How Do I Fix CPAP Mask Leaks?
If you are having CPAP mask leaks, you are not alone! Mask leakage is one of the main problems that a large percentage of CPAP users face. Traditional CPAP mask leaks occur when air can escape between the mask and your face; in other words, the CPAP mask seal is broken. CPAP mouth leaks are different and arise when opening you mouth while using a nasal or nasal pillow mask.
While there are many potential causes for leaks, the most frequent cause is from a mask that does not correctly fit due to size or type. Health Sqyre’s CPAP Coaching Program can help you fix any mask leakage!
Which Type of Mask Are You Using?
The three main types of masks have different reasons for air leakage, which means they have different solutions to fixing the problem. Identifying and correcting mask leakage will lead to a significantly better sleep with less AHIs throughout the night.
Full Face Mask
Full face masks cover the nose and mouth, while sealing underneath the bottom lip. CPAP mask leaks most commonly occur when the bottom jaw hinges while the user is asleep. There is a chinstrap feature available with many full face masks that support the lower jaw, keeping the seal intact.
Nasal masks cover the nose only, while using a silicon cushion fitting against the face to maintain the seal. Both kinds of leakage can occur with this mask. Fixing the seal around your nose may only be step one.
Sleeping with your mouth open while using a nasal mask can lead to mouth leakage. To fix this, you have a a couple of options. The first is to use a chinstrap to keep your lips from separating while you sleep. The second sounds crazy, but is used by many CPAP users – it is to tape your lips shut. If neither of these options work, you can change over to a full face mask where mouth leakage does not occur.
Nasal Pillow Mask
Nasal pillow masks utilize pillows in your nostrils as the method of air delivery. There is minimum facial contact with no straps against the cheeks or face. In order to prevent leaks, you need to use the right sized pillow. Most masks come with small, medium, and large pillows, so finding the right size for you is critical.
Mouth leakage is another potential problem, which can be solved in the same ways as with a nasal mask. Like previously mentioned, you can use a chinstrap, tape, or change to a full face mask to help solve the moth leakage problem.
If you want individualized help to solve any problems with your CPAP therapy, consider contacting a Health Sqyre CPAP coach! Our coaches, respiratory therapists, and sleep doctors have extensive experience helping CPAP patients through every aspect of CPAP therapy.