THE NEW GO-TO CPAP MASK – NASAL PILLOWS
The days of big, bulky and heavy masks ended a few years ago. Not only has the size and weight for nasal and full face CPAP masks been improved, the comfort factor continues to advance. More CPAP users are realizing that they are not stuck with the old, uncomfortable and ill fitting mask their DME gave them. Choices abound and it’s highly likely that if your CPAP is not working for you, another one exists which will do the job.
Is the CPAP Nasal Pillow Mask Taking Over?
Even with comfort and choices for nasal and full face CPAP masks increasing, nasal pillow masks and hybrid masks are becoming all the rage. It’s quite obvious why a nasal pillow or hybrid mask would become popular; extremely lightweight, few parts, limited facial contact, no eyesight impairment and remarkably comfortable. Thus, who would not want to wear a mask which was barely noticeable while wearing? For the most part, people who are able to use them are quite satisfied with them and most likely would not return to a nasal or full face CPAP mask unless it was necessary.
A Little History About CPAP Nasal Pillow Masks
Nasal pillow mask started to become popular around the time Puritan Bennett released their Breeze Sleepgear and ResMed released the original Swift. The Puritan Bennett Breeze and ResMedSwift were highly innovative and essentially broke ground on a new style of masks. Both are still relatively popular today. However, looking at today’s nasal pillow masks, the Breeze and Swift are clunky and outdated. However, always the innovator, ResMed’s Swift FX is the most popular nasal pillow mask on the market today. Its lightweight design and comfort has made a convert out of many nasal mask users. Of course, ResMed is not the only manufacturer to have successful nasal pillow masks. Phillips Respironics OptiLife with its square pillow design has had modest success. Two 2nd tier manufacturers, Devilbiss and Fisher &Paykel, each have launched very successful entrants into the market. Devilbiss’ Aloha nasal CPAP mask has a creative headgear and nasal pillow assembly which is both comfortable and effective. Fisher &Paykel’s Pilairo CPAP maskhas a single band headgear, only three parts and is extremely lightweight. Although both are not as well known, each has had moderate success with their nasal pillow masks.
CPAP Hybrid Masks vs. CPAP Nasal Pillow Masks
Hybrid masks are the new entrants onto the mask stage. A hybrid masks lies somewhere in between a nasal pillow mask and a nasal mask. It has a very small profile with the cushion just large enough to cover the nose. The Fisher & Paykel Eson was the initial hybrid and received a bit of traction. It’s essentially a very small profile nasal mask which includes a forehead piece for support. The cushion is made to just cover the nose. It has received very good reviews and continues to fly off the shelves. Of course, time will tell but all indications are CPAP users like its fit and feel.