CPAP Masks for Women Overview
Although women are diagnosed less frequently with sleep disorders than men, the short-term and long-term risks to women’s health are similar(*). Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and menopause vary the symptoms, severity, and prevalence of sleep apnea in women. Additionally, hormonal shifts may make it more difficult for some women to fall asleep(**). Consequently, a CPAP mask that is comfortable and unobtrusive is particularly critical so that adherence to sleep therapy is not a barrier to getting a good night's sleep.
CPAP masks are generally considered unisex, but full-face, nasal masks, and nasal pillow masks “for her” are now commonly available. Tailored to better fit the smaller head circumference and smaller facial structures of women, these “for her” masks may have smaller cushions, different angles on the cushions, smaller and thinner headgear, smaller frames, or more attractive colors.
When a woman is selecting a mask for CPAP, she should use the same guidelines as she would when selecting a unisex mask.
Key questions to ask when selecting a mask:
- Where does the mask touch the face and head?
- Where does the CPAP tubing connect?
- How easy is it to get on and off?
- Which parts require replacing at regular intervals?
- What kind of breather am I?
- How high are my CPAP settings?
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, ResMed offers Lightweight Designs with adjustable headgear for smaller-framed CPAP users. whether you need a nasal CPAP or full-face mask ResMed has you covered to help make your CPAP therapy more comfortable. The ResMed Swift FX Bella for her comes with optional mask headgear making it a versatile choice for women concerned about messing up their hair.
* Punjabi N. M. (2008). The epidemiology of adult obstructive sleep apnea. Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society, 5(2), 136–143. doi:10.1513/pats.200709-155MG
**Bixler, E. O., Vgontzas, A. N., Lin, H. M., Ten Have, T., Rein, J., Vela-Bueno, A., & Kales, A. (2001). Prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing in women: effects of gender. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine, 163(3), 608-613.