaver Elan- intus.pro/ElanMask

Philips Respironics ComfortGel Blue- intus.pro/comfortgelblue

Fisher & Paykel Eson- intus.pro/fnpeson

Sleepnet iQ- intus.pro/iqmask

 

Nasal pillows

Nasal pillows use small cones that sit against the nostrils. They are good for those who may experience discomfort with a nasal cushion mask, find them claustrophobic, side sleepers, or people who like to read or watch TV in bed. Those with nasal issues or higher CPAP pressure settings should avoid them.

Fisher & Paykel Pilairo – intus.pro/pilairo

ResMed Swift FX – intus.pro/swiftfx

 

Oral

Oral masks provide air through the mouth only. They are good for those who cannot tolerate a full face, nasal cushion or nasal pillows mask. They should otherwise be avoided, as breathing through the mouth while sleeping bypasses many of the body’s natural defence systems, and they can potentially cause discomfort.

Fisher & Paykel Oracle 452 – intus.pro/oracle452

 

Full Face

Full face masks consist of a cushion that sits around the mouth and nose. Most use a forehead support for greater stability, while some may include a chin cup to stop the mouth from dropping open. They are good for mouth breathers, those unsure how they breathe, those with sinus or nasal issues, and people who are generally unsure about what kind of mask would be suitable. They may not be preferable for side sleepers, or claustrophobic patients who might prefer a hybrid mask.

Fisher & Paykel Simplus – intus.pro/simplus

Philips Respironics ComfortGel Blue Full- intus.pro/comfortgelbluefull

ResMed Mirage Quattro FX – intus.pro/quattrofx

Circadiance SleepWeaver Anew – intus.pro/AnewMask

 

Hybrid Mask

A hybrid mask is still a full face mask, but it uses a combination of an oral mask with nasal pillows. They are good for those who require a full face mask but find them claustrophobic or uncomfortable on the nasal bridge. They should however be avoided if you have a deviated septum, and some may find jets from the pillows uncomfortable at high pressures.

InnoMed Hybrid – intus.pro/hybridmask

ResMed Mirage Liberty – intus.pro/mirageliberty

 

Total Face

Total face masks sit around the entire perimeter of the face. They are good for those who require a full face mask but experience severe discomfort or skin irritation with a regular mask. They are reportedly good for claustrophobia sufferers, but should only be used if both regular full face and hybrid mask types have been unsuccessful.

Philips Respironics FitLife – intus.pro/fitlifemask

Tips on treating your Sleep Apnea effectively

In order to be treated for Sleep Apnea, first you need to determine if you are at risk and suffer from any of the following symptoms that might suggest you have OSA:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Observed periods of breathing cessation during sleep
  • Choking in sleep
  • Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness in breath
  • Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Morning headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating during the day
  • Experiencing mood changes, such as depression or irritability
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Having a high blood pressure

If you suffer one or a few of the following symptoms above, then you might be at risk. It is therefore advised that you take a sleep study for a quick turnaround with prompt results. These can be ordered online at sleep-study.co.uk

If however you would prefer to see your GP, they will be able to talk you through what symptoms you might be experiencing with Sleep Apnea and if they believe you might be at risk, they will place you on a waiting list to see a Sleep Specialist and an overnight hospital stay to analyse your sleeping condition. Due to the long waiting lists, many sufferers choose to go privately so that they can treat their condition immediately. To purchase a CPAP machine used to treat Sleep Apnea, you do need a diagnosis and written confirmation due to the fact being that they are medical treatment.

Getting a CPAP machine is the most recommended therapy to treat Sleep Apnea. CPAP machines are designed to keep your airways open at night and help you breathe. Most sufferers of Sleep Apnea tend to go for CPAP therapy as it is a very effective option, however it does require long term treatment and works best if used every night.

If you have been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, it is advised that you talk to your GP every 5 years to see if you should have a follow up Sleep Study to keep on track of your results. Furthermore, you may also like to purchase one privately after 5 years to keep on track of your Apnea. These again can be ordered at sleep-study.co.uk. You may want to retake a sleep study if you lose weight, gain weight or have a change in health. This is because your fixed pressure machine might need adjusting if your Apnea events change over the several years of having the CPAP machine.

You may also decide that you want to try out the latest machines after a few years of having your CPAP machine as they become increasingly more advanced and technological. Keep up to date with the latest machines, with the most popular machines listed at the top of the page, in order of preference- http://www.eu-pap.co.uk/cpap-sleep-apnoea-products/cpap-machines.html

Whilst using CPAP therapy, you should also remain a healthy lifestyle. Try to maintain a regular sleeping pattern because when your body gets into a customary sleeping cycle, you will find that you begin experiencing a better nights sleep. Several studies have shown that apnea episodes decrease when a person is not sleep deprived or stressed out.

It is also advised that you try to sleep on your side when you go to sleep at night, as this allows to keep the airways straight. When you sleep on your back, you are more prone to snoring as your airways become blocked. It is suggested that you place something to stop you from rolling on your back during sleep, such as a pillow or extra duvet.

If you are a smoker, this can cause damage to your airways, therefore making the severity of your Sleep Apnea worse. It is therefore advised that you try your best to quit smoking. When people stop smoking, their risk of sleep apnea is reduced and it is believed that they can get a full night’s sleep within days of quitting.

It is advised if you are overweight that you try to maintain a healthy eating routine and exercise regularly to lose the excess weight. This is also a common contributor to having Sleep Apnea as the excess fat causes blockage to your airways.

Make a positive step to finding a solution soon suited to you, and if you believe you might be at risk of Sleep Apnea, a sleep study is needed to purchase any CPAP equipment so make sure you visit sleep-study.co.uk first.

 

 

 

Could this be a new way to stop your partner from snoring?

There was an interesting read by Mail Online today about a new cure being tested in the U.S. to stop people from snoring.

It is believed that almost two thirds of adults say that their partners snore. Therefore, it is to no surprise that we are constantly trying to find new cures to get that better night’s sleep and to control our partners snoring.

So you may be wondering, what is this new method to stop our partners from snoring? It may sound completely insane to do this, but it may just work- Taping our partners mouth shut while they sleep may just offer a new way to tackle their snoring!

A device is currently being trialled in a U.S. study involving 30 patients. The device sticks to the outside of the patients mouth and stops their mouth opening during sleep. Scientists suggest that this approach forces people to breathe through their noses. They also believe that this may help people with Sleep Apnea- where tissues in your throat collapse repeatedly during the night, causing a blockage to your airways. This can cause sufferers of Sleep Apnea to stop breathing for up to ten seconds at a time.

So you may be wondering, what is the theory behind this bizarre but simple method?

The theory behind this is that breathing through the mouth more is one of the main causes of Apnea events and pauses in breathing, as well as snoring which occurs when air squeezes through restricted airways at the back of the throat. This is because when you sleep with you mouth open, the incoming air is cold and hits the back of your throat at high speed. The combination can cause the soft tissue at the back of your throat to vibrate and constrict.

Conversely, breathing through our nose allows the air to warm up first through the nasal passageway, and when it comes into contact with the back of the throat, it isn’t as disruptive which means that it doesn’t cause the effects that contribute to Apnea or Snoring.

Scientists believe that this new treatment will be able to solve these issues by encouraging patients to breathe through their noses to overcome this problem.

Sleep Apnea is thought to affect around one in five adults in Britain, with studies suggesting that 60 per cent of over-65s suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Sleep Apnea deprives the body of oxygen, which in the long term, if left untreated, can cause serious long term health problems such as high blood pressure, heart attacks and obesity.

Risk factors that contribute to Sleep Apnea include carrying excess body weight, having a large neck, smoking, taking sedatives including sleeping pills, enlarged tonsils, a family history of OSA or alcohol consumption.

The standard treatment for Sleep Apnea is with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP Therapy), which consists of a face mask, a CPAP machine and tubing connecting the two together. The patient wears the face mask whilst sleeping, which allows pressurised air from their CPAP machine to travel through their airways. This allows their airways to remain open during the night, preventing the soft tissue of the throat collapsing and the airway closing.

But will taping your partner’s mouth become a safe and legalised treatment to treat yours or your partners snoring and Apnea? Who knows, but let us just say that CPAP therapy sounds like a piece of cake compared to taping your mouth shut at night! CPAP therapy is designed to be easy to use and is the most convenient, and comfortable may I add, option to treat Sleep Apnea. If you believe that you might be at risk of Sleep Apnea, you should take a Sleep Study to find out the severity of your condition and if CPAP therapy could help treat your condition. I wouldn’t suggest taping your partner’s mouth just yet!

You can take a confidential at home sleep study which will provide you with accurate and fast results, normally within 10-14 days. There are two types of tests, the Finger Pulse or Multi-Channel Sleep Study so it is worth reading about both options to consider which results you would prefer. For more information, visit www.sleep-study.co.uk/