The CPAP full face mask is useful if you breathe through your mouth or your breathing alternates regularly between your nose and mouth.
Full face CPAP masks cover both the mouth and the nose. They are prescribed especially if you are a mouth breather.
So, if you do think you are a mouth breather and don't think you can train yourself to breathe only through your nose, or if you often have a congested nose and must breathe through your mouth, you might want to consider a full face CPAP mask (one that covers nose and mouth).
Full face masks seem to be harder to get to fit properly and to seal than nasal masks, that's a potential drawback, but not very difficult in most cases.
To help you get an easier therapy, in this page you'll learn how to properly fit different types of CPAP full face masks.
Why is so important to wear a CPAP full face mask when you breathe through your mouth?
Well, the answer is simple: when you sleep with a nasal mask, but you breathe with your mouth open, the pressure from your CPAP escapes through the mouth.
If this happens, the therapy with CPAP becomes ineffective as the pressure intended to hold your airway open flows out through your mouth.
A CPAP full face mask prevents the air to escape, so the sleep apnea therapy is not affected by mouth leaks.
A full face mask has a triangular shape. It seals around both the nose and mouth, and is held in place with headgear.
The mask also contains a hard plastic frame which keeps a softer inner cushion in place. This cuhion lies against the face and has an important role in maintaining a good seal and comfort.
The mask also has a head gear which consists of straps and sometimes a forehead brace.
According to the reimbursement schedule from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CPAP full face mask cushions can be replaced every 30 days, but a complete full face mask with headgear should be replaced every 6 months.
The function of CPAP face mask is to equalize the pressure between the nose and mouth, allowing you to receive the proper treatment pressure every time you wear it.
The mask has the advantage to be:
Resmed Quattro is one of the most famous full face masks among the CPAP users. This mask offers an effective treatment, even if you breathe through your mouth.
To increase the comfort, the design of Resmed Quattro has been improved compared with previous masks:
This video illustrates how to fit the mask on your face, and how to disasemble and clean the Resmed Quattro:
Click here to Buy Resmed Quattro Face Mask.
The Ultra Mirage mask is a great solution if you have frequent nasal congestion or it can be useful to have on hand in case you catch a cold or have bothersome allergies.
This mask also uses a dual cushion which is an improved design and material that will help for a better seal and it will increase the comfort during sleep.
Here is a video introduction to Ultra Mirage Full Face Mask:
Mirage Quattro and Ultra Mirage masks have dual cushions that helps improve the sealing to your face. However, there are challenges to fit a dual cushion mask. Here are some tips to help you achieve a better seal:
Even if they are effective, the masks with dual cushion are difficult to use. If you want to use it properly and fix the mask leaks, here is what you should do:
Click here to buy the Ultra Mirage full face mask.
This full face mask has blue gel cushion and silicone flap, that will increase the comfort (from the gel) and improve the seal from the inflated cushion.
This video will teach you how to fit and adjust the Respironics ComfortFull 2:
Click here to buy Respironics Comfort 2 full face mask.
If you don't like to use a CPAP mask with a forehead support, then Amara View Full Face Mask can be for you.
Are you claustrophobic? Do you have a beard or facial hair? This mask is a minimal contact full face mask designed to prevents red marks, discomfort or skin irritation on the nose bridge.
You also have unrestricted view, so you can use your glasses to read a book before going to bed.
The downside of eliminating the forehead support is a higher number of strap from the headgear.
However, if you don't like having a plastic between your eyes (forehead support) the Amara View mask can give you the quality of sleep that you need.
This video explains how to use the Philips Respironics Amara View (very useful if you want to avoid the adjustment problems later):
Click here to buy Philips Respironics Amara View full face mask.
Please note that if you want to have an effective treatment with CPAP, choosing your CPAP mask is the most important thing.
The good candidates for CPAP full face mask are persons with prominent head and facial contours. However, you should also take into consideration the size of your nose, to prevent any irritation of the skin.