CPAP Mask Leaks: Causes and Solutions
CPAP mask leaks are very common and can take a toll on the quality of your therapy. You may not feel it right away but the feel of pressurized air and mask can make a difference in your energy level. Thus, it is important to have the right mask to keep your airway from collapsing.
What causes CPAP mask leaks?
- An old mask
You must change your CPAP mask every 3 to 6 months. Using your mask beyond the recommended timeline will jeopardize the quality of your sleep therapy. By the sixth month, it will begin to show signs of wear and tear. You’ll notice the silicone getting softer and thinner every time you use it, leading to cracks, tears, or holes. Even the strap that holds your mask will stretch out causing it to slip. An old CPAP mask is not only uncomfortable when in use but can also be very dangerous.
- Poor fit
Nasal pillows are a good option for sleep apnea patients who want masks that have minimal contact on the face. One of the major differences between a nasal mask and a nasal pillow is that nasal masks deliver the airflow indirectly to your airway. On the other hand, a full face CPAP mask covers all of your nose and mouth. If you mostly breathe through your mouth, we highly suggest you browse through GoCPAP’s wide range of full face CPAP masks.
- A dirty mask
Keep in mind that every time you use your CPAP mask, dirt and oils attach itself to the mask unto your face. Failure to clean your mask regularly will result in leaks. It will break the seal, especially when your CPAP machine increases its air pressure throughout the night.
Read: Best CPAP Mask Cleaners
- Sleep position
A mobile sleeper or a restless sleeper may also find themselves with several encounters of mask leaks during sleep. The best way to resolve this would be to know the perfect type of CPAP mask for you.
Things to Consider When Choosing a CPAP Mask
- What is the size and shape of your face?
- How long and wide is your nose?
- What is the bone structure of your face?
- Do you have any facial hair?
- Do you wear dentures?
- Incorrect CPAP pressure
The general rule is that your CPAP pressure should be prescribed by your doctor. It should be enough to keep your airways open and unobstructed for the entire night. Keep in mind that when your CPAP pressure is too low, you’re most likely to loudly snore or wake up gasping for air. On another note, if your CPAP pressure is too high, you’ll experience nasal congestion, interrupted sleep, and uncomfortable sleep therapy.
- Mouth breathing
Stemming from the previous point, you should use the right CPAP mask for you. Mask leaks can be caused by mouth breathing. The best way to prevent this from happening is opting for an oronasal mask, which is a mask that covers both your nose and mouth.
CPAP mask leaks can be a huge problem for sleep apnea patients. When air leaks out of your mask, it compromises the quality of CPAP therapy. Mask leaks can lead to the loss of proper pressure necessary to keep your airways open during sleep, which can cause increased fatigue the following morning.