This SleepSomatics blog article is part four of a six part series on CPAP Therapy, Bi-PAP (or Bi-Level) Therapy, and Treating Sleep-Disordered Breathing (Sleep Apnea) with Non-Invasive PAP Therapy.
Part Four: PAP Masks: Keep it Simple, Small, and Silent
There are hundreds of PAP mask interfaces for CPAP / Bi-PAP (Bi-Level) sleep apnea patients. Every mask promises to meet every sleep apnea patient need and fix every problem. It often feels like a new mask is developed each month. Treating obstructive sleep apnea and snoring with CPAP is reducing or eliminating the associated airway collapses and sleep disruptions, stabilize blood oxygen levels, and improve refreshing, restorative sleep indices. The goal of sleep apnea CPAP treatment is to improve daytime functioning, cognitive alertness and energy when working, at school, driving, and in all major areas of life.
Reviewing PAP masks is a lot like walking onto an automobile dealership lot: there are an endless number of makes and models, but at the end of the day, everything has a pair of wheels that gets you from point A to point B. PAP masks are the same way. Each has its own features--some more valuable than others, in our clinical experience--but all accomplish the same task of delivery pressurized air comfortably into your upper airway to treat your sleep apnea and eliminate snoring. How the mask accomplishes this task is what's critical.
At SleepSomatics, our clinical approach to PAP mask selection is three-fold:
Keep it Simple
Keep it Small
Keep it Silent
Our SleepSomatics PAP mask goal of "Simple, Small, Silent" is important to qualitatively improving sleep quality. If the PAP mask is bulky, noisy, or uncomfortable, then a patient is more likely to wake up and remove the mask, thus negating therapy. For example, at SleepSomatics, our smallest CPAP mask is only 1.94 ounces! When we say we keep CPAP "Simple, Small, Silent," we truly mean it! Using the SleepSomatics "Simple, Small, Silent" criteria for CPAP mask selection increases therapy usage and improves restorative sleep.
Our clinical sleep team regularly tests new mask products, both within the clinic and in the home setting. Many of our clinicians use CPAP to treat their sleep apnea, so our 15+ years in business here in Austin, Texas are complimented by decades of personal experience sleeping with CPAP ourselves.
For In-Clinic CPAP testing (known as an attended CPAP Titration), SleepSomatics offers 12 different mask options for patients in a variety of sizes. These 12 masks cover the three PAP mask interface types: nasal pillows, nasal cushion, and full face mask. We always begin with the smallest, lightest-weight PAP mask option.
For At-Home CPAP Sleep Therapy (where patients purchase CPAP or Bi-PAP/Bi-Level Therapy Equipment for home use from SleepSomatics), we find these three masks below, manufactured by New Zealand-based Fisher & Paykel, are amongst the most popular, versatile, and lightest-weight mask options our patients choose.
This Fisher & Paykel video on their masks' many unique features, including their lightweight frames, ergonomic headgear, and silent diffuser exhalation ports are all featured in their mask technologies video below.
These Fisher & Paykel videos feature cleaning and usage for each of their masks:
F&P Pilairo Q Nasal Pillows
F&P Eson Nasal Cushion
F&P Simplus Full Face
The PAP mask interface that a sleep apnea patient selects for personal, at-home therapy use is a personal decision. At SleepSomatics, our clinical experience since 1999 is combined with our personal experiences sleeping with CPAP and working with our family and friends who also use CPAP. This extensive experience leads us to working with CPAP masks which are light-weight, quiet, and easy to wear. Keeping CPAP and Bi-PAP/Bi-Level therapy Simple, Small, and Silent is our goal at SleepSomatics.
Concerned you aren't getting enough sleep? If you or someone you care about snores or is tired and fatigued during the day, sleep-disordered breathing (and sleep apnea) may be a serious risk. Get your sleep tested today by SleepSomatics, a professionally credentialed and accredited sleep test center located in Austin since 1999. Call 512.323.9253.
For more information on CPAP Therapy for treating sleep apnea and snoring, read this SleepSomatics article's sources:
This blog article's thumbnail image credit goes to: Fisher & Paykel Healthcare