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If you or a loved one struggles with sleep apnea, you’re most likely pretty familiar with CPAP machines and masks. If you struggle with this issue yourself, you’ve probably been recommended many different types of masks, and perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed in terms of what the best option is for you. Nasal pillows are a favorable option amongst many, but is it true they will stretch your nostrils?
Nasal pillows can stretch nostrils, but this is an uncommon issue and can be easily fixed with a simple adjustment. You shouldn’t have discomfort or any other problems with your nasal pillow with the correct sizing, such as unwanted or uncomfortable stretching.
In this article, we’ll be exploring the benefits of using a nasal pillow, as well as any problems that could occur that users may want to be mindful of. Suppose you’re interested in learning more about this topic. Keep on reading.
Benefits of Nasal Pillows
As we stated above, this is an uncommon issue, but the problem can arise if your mask isn’t secured on just right. When your mask is fitted correctly and comfortably onto your face, you shouldn’t have to worry about this problem at all.
Nasal pillows are one of the more favorable options among sleep apnea patients for many reasons. Below we’ll explore more in-depth into the many benefits of this kind of sleep apnea mask, as well as which type of patients would do well to invest in nasal pillows.
Ideal for Those Who Toss and Turn
If you’re someone who moves around a lot when sleeping, you may want to mention this to your physician when you’re discussing the best sleep apnea mask for you.
A large, bulky mask may be difficult for you to sleep in, especially if you find yourself moving around a lot. A nasal pillow will allow you to move around more freely without having to worry about disrupting your mask in the middle of the night.
This is something you’ll want to consider if you move around throughout the night. A nasal pillow will sit comfortably on your face where it should while you freely toss and turn when you sleep.
Provides More Open Vision
Unlike larger sleep apnea masks, nasal pillows provide users with more open vision, allowing them to do things such as read or watch TV before they are ready to fall asleep.
It’s also ideal if you’re not a fan of the other full face masks available. If you’re looking for a comfortable mask that allows you more room and access to see what’s in front of you more clearly, you can’t go wrong with nasal pillows.
Ideal for Patients With Facial Hair
Other sleep apnea masks can get in the way of facial hair, making them tedious and uncomfortable. As we stated earlier, nasal pillows provide minimal facial coverage, making it ideal for patients with beards and mustaches.
Seeing how lightweight these masks are and the minimal contact with your face, they are ideal sleep apnea masks for those with facial hair.
Ideal for Those Who Feel Claustrophobic in Larger Masks
Many of the larger sleep apnea masks available today can be overwhelming to some patients who feel claustrophobic while wearing them.
Nasal pillows are an ideal fix for those who wish to wear masks that don’t cover most of their face. It’s also suitable for those who experience feelings of extreme anxiety while feeling claustrophobic. This can make those who wear larger masks to sleep trouble relaxing and feeling calm while wearing them.
As we stated earlier, nasal pillows don’t take up most of your face and are also a comfortable alternative that doesn’t have too much direct contact with your face.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with some of the sleep apnea masks available out there, you may want to look into nasal pillows, which are a much more comfortable and lightweight option.
Cons of Nasal Pillows
Now that we’ve gone over the benefits that nasal pillows have on sleep apnea patients, below, we’ll explore some of the cons you should be aware of before investing in these kinds of masks.
Not Ideal for Patients That Require High Pressure
Seeing how nasal pillows deliver airflow directly into the nostrils, they’re not the best option for those requiring high-pressure settings. For those who need high-pressure settings, you may want to consider a different sleep apnea mask.
If your physician recommended that you use low to moderate pressure settings, a nasal pillow would most likely fit you comfortably and without any issue.
Could Stretch Your Nostrils
While we discussed earlier that this is an uncommon issue, your nostrils can stretch uncomfortably if your nasal pillow is not correctly fitted.
This is an easy fix, but it’s another factor to be mindful of when investing in a nasal pillow. Taking the time to talk to your physician about what feels the most comfortable is crucial before you get home only to have your mask feel uncomfortable.
Not Ideal for Those Who Aren’t Used to Breathing Out of Their Nose
Nasal pillows may not be the best option for those who strictly breathe out of their mouths while they sleep.
Since these kinds of masks are designed to sit right at the patient’s nostril-entrance, someone who doesn’t usually breathe out of their nose may not prefer this kind of mask while sleeping.
However, some patients who breathe out of their mouths while they sleep can still comfortably sleep with nasal pillows. If you’re someone who breathes out of their mouth regularly, nasal pillows can still be used comfortably with a strap attached that stays securely around your chin to keep your mask in place.
Can Lead to Nasal Dryness
There have been many reports of those who use nasal pillows experiencing nasal dryness. Some of these issues can result in nosebleeds in some patients, so it’s essential to be mindful of this factor.
While this is not the case for everyone, it’s important to talk to your physician first before investing in nasal pillows. If you already struggle with nasal dryness or any nose bleeds, it’s essential to bring this up beforehand before wearing nasal pillows to the bed.
Not Ideal for Those With Sensitive Skin
For those with sensitive skin, a nasal pillow may cause a reaction due to the plastic.
Those with sensitive skin or any allergies should be mindful of using nasal pillows. While this may not be the case for everyone, it’s essential to be aware that nasal pillows can cause different reactions amongst different kinds of patients.
In this article, we discussed whether or not nasal pillows stretch your nostrils. While it is possible, it’s an uncommon problem and can be easily fixed with a simple adjustment.
We also went over the pros and cons of nasal pillows that sleep apnea patients should be wary of before deciding on this kind of mask. For one, nasal pillows offer many patients positive factors that other sleep masks can’t.
You can easily watch TV, read, and wear glasses while wearing nasal pillows, which larger sleep masks won’t allow you to do. As for cons, nasal pillows aren’t ideal for those who require high-pressure settings while wearing their masks.
It’s clear to see there are plenty of pros and cons to nasal pillows, so it’s ideal to talk to your doctor beforehand to choose the right look for you.