Sleep apnea is a condition in which the airway collapses during sleep. This happens when the muscles in the airway relax, allowing some of the tissue to droop. If the airway becomes blocked, the person partially wakes up even if he is or is not aware of it. A CPAP mask is a piece of respiratory medical equipment that works with continuous positive airway pressure, or often known as CPAP, to help people with obstructive sleep apnea. A CPAP mask is worn while the person is sleeping. It is designed to direct a gentle stream of air into the respiratory system all through the night. The mask does not actively help the person breathe; the air flow is too calm to affect inhaling or exhaling in any major way. The mask has its main effect during the time between inhalation and exhalation, the time when the airway collapses. It is during slumber, when breathing becomes slow, that the airway is particularly prone to fail.

CPAP masks are intended to fit a number of face sizes and shapes. Some of the head gear attached to the masks can resemble a horse’s halter as they have a strap that fits diagonally across the jaw, as well as one that goes around the upper part of the head. If a CPA P mask doesn’t fit correctly, air leakage may occur. Air leaks are normally caused by the jaw opening during sleep and CPAP masks with chin straps can help solve this issue.

A common problem with CPAP masks is the straps leaving painful marks on the face or causing discomfort. Nowadays most masks have gel forehead padding to help prevent any uncomfortable pressure. There are two basic types of CPAP masks. One kind fits over the nose and creates a seal, while the other main type of CPAP mask has a pillow-like piece that fits into the nostrils. Many people prefer the nostril type because they are uncomfortable with the idea of having their nose completely blocked off during their sleep. Either type of mask is considered effective in treating sleep apnea. Most CPAP masks are priced anywhere between $50 and $200. It’s important that the CPAP mask and machine are used during every sleep since the equipment only helps prevent breathing stoppage during use. Newly improved CPAP masks are more comfortable and better fitting. Nasal spray and humidifiers can help reduce sinus and throat problems, if the user is having difficulty adjusting to their machine and/or mask.