How can I tell when my mask is worn out?
Because masks are disposable, periodic replacement is needed when the mask shows signs of wear and tear. Inspect your mask for stiffness, cracks, or tears. Also check with your homecare provider regarding replacement options through your insurance policy.
My eyes are sore, dry, irritated or swollen. What should I do?
The mask may be leaking into your eyes. Try pulling the mask away from your face and repositioning it. The mask may be too tight so try readjusting your headgear straps.
My skin seems to be irritated, even bruised, or I have marks on my face. What should I do?
Your mask may be too tight. If your mask has a forehead arm or adjustment feature, try readjusting that first. Then, if necessary, readjust the headgear straps. You may have the wrong mask size. Consult your homecare provider for a mask fitting. Nasal pillows or a full-face mask may provide a better fit.
My nose and throat are dry; my nose is congested; or, I have nosebleeds. What should I do?
This condition may improve over time. Consult your doctor for a prescription for humidification. Consult with a doctor to see if a nasal spray would be advisable. Consult your doctor if the condition persists.
My mouth is dry. What should I do?
You may be sleeping with your mouth open. Try a chin strap. If a chin strap is not helpful, a full-face mask may be considered or you should consult with your doctor about adding heated humidification.
I feel gassy and bloated when I wake up in the morning. What should I do?
Try sleeping with your head elevated or try using a chin strap to prevent mouth breathing. This condition may improve over time.
My mask seems to be leaking. What should I do?
Check all the connections. If your mask has a forehead arm or adjustment feature, try readjusting that first to correct the leak. If there is no improvement with the above steps, readjust the headgear straps. The mask should be as loose as possible while still creating a seal. A mask that is too tight against the face can cause leaks to occur by creating folds in the material. Talk to the homecare provider about trying another mask size or type if necessary.
My mask seems dirty. How can I clean it?
Cleaning your mask every day is a very important part of mask maintenance. Here are three easy steps to keep your mask clean:
- The mask should be disassembled per the Instructions for Use. Wash the mask components in warm water with mild soap and air dry. Avoid soap with moisturizers. Do not use bleach, alcohol, or cleaning solutions containing alcohol.
- Wash your face thoroughly before using your mask. Avoid using skin lotions before putting on your mask.
- Inspect your mask. Replace the mask if the cushion becomes hardened or if any parts become damaged.
What is the role of a mask used with a therapy device?
Masks are used to deliver the air from the therapy device to you. A comfortable mask is a key factor in being able to use your treatment daily. Therefore, finding a mask that fits your and your lifestyle is important. Most masks have built-in exhalation ports that vent your exhaled air. Talk to your homecare provider about the different masks and headgear that are available.
What is the role of a chin strap when used with a mask?
Chin straps are optional accessories that can be used with a variety of nasal and nasal pillows masks. They wrap around the top of your head and underneath your chin to prevent your mouth from opening at night.
How do you know when you should replace your mask?
Replacing your equipment is an important part of being successful with your sleep therapy. There are several factors you need to watch for related to replacing your mask:
- seal deterioration in the mask,
- an improperly fitting mask, and
- a mask damaged by improper cleaning.
What cleaners should I not use when cleaning my mask?
Avoid soap with conditioners or moisturizers. Do not use bleach, alcohol, or cleaning solutions containing alcohol.
How should I clean my mask headgear?
The headgear does not need to be removed for daily cleaning. However it should be washed weekly or as needed. It can be washed by hand in warm soapy water. Lay it flat or line dry. Do not place it in the dryer.
What should I do if my mask is causing skin irritation?
Your mask may be too tight. If your mask has a forehead arm or adjustment feature, try changing that first. Then, if necessary, readjust the headgear straps. Excessive tightening of your headgear may cause unnecessary discomfort and leaks. Remember, not all leaks have to be corrected so your mask does not have to be completely air-tight.
What if I feel claustrophobic when wearing my mask?
Try wearing your mask around your home during the evening as you go about your normal activities. This may help you to become more comfortable with the mask. If you continue to feel claustrophobic, your respiratory therapist can help you to find a mask that is more comfortable for you.
What should I do when my mask is pulling on my mustache or beard?