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CPAP Nasal Pillows: The Essential Facts You Need To Know


cpap nasal pillows

The phrase may have the word “pillow” in it, but you aren’t going to want lay your head down on a CPAP nasal pillow any time soon. You will find, however, that a CPAP nasal pillow can help you get a full night of restful sleep and allow you to wake up feeling refreshed -- and if you suffer from sleep apnea, you’ll know just how rare and valuable that feeling is!

Here are just a few more points you should know about CPAP nasal pillows if you suspect you could be dealing with some frustrating sleep apnea:

  • CPAP stands for “continuous positive airway pressure” and CPAP masks are for people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea at night, which is a disorder where the body stops breathing for a few seconds at a time before gasping for air (and usually waking the person up slightly in the process). It’s estimated that 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, and out of every 50 people, one person has undiagnosed sleep apnea.
  • CPAP machines tend to be cumbersome, a bit noisy, and sometimes just a hassle to use if especially if you’re claustrophobic. Newer CPAP machines are a lot more convenient and quiet, but 80% of people using these machines still admit that they aren’t using it enough to really make a difference in their sleep quality.
  • This is where CPAP nasal pillows come in. Unlike triangular CPAP masks, a nasal pillow has two small, short tubes that are inserted into the nostrils at night, and these tubes are connected to a longer tube, which connects to a machine. The airstream blows directly into the nostrils rather than flowing through a triangular mask that covers the mouth and nose.
  • The nasal pillows stay in place at night by connecting to headgear, which is strapped onto the head with flexible cloth straps. This ensures that the pillows don’t fall out at night, and because of the direct air stream, it also ensures that there is minimal air leakage during the night as well.
  • Many people say that CPAP nasal pillows are uncomfortable because the direct air streams are too direct, ultimately drying out the nose. But just as many people say that CPAP nasal pillows are better than traditional CPAP masks because they don’t feel clunky and claustrophobic. Men with mustaches and beards often find nasal pillows to be more effective than regular masks merely because of facial hair obstructing the air stream.

So is are CPAP nasal pillows the best choice for you? The only way to find out is to try!