New launches showcase trends such as minimal face contact, noise reducing technology, and a natural feel.
Some sleep apnea patients will tell you that it’s not always easy to sleep with a CPAP mask. Escaping air can create a loud hissing noise that wakes them up during the night. The headgear can feel claustrophobic and restrictive. Tight straps that keep the mask securely in place can dig into the skin and leave marks the next morning. Some patients may find that nasal pillow masks are less bulky, make minimal contact with the face, and allow them to move more freely. These masks continue to evolve, offering lighter, more comfortable interfaces.
“I find that a lot of patients are pulling away from the full facemask. They want the very small, petite, noninvasive, nonintrusive, nasal masks,” says Russell Rozensky, MS, RRT-SDS, CPFT, RPSGT, program director at The Stony Brook School of Health Technology and Management’s Polysomnographic Technology Program in New York.
“A lot of the full facemasks cause a certain level of anxiety for patients and with the new nasal pillows, and the smaller nasal interfaces, it makes it a lot more comfortable for patients to sleep with,” says Rozensky.
When working with a new patient, Rozensky will first have them try a nasal pillow mask. If there isn’t enough pressure or if the sleep apnea is severe, he might move them to a full face mask, but then…