Finding a comfortable CPAP mask is key when it comes to Sleep Apnea therapy. And as we know, everyone’s facial features and sizes are different. So, a mask that is right for one person won’t necessarily be suitable for you. One question we do get asked by patients is how and whether having a beard limits your options when it comes to masks.
Below, we discuss what you can expect from Sleep Apnea therapy if you have facial hair and what types of CPAP masks you should consider looking at when buying CPAP equipment.
Whether you have a beard or moustache, having facial hair can be tricky when it comes to Sleep Apnea therapy. But it isn’t impossible.
In some cases, your sleep specialist may recommend that you shave off your facial hair. The reason for this is that treatment for Sleep Apnea is reliant on positive airway pressure being delivered to the lungs via a PAP mask that is connected via tubing to a PAP machine. In order for this airway pressure to be successfully delivered to the patient, there needs to be no risk of mask leaks. So, having a good seal on your mask is vital.
As beards can be thick and bulky, facial hair can have the ability to cause the mask straps to shift during the night especially if you are an active sleeper that moves around a lot. If the mask continually shifts out of place then you won’t receive the full benefits of CPAP therapy.
Don’t take out the beard trimmer just yet. The good news is that there are CPAP mask options out there for men with facial hair. Some of the factors that you’ll need to consider include the distance between your facial features, your typical sleeping position and the style and thickness of your facial hair. So, does facial hair interfere with Sleep Apnea therapy? Only if you pick the wrong mask.
When choosing a mask, comfort will always be key. So, with that in mind, we list some of the top best selling CPAP mask styles for facial hair. These mask styles provide a reliable seal, comfort and lightweight designs. Keep reading to see which CPAP style might be the right fit for you and your facial hair.
Nasal pillow masks are often recommended for those with facial hair as they offer a lightweight, minimal contact design while providing a reliable seal around the nasal area.
The ResMed AirFit P10 CPAP mask is ideal for anyone with facial hair. With a comfortable, easy to use fit the AirFit P10 is up to 50% quieter and lighter than other nasal pillow CPAP mask designs. The manufacturer states that only 21 decibels are generated, making it softer than whisper quiet. It’s minimal design also ensures that your moustache or beard won’t get in the way of therapy compliance. Offering a QuickFit elastic headgear, it provides enhanced stability and adjustability.
Similar to Nasal Pillow masks, a Nasal CPAP mask is also another good option for men with facial hair due to the fact that it only covers the nose. Even if you have a moustache, you don’t have to fret.
The Dreamwear Nasal CPAP mask provides minimal contact around the nose and keeps the bulk of the mask away from the front. The newly designed Dreamwear headgear also provides more stability and security for users. You might not even have to trim your moustache to allow this mask to work.
The top of the head tubing connection means that airflow enters the mask from the top of the head and flows through the frame into the nasal passages. This makes the mask simple and clean to operate. It also ensures that you can wear this mask comfortably in any position, no matter what way you like to sleep, without compromising your facial hair or therapy compliance.
Many men believe that if they have facial hair then that means a Full Face Sleep Apnea mask would not be suitable for them. This isn’t necessarily the case. While Full Face CPAP masks can present more challenges if you have a beard, many manufacturers are improving their mask designs to accommodate many different facial sizes and features.
One such Sleep Apnea mask is the Respironics Dreamwear Full Face CPAP mask. When this first was launched on the market, it was hailed as one of the most lightweight and minimal contact Full Face CPAP masks available. This innovative mask features an under the nose design which minimizes skin contact and offers unhindered movement due to its top-of-head tube design. Many CPAP users have praised this mask for reducing mask discomfort and providing seal reliability.
If you happen to be a CPAP user that breathes heavily through your mouth and has facial hair, this mask could be a win-win for you.
Having facial hair can pose challenges when finding a CPAP mask that is the right fit for you. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to say goodbye to either your beard or CPAP therapy. As we tell all of our customers, finding a CPAP mask can take some trial and error. Your first mask style choice may not be your last. So, just be patient and in no time you will find the equipment that you need to stay CPAP therapy compliant.Have more questions regarding Sleep Apnea and facial hair? Get in touch with our knowledgeable experts who can help you guide you through any concerns that you may be having. For more information on different CPAP mask styles and tips for picking the right one, check out our CPAP mask blogs.
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