Though manufacturers work diligently to develop masks which offer both excellent performance and high comfort levels, CPAP therapy patients often encounter problems related to the functionality or general feel of their mask. Complaints about masks come in many subtle variations, ranging from the well-founded and sensible to the unreasonable and downright silly. Below are convenient solutions (and suggestions for improvement) for a few of the most common complaints patients have about masks.
Lack of Comfort
Probably the most common complaint patients have regarding masks is insufficient comfort – whether it be due to an overly tight or overly loose fit, an overly bulky cushion, a cushion which is too hard, or some other reason, it is not uncommon for patients to complain about the general comfort level of their mask. Fortunately, there are myriad ways in which patients can increase their level of comfort. CPAPMan.com offers a tremendous variety of masks and a plethora of accessories, and so patients should be able to correct whatever comfort issues they may be having by either switching their mask or supplementing their current mask system with comfort-enhancing accessories.
For instance, patients who find the full face mask design to be too bulky or obtrusive may find that the nasal pillow cpap mask is the superior alternative. Or, patients who suspect that their silicone cushion may be problematic can procure a gel cushion as a replacement.
Another familiar complaint patients have regarding masks relates to performance (and to a lesser extent comfort): mask leakage. Leakage occurs when the mask seal is compromised and air infiltrates the frame; leakage reduces therapy effectiveness and should be remedied immediately after it is recognized. Mask leakage results when patients are unable to create an adequate fit for one reason or another. An overly loose mask can be corrected in a variety of ways – patients can procure a cushion of a different size, or they can obtain a different mask which may better conform to their particular facial structure. In many cases, patients can simply adjust their mask to increase the level of tightness and thereby create a more secure seal.
Patients also complain that their mask generates unsightly and undesirable pressure marks on their face following therapy. Pressure marks and blemishes are generally indicative of a poor fit and can be a source of considerable embarrassment for patients. There are two solutions to dealing with pressure marks – loosen your fit or acquire a cushion made of a softer material. Pressure marks typically mean that your mask fit is too tight and so loosening your mask – provided that this does not jeopardize your seal – will usually improve the situation.
For users having leakage or pressure masks, they can try REMZzzs mask liners. While improvement is always possible, it is important to remember that perfection is never attainable and issues will always surface in the course of CPAP therapy. However, patients should always have the tools to effectively manage and solve the most common problems associated with CPAP masks.