For Sleep Apnea therapy to be successful, you need two core CPAP equipment parts: a reliable CPAP machine and a CPAP mask. Finding the right mask can take some trial and error and the last thing that you want to happen is for it to slip off during the night. Not only does it cancel out the benefits that CPAP therapy provides but it also means that you aren’t receiving the quality of sleep that you deserve.
Below, we run through the top reasons why a CPAP mask might not stay on during the night and what actions you need to take if this happens to you on a regular basis.
Having problems with your mask is not uncommon. One of the biggest complaints that Sleep Apnea patients note is their mask moving too much while they are asleep or waking up with the mask sitting askew on their faces.
When it comes to complying with therapy, having a mask that fits correctly is key. Many sleep specialists advise that patients wear their Sleep Apnea masks around the house during the day time before wearing it for the first time in bed. This means that you can make sure that the fit is right for your face shape and that it’s secure and comfortable on your face.
It’s also important to remember that if your Sleep Apnea mask is a few months old and is beginning to show signs of wear and tear in different areas such as the seal or chin straps, this could be another potential cause for CPAP masks slipping off your face.
Below, we explore the most common reasons why a Sleep Apnea mask might not stay secure on your face while you sleep. If you believe that you are experiencing any of these issues, it is important that you remedy them as quickly as possible.
Ideally, your mask and headgear should fit snugly around your head. Just like you wouldn’t want to sleep in clothing that is too tight, your headgear and chinstrap should allow for the mask to be kept securely in place while not leaving the skin irritated.
If your mask doesn’t fit exactly to your face, whether it is too tight or too loose, you can often end up removing it during sleep without realizing it.
Mask leaks can occur when the seal isn’t sufficient and doesn’t sit flush with the face. When this happens, it causes air to leak from under the mask, therefore, preventing you from receiving airway pressure as part of therapy.
Try tightening the straps of the mask as much as you can without being uncomfortable. If this doesn’t help, you can also purchase additional CPAP supplies such as a mask liner or CPAP pillows with cutouts to ensure a better fit. In some cases, you may to replace this part or the mask entirely.
It is not uncommon for Sleep Apnea patients to experience some discomfort getting used to their prescribed airway pressure at the beginning of therapy. However, if this continues and causes the mask to shift around on your face, it could mean that the CPAP pressure is wrong.
If CPAP pressure is either too high or too low, it can make breathing more difficult at night causing individuals to remove their mask. If this is happening to you, remember to speak with a sleep specialist about analyzing and adjusting your CPAP pressure. Never attempt to do this yourself.
Waking up with a dry mouth may be another sign that your mask isn’t sitting comfortably on your face at night. There are a number of reasons that can lead you to experience dry mouth as part of CPAP therapy. These include mask leaks, breathing through your mouth, use of certain medication or even existing medical conditions.
Dry mouth can be uncomfortable but it’s important that you don’t let it compromise your treatment. Using a chin strap can help keep your mouth closed while sleeping. Additionally, using a humidifier and heated tubing can reduce mouth dryness and increase comfort.
The reason why it is so important for your Sleep Apnea mask to stay on correctly during the night is to ensure that you receive proper treatment and that you stay compliant by CPAP therapy. While getting used to wearing a mask can take practice if you continually feel that it is uncomfortable or wake up each morning feeling fatigued, then there is something wrong.
The key to achieving comfortable and optimal sleep quality during CPAP therapy is a well-fitting mask. Make sure that you speak with your sleep specialist and CPAP supply vendor about your preferred sleep position and facial features. These experts will be able to help you find the mask style that is most beneficial for your needs.
If you are currently experiencing any of the CPAP mask problems we mentioned above, it is important that you address these promptly. Only then will you be able to improve your compliance with Sleep Apnea treatment.