If you have a beard, you’re probably concerned about it interfering with your CPAP therapy or even wondering "can you have a beard with a CPAP machine?"
The answer is yes, you can have a beard while using CPAP. However, CPAP and facial hair don't always go well together which means you'll want to take some precautionary steps. Below, we highlight the essentials of CPAP when it comes to having a beard including selecting a CPAP mask for beards, the importance of having an adequate CPAP seal with a beard, hygiene, and more.
Your Mask Type is Essential
Choosing a mask is vital to adequate therapy. Your CPAP mask's seal can become compromised from your facial hair. When it comes to choosing a mask for beards, there are two ideal options:
- Nasal pillow mask: These types of masks are great for beards as they don’t lay on top of the lip. Instead, they direct airflow through the nose without interfering with your beard or causing a leak in airflow.
- Full face mask: If you find a nasal pillow mask to be uncomfortable, then another option is a full face mask. These masks bypass your beard by going under the chin. The benefit of these masks is their seal doesn’t rub against your facial hair which provides a better seal and won’t slip.
If a nasal pillow mask is ideal, but you're a mouth breather (you sleep with your mouth open), then a CPAP chin strap for beards might help. These are great for using a CPAP with a beard as they keep your mouth closed while asleep.
Fitting for a Mask with a Beard
A common mistake and thought process is that, because you have a beard, you need to acquire a looser mask to accommodate it. Doing so will actually put you at risk of air leaks. The ideal mask will offer a good seal between it and your skin. It’s best to start with a smaller size and then go up in size until the perfect seal is found.
How to Improve Your Mask Seal
Coarse hair is the enemy of a good mask seal. But don’t worry, there are a few ways of solving this issue:
- Soften your beard with lanolin or wax: Investing in products made to soften your beard hair can help soften coarse hair and improve the seal.
- Use a mask liner: Because your beard forces you to have to tighten your mask, a CPAP mask liner can help. These help cushion the mask to make them more comfortable and prevent lines or sores from forming.
The Importance of Hygiene
CPAP hygiene is important. The last thing you want is to get sick from inadequately cleaned CPAP equipment. When improperly or inconsistently cleaned, beards can carry bacteria that can transfer to your CPAP equipment. Because of this, it’s vital to keep your beard clean and regularly groom it to prevent any potential illness.
If your beard is a piece of who you are and you don't want to have to sacrifice it because of your need for CPAP, there is hope. By using the tips in this guide, you'll be able to get a good night's sleep without having to make the sacrifice.
About the Author
Brandon Landgraf is the Digital Marketing Manager for Carex Health Brands. He finds passion and fulfillment in creating content that enhances, improves, and enlivens others' quality of life. All of his written work is formulated to not only offer essential advice and tips but back it with proven studies and experts. His mission is to connect with readers and provide steps to make their lives better.
You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.
About Carex Health Brands
Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.