Continuous Positive Airway Pressure can be delivered in multiple modes including CPAP, Bi-Level with and without back-up rate, and adaptive servo modes. No matter which mode of pressure is administered, the air pressure has to be administered through a well-fitting interface. Since everyone’s face is a little bit different, different styles of masks are needed. Fortunately, ResMed not only makes positive airway pressure machines, but they also make a range of well-designed CPAP masks.
CPAP interface masks have to deliver airflow effectively through the nose and/or mouth through the airway to the throat (pharynx) where it holds the soft palate, tongue, and other airway soft tissues out of the way, creating an open passage for breathing.
For years the standard interface has been the nasal mask. This triangle shaped mask style fits over the nose and makes a seal with silicone against the skin. Nasal CPAP masks make a seal against the skin next to the nose, above the upper lip, and across the bridge of the nose. This means that a nasal mask is positioned to make a secure seal over skin that lies over bone, which makes CPAP masks the most secure style of mask for many people.
ResMed makes several styles of nasal CPAP masks. The ResMed AirFit N20 is an excellent standard nasal CPAP interface. ResMed cites that the AirFit N20 fits 99.4% of faces worldwide. Medical equipment suppliers find that fitting the AirFit N20 is often quite easy. Patients find the AirFit N20 to be easy to use. It fastens with a magnet at each side which permits quick positioning at bedtime. It remains in place comfortably throughout the night, even with position changes turning from side to side.
ResMed also makes several other nasal CPAP masks, including the AirFit N10, the precursor to the N20, the FX Nano, a streamlined, low profile nasal mask, the Mirage FX, a simple, lightweight nasal mask, the Mirage Activa LT, a mask with a compliant and soft cushion, and updated versions of their popular Mirage masks.
The newest ResMed mask is an over the head interface or “tube up” design. The tube attaches above the head instead of in front of the face allowing for greater freedom of movement. The air is transmitted through both sides of the interface to a “curved nasal cradle cushion” which remains in position when turning from side to side. In fact, its low profile and the airflow through both sides of the mask allows for CPAP users to sleep on their stomachs, which can be difficult with many other styles of masks.
I recently tried the AirFit N30i. It connects to a standard CPAP tube which I looped over the top of my pillow. The nasal cushion is positioned first and the headgear slips over the head. Once in place the “SpringFit” frame holds it in place comfortably. I slept well throughout the night. By the next morning I had decided to make it my primary CPAP mask.
CPAP mask fitting is an individual process and now there are many options for nasal masks available. ResMed has multiple comfortable nasal masks available.