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Regardless of how long you've been suffering from sleep apnea, addressing the problem now is the best way to ensure that your body stays as healthy as possible. It's estimated that around 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, and as much as 4% of the population suffers from untreated sleep apnea. These people are three times as likely to develop heart disease and four times as likely to have a stroke than those who treat their condition -- so it's incredibly important to find the best solution for your situation.

The Most Common Types of CPAP Masks

There are plenty of CPAP masks and CPAP nasal pillows available on the market today, but if you're like most patients, it can feel a bit intimidating to see this list and try to figure out which type of sleep apnea machine will help you the most.

  1. Full face CPAP masks: Effective for mouth breathers and nasal breathers alike, and many people prefer CPAP face masks because the air stream is less direct and therefore causes less dryness in the nasal passage. It may take some getting used to at first, but this sleep apnea treatment is very effective and can provide relief very quickly.
  2. Nasal Pillow CPAP Masks: This option is ideal for anyone who suffers from claustrophobia or is unable to sleep with a full face CPAP mask; men with facial hair also find that nasal pillows are more effective than a mask. The nasal pillows fit right into the nostrils and are kept in place with a flexible strap. This option isn't effective for mouth breathers, and some people find that the constant air stream causes too much dryness.
  3. Nasal CPAP Masks: This third option is sort of a hybrid between a face mask and nasal pillows: it provides a stream of air into the nasal passages without covering the mouth, but the air is less direct and may feel less intrusive. The average nasal mask straps into place and is ideal for people who sleep on their sides.

It doesn't matter which mask you choose -- the most important thing is that you wear it every night!