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Various BiPAP and CPAP Masks with question marks in the background.

What BiPAP or CPAP Mask Do You Like Best?

If your doctor suggests trying a non-invasive ventilation (NIV) device like CPAP, BiPAP, or Trilogy ventilators, you might hesitate because you're not fond of the mask feeling on your face. You're not alone if this sounds like you. Many COPD patients share the same concern.

Fortunately, modern masks have significantly improved over the past two decades, making them more tolerable. However, despite these advancements, patients still refuse to use their devices due to discomfort caused by the mask.

That's when I emphasize the wide range of mask options now available. Most home care providers offer various mask styles, giving patients numerous choices to find the one that suits them best in terms of comfort and effectiveness.

Mask options for NIV devices

Let's explore the range of mask options currently available. Below, you'll find a list of the various choices to consider.

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Full face masks

These masks cover both your nose and mouth, and they're the most commonly used type in hospital settings, especially when someone arrives in the emergency room experiencing a flare-up. They work exceptionally well in these urgent situations because they allow for easy delivery of adequate pressure to your airway.

Over time, improvements in their design have made these masks much more comfortable compared to the past, and I've found that most patients tolerate them quite well.

Following recovery from a flare-up, some patients may no longer require BiPAP therapy. However, those who continue to benefit from BiPAP therapy have the option to stick with this type of mask or explore other available options. Below are some alternatives that patients may consider:

Nasal masks

These masks only cover the nose. They are effective, especially for those who breathe through their noses and enjoy having a minimal area of their faces covered.

Nasal pillows

These masks are crafted from a soft, gel-like material, offering a gentle and comfortable fit. They are designed to be inserted directly around the nasal openings, forming a secure seal to prevent air leaks. The soft cushions provide a snug yet comfortable fit, enhancing overall comfort during sleep and minimizing potential discomfort associated with traditional masks.

Total face masks

These masks envelop your entire face, covering your eyes, nose, and mouth. They're especially suitable for individuals needing higher pressures and struggling to achieve a secure seal with other mask types.

While some may perceive them as a bit bulky, others find them to be the ideal solution. I do not see these very often at my work. However, I did meet a couple who both rely on total face masks and couldn't be happier with their choice.

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What choices do you have?

According to a home healthcare expert, there are hundreds of different mask options for patients to consider. However, which ones you can access will depend on the home care provider you're working with.

Beyond the basic mask styles mentioned earlier, each category has various options. For example, nasal pillow masks come in different styles and sizes. This variety means there are many options available to help you find a mask that delivers effective pressure while ensuring comfort.

What about you? Do you use an NIV device? What mask do you prefer? Why did you choose this mask? Please share in the comments below. 

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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