When it comes to receiving quality CPAP treatment to address your sleep apnea, the type of mask you choose can make all the difference for your health outcomes. The right mask will help you sleep soundly by preventing air leaks and fitting comfortably on your face. Most importantly, it will ensure you get the quality of treatment you need.
While getting used to wearing a CPAP mask at night will require a bit of an adjustment period, full face masks such as the ResMed Mirage Quattro offer several distinct advantages for your treatment. Though you should always consult with your physician to determine which mask options are best for you, this is one model that is well worth your consideration.
Here is a closer look at why you should consider this high-quality CPAP mask.
Who Should Use Full Face CPAP Masks?
As a full face CPAP mask, the ResMed Mirage Quattro naturally enjoys many of the benefits unique to this mask type. While nasal masks and nasal pillows may be appropriate for some users, a full face mask’s ability to cover both the nose and the mouth provides key benefits that many patients can’t do without.
First and foremost, a full face mask is an absolute must for those who breathe through their mouth while they sleep. As noted by Healthline, mouth breathing is a common result of obstructive sleep apnea. When your nasal air passages are blocked, the body naturally starts to breathe through the mouth instead.
Of course, it is not always easy to determine if you are breathing through your mouth while you are sleeping. Though you could have your spouse observe your breathing while you are sleeping, there are a few symptoms you should watch out for.
Common symptoms of mouth breathing include dry mouth, bad breath, and increased occurrences of throat and ear infections. Breathing through the mouth also increases your risk of cavities and gingivitis. Mouth breathing can also lead to poor sleep — either in conjunction with or independently of sleep apnea. Chronic fatigue, snoring, and increased irritability can also result from mouth breathing.
Because some of these symptoms can be the result of other medical issues, you might not discover that you are breathing through your mouth until you have a checkup with a doctor or dentist. If you already suffer from sleep apnea, the additional problems resulting from mouth breathing can further complicate matters.
Needless to say, if you breathe through your mouth at night, nasal pillows and nasal masks aren’t going to get the job done. Though they can relieve obstructions of the nasal passages, your body may have grown accustomed to breathing through your mouth, causing you to breathe that way even when nasal obstructions are no longer an issue.
Sleep apnea isn’t the only factor that can contribute to mouth breathing. Individuals who suffer from allergies or frequent colds typically need to breathe through their mouth due to congestion blocking their nasal passages. For such people, having continuous air pressure delivered to the nose won’t do much good when the air passages are blocked because of an illness.
With a full face mask, users enjoy consistent delivery of needed air pressure that is provided to both the nose and mouth. No matter how you might be breathing at any given moment, these masks ensure that you will get the necessary air pressure to prevent sleep apnea incidents.
Additional Full Face Mask Benefits
People who breathe through their mouths aren’t the only ones who can benefit from a full face mask. Many CPAP therapy patients find it difficult to use a nasal mask/chinstrap, either due to discomfort or just a generally poor fit. Because nasal masks and nasal pillows fit more tightly against the bridge of the nose and the upper lip, they can also enhance feelings of claustrophobia.
Full face masks, on the other hand, only touch the outside of the face, which can alleviate claustrophobic feelings for some patients. In addition, full face masks use a more comprehensive and supportive headgear system, which helps keep the mask in the proper position, even for restless sleepers.
Patients who rely on high pressure CPAP settings also benefit from full face masks because of the way the mask disperses the air pressure. A wider surface area makes the air pressure feel less directly applied, which can alleviate some of the discomfort associated with high pressure settings when using other mask types.
Full face masks like the ResMed Mirage Quattro are also typically recommended for patients who sleep on their back. This sleeping position helps ensure a tight seal that minimizes the risk of air leaks.
Most importantly, however, using a full face mask ensures that if you do breathe through your mouth — even if only for part of the night — that it won’t disrupt your treatment. Even though the mouth is not covered by nasal masks, breathing through the mouth will interfere with the mask’s seal and keep it from delivering proper air pressure. This could very easily result in additional sleep apnea episodes.
Common Issues With Full Face Masks
While full face masks can prove highly beneficial for many patients, they aren’t free of potential problems. With many full face masks, the large surface area can actually increase the risk of leaks, particularly near the top of the mask. A leaky mask can contribute to a wide range of issues, such as not receiving enough air pressure to prevent sleep apnea incidents or experiencing irritated and dry eyes.
Leaks are particularly common among men with facial hair, as the presence of a beard can cause uneven surface seals, resulting in bigger leaks.
Full face masks are also not recommended for individuals who sleep on their stomach, as the larger size of the mask can cause noticeable discomfort. Depending on the type of headgear you use, the full face mask could also slip out of place if you sleep on your side.
Individuals who watch TV or read before going to bed may also experience trouble with these activities when using a full face mask. Wearing glasses also becomes much more difficult with a full face mask. As such, those who need to use a full face mask to achieve adequate treatment may need to adjust their nightly routine.
While such issues are very real concerns for individuals interested in a full face mask, the ResMed Mirage Quattro directly addresses many of these problems.
The ResMed Mirage Quattro is the Right Fit
The ResMed Mirage Quattro is widely considered to be one of the best full face CPAP masks available today, in large part thanks to its superior seal and wide range of personalized support and fit settings. These added features allow it to provide comfortable, efficient performance for the vast majority of patients.
For starters, the mask is available in four primary sizes (extra small, small, medium, and large), ensuring that patients of all sizes can find a mask that provides the right fit.
But that is only the tip of the iceberg. The ResMed Mirage Quattro uses a MicroFit dial that offers 24 different forehead support positions. Once you have put on the mask, turning the dial makes it easy to find a comfortable position that fits best against your face.
The mask uses a dual-wall cushion in conjunction with the MicroFit dial to gently seal against your facial contours. Once you have found a setting that works best for you, you can “set it and forget it” using clips and slots in the headgear. This system locks your preferred settings in place. This way, you will be able to quickly put on or remove your full face mask each night.
Another key attribute of the ResMed Mirage Quattro is its use of Spring Air technology. Spring Air tech ensures that the mask’s cushioning is soft and pliable, allowing it to adjust the seal as needed if you move around during your sleep. This design even allows the mask to create an airtight seal against facial hair.
The inclusion of a moving membrane surrounding the chin area also ensures that the mask won’t slip off if your jaw drops open during the night. A similar moving membrane around the nasal bridge allows the mask to fit better with a wide variety of nose shapes to prevent leaks in that area.
With these vital upgrades, you won’t have to worry about leaks in the mask seal occurring during the night — even if you roll around during your sleep. A flexible design with a wide range of customizable settings ensures that your mask will always perform as needed.
In addition to its revolutionary ability to more effectively create an airtight seal, the ResMed Mirage Quattro uses a sleek, streamlined design that feels light against your skin. This will help alleviate the discomfort and potential feelings of claustrophobia that often occur as users adjust to wearing a CPAP mask. The mask also uses built-in vents that allow for quieter dispersal of air. This way, operating your CPAP device won’t produce so much noise that it interferes with your sleep (or your partner’s).
Finding the Right Fit
Of course, the aforementioned benefits of the ResMed Mirage Quattro are only attainable if you find the right fit. The right setting won’t just prevent air leaks — it will also ensure a comfortable fit so that your treatment doesn’t create unnecessary discomfort.
For the ResMed Mirage Quattro and other CPAP masks that use a MicroFit dial, initial settings will likely be determined by your physician. While you can make slight adjustments later on, trying to significantly alter these settings could cause greater discomfort or reduce the effectiveness of your treatment. If you feel that significant adjustments need to be made, you may need a different mask size.
The best process for fitting your mask is to make adjustments while you are lying down in your normal sleeping position. This should account for all your normal sleep factors — such as the position you rest in and how many pillows you use. This will allow the mask to be better adjusted to your facial muscles.
While tightening the mask is necessary to achieve a proper seal, you should never have to over-tighten it. This can cause significant discomfort, and more often than not, is a clear indicator that you are using the wrong forehead support settings or cushion size. While some slight discomfort is normal as you adjust to wearing a CPAP mask, significant discomfort should not occur.
If you are uncertain about which size of the ResMed Mirage Quattro is right for you, ResMed’s easy to use sizing template will help you determine the right size based on the distance between your chin crease and nasal bridge.
Caring For Your ResMed Mirage Quattro
As with any other CPAP mask, routine cleaning — and the occasional replacement of certain components — will be necessary for achieving the best possible outcomes for your CPAP treatment.
For best results, the ResMed Mirage Quattro’s mask and headgear should only be hand washed. Users should not attempt to clean the mask with strongly-scented cleaning products, bleach, or alcohol. Not only could these harsher cleaning supplies damage the mask itself, but residual vapors that get left behind after cleaning could be inhaled while using the mask, posing a potential health hazard.
Instead, patients should wash mask components using a mixture of warm water and either diluted dishwasher detergent or a mild soap. Each day, the mask should be gently rubbed with this mixture to remove facial oils from the cushion. However, it should not be soaked in the water. The headgear should be washed and rinsed on a weekly basis. Both components should be allowed to air dry, but should be kept out of direct sunlight.
When cleaning the mask, be cautious around the valve, and avoid twisting it, as this could damage the mask. If the mask’s vents need to be cleaned, a soft-bristled brush will be your best tool. Make sure that all mask components have been completely cleaned and dried before putting everything back together. Thankfully, assembling and disassembling the mask for cleaning is made easy with fewer elbow parts and easily-detachable tabs and clips.
Failure to care for your ResMed Mirage Quattro mask can result in several maintenance issues. For example, a dirty mask cushion could keep the mask from sealing properly. Allowing the vents to get blocked could cause the mask to become much noisier, disrupting your sleep. Facial oils can also lead to a breakdown of the cushion materials.
This care is especially important if your insurance company only pays for replacement components at set intervals. If certain elements of your mask system wear out faster than expected due to improper care, you will be financially responsible for purchasing replacement parts.
As with other CPAP masks, you will need to replace the mask cushion and other components over time as the materials break down. Generally speaking, you should expect to replace the cushion once a month and the full face mask once every three months. This will help prevent tears in the mask system, while also ensuring a continued proper fit.
Even the headgear may need to be replaced from time to time if it loses elasticity or becomes too stretched, which could force you to over-tighten your mask to prevent leaks. It is typically recommended that the headgear be replaced after about six months. Setting up a replacement plan with your physician will help ensure that you always enjoy quality performance from your ResMed Mirage Quattro mask, as long as you properly care for it.
If you have concerns about caring for your ResMed Mirage Quattro, you won’t be left in the dark. When you buy a new mask system, you also receive a comprehensive user guide, quick-fit guide, and a care DVD that thoroughly details what you will need to do to get the most out of this mask system.
Sleep apnea is a very serious condition that can have significant consequences, contributing to high blood pressure, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Taking action to address these issues with a quality CPAP device — and mask — will have a profound impact on your overall health. The right CPAP mask can make all the difference for your treatment — so it makes sense that you should select a mask that can deliver the best possible outcomes for your therapy.
This process starts by consulting with a professional physician about your struggles with sleep apnea. Receiving a professional diagnosis enables many to get partial or full coverage of their treatments from their insurance company. More importantly, however, it gives your doctor a better opportunity to determine which type of equipment will best meet your medical needs.
Here at No Insurance Medical Supplies, we understand how many patients struggle to afford the necessary equipment for their sleep apnea treatments, especially when insurance companies don’t always cover the costs.
That’s why we offer the ResMed Mirage Quattro — as well as its replacement components — at affordable discounted prices. You shouldn’t be denied a quality night’s sleep because of your insurance situation. With the right equipment, you can regain control of your physical well-being and enjoy the sleep you need to live your best life.