Everything there is to know about a CPAP mask

A CPAP mask fits over a person's nose and mouth to provide constant and steady air pressure. The CPAP machine itself consists of a hose (flow generator or blower), a tube, and face and nasal masks. It is available in various sizes for the comfort of patients. This is a standard therapy for sleep apnea patients, keeping the patients' airways open during sleep by blowing air at a suitable pressure. The mask works as a breathing assistant and provides relief to the patient by eliminating snoring and obstructions in breathing. The CPAP machine helps to improve the quality of night sleep and reduce daytime drowsiness.


The history of the Continuous Positive Air Pressure Device originated in the 20th century when scientists studied sleep patterns. For the first time in 1936, the Continuous Positive Air Pressure machine became known as the pulmonary plus pressure machine. Poulton treated a cardiac and bronchial asthma patient with the Hoover vacuum cleaner that provided the patient with air at a constant pressure. This machine's first functions were to remove dust particles. In 1958, scientists studied the relationship between sleep and breathing, and then, researchers began studying sleep disorders. In 1980 Dr. Colin Sullivan first postulated that the nose provided patients with the positive pressure of air that helped open the airways. After getting success in dogs, he started human trials, and when the patients benefited too, the first sample of the first machine was introduced in 1980 in the United States.

Further advancement and modification had been done by Philips Respironics that offered better Continuous Positive Air Pressure products. More than 100 patients used this machine at home. In 1990 the modified form of this machine, the self-sealing bubble mask, was invented, increasing patients' comfort with improving results. By 2014, more than one million people were using this at home. Continuous Positive Air Pressure therapy and machines became non-surgical and were less invasive to use. It has helped many people suffering from sleep apnea and other sleeping disorders. Any delay in treating these disorders can lead to high blood pressure and diabetes. 

Indications to use a CPAP Mask 

CPAP Mask functions extensively to improve the quality of sleep. It prevents, protects, and provides support in the following conditions.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) 

This is a condition in which the supporting muscles of soft tissues like tongue and palate become relaxed, leading to the narrowing of the airway. It cuts off breathing momentarily. This instrument treats the condition of OSA and helps the patient to breathe normally.

Hypopnea syndrome (SAHS)

Hypopnea is a condition of partial blockage of the airway. Hypopnea Syndrome is a feature of a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome.

Acute asthma

In severe asthma, patients face increasing shortness of breath, tightness of chest, coughing, and wheezing. CPAP masks help the users to regulate their breathing and prevent any severe conditions. 

Congestive heart failure 

In Congestive heart failure (CHF), the heart's function does not meet the body's needs. The heart function of the pump is inadequate to supply blood to the body. The CPAP mask reduces the risk of this disease.

Cardiogenic pulmonary edema 

In Cardiogenic pulmonary edema, the pressure in the heart increases. This condition occurs when the left ventricle cannot pump out enough of the blood it receives from the lungs.

Cystic fibrosis 

Cystic fibrosis is a hereditary disease that affects the lungs and the digestive system. The person's body produces thick and sticky mucus that can clog the lungs and obstruct the pancreas. It is a severe kind of disease.

Chronic lung disease (CLD) 

The CPAP Mask increases the capability of breathing during Chronic lung disease. It is a long-term breathing problem in premature babies. 

Ischemic heart disease 

In Ischemic Heart disease, a part of the heart does not receive enough blood. It causes chest pain or discomfort. This condition occurs due to the higher blood flow in the heart. The use of a CPAP Mask lowers the risk of Ischemic heart disease.

Complications of using a CPAP Mask 

The usage of the mask is generally a safe therapy. However, several issues may occur with the therapy. 

  1. Discomfort or irritation due to wrong size. The selection of the best fit of the CPAP Mask is significant as every person has their unique face size and structure. If it does not fit on the nose and mouth, it can irritate and may lead to discomfort. 
  2. Feeling claustrophobic. The usage of this instrument may also become a cause of Claustrophobia. It is a situational phobia that is triggered by an irrational and intense fear of tight spaces. The person feels like a prisoner locked in a windowless room. Wearing this device can also bring this common phobia.
  3. Nasal congestion or dryness. Nasal congestion and dryness in the mouth are the most common problems related to this device.
  4. Irritation due to leaky masks. A leaky or an ill-fitting CPAP mask can bring full air pressure, irritating the face skin. It also blows air into the eyes and causes them to become dry or teary.
  5. Loud Noise. If an air filter and nasal covering are not adequately cleaned, it can cause bothersome noise. Patients should consult with a doctor or CPAP Mask provider to resolve this issue.

How they work

One side of the plastic tube is attached with CPAP Mask, while the other side is attached to the blower device. The blower works as a pneumatic splint and has a range of pressure from 3 to 20cm H2O. It prevents the collapse of the upper airway walls. It keeps the airway open and prevents apnea, loud snoring, sleep fragmentation/insomnia, and hypoxia (inadequate O2 intake). An alarm signal functions to switch over to battery operation (internal or external). It sends signals to the automatic switchover that can be internal or external. 


  • First, the patient plugs the device to the battery or any electricity supplier and then attaches the tube to the unit.
  • Then he or she attaches the tube end to the CPAP mask. 
  • The patient wears it over his nose and mouth and adjusts straps for comfort. 
  • The patient turns on the Continuous Positive Air Pressure Device and lays flat. 

General Specifications 

Many sizes of this instrument are available in the market according to the size of its users. Some general Specifications of this instrument are listed below.

Approximate Dimensions: (178 x 170 x 208) mm

Approximate weight: 2.3 Kg

Pressure Range: 4 to 20 cm of H2O

Starting pressure of ramp: 4 minimum, and it is adjustable.

Power: 100 to 240 Voltage

Consumables: PEEP valves, filters, masks or nose pieces, tube, head straps

Price range: 1,135-8,202 (3,200 typical) in USD; It includes all types and variations 

Typical product lifetime: 8 years 

Alternative Instruments

The hypoglossal nerve stimulator, which is a small size device, is an alternative to CPAP Mask. Some people do not feel comfortable with CPAP Mask. Doctors put it inside the chest through minor invasive surgery. A remote is available to control it. Patients can easily turn it on before sleep. It observes the breathing patterns and sends signals to the nerve that controls the tongue and muscles. As they move forward, it keeps the airway open. 

Market Leaders

Various CPAP Mask manufacturers are present in the market. Some of the market leaders are mentioned below. 

  • SHENZHEN Better Instrument Co., LTD
  • Mediproma B.V.
  • My Medical Outlet
  • DMR 
  • Made Modern
  • My Health Solutions Inc
  • SakoMed
  • US Med-Equip
  • Z5 Inventory


A CPAP Mask is a medical instrument that helps patients get a steady and constant amount of air. The modern version of the mask is light and comfortable to use. It exists in various sizes to facilitate the patient, treats many conditions, including sleep apnea, Hypopnea Syndrome, acute asthma, and more. It reduces the risk of ischemic heart disease and chronic lung disease. It is a breathing assistant and does not have any severe side effects. Hence, it is a useful and effective instrument that improves sleeping quality and prevents many diseases.