Read answers to commonly asked questions about CPAP chin straps. What is a sleep apnea chin strap, who needs one, are they safe, and how are they worn.
What is a CPAP chin strap?A CPAP chin strap is a fabric cup that supports the chin with straps that go up on the sides of the face and around the top of the head. The benefit of using a chin strap for CPAP is that it helps keep the mouth closed during sleep, preventing dry mouth symptoms the following morning. Chin straps also prevent the air (that is released from the CPAP machine) from escaping the open mouth.
Why use a CPAP chin strap?If you are using a nasal or nasal pillow mask, air can leak out of a patient’s open mouth, sometimes compromising CPAP or BiPAP treatment. Mouth leak may dry out the mouth and even when a humidifier is used the results are very disruptive to sleep.
Do snoring chin straps work?A sleep apnea chin strap is very effective for people who sleep with their mouth open as it may help to keep your mouth closed at night. If you toss and turn while sleeping, a chin strap for sleeping may not stay in place. Seek other alternatives if you snore through your nostrils. At CPAP Australia we stock a variety of anti-snoring treatments such as Provent Therapy, Theravent Therapy, and side sleeping aids.
Are snoring chin straps safe?Snoring chin straps may be suitable for some people, but not all. While they are safe for patients who snore with their mouths open, they are not recommended for those who snore through their nostrils. This is because those suffering from nasal congestion will not receive enough oxygen with a closed mouth and restricted nasal passage. See your doctor to find out if chin straps are a suitable for you.
Do I need a sleep apnea chin strap?
There are 3 main indicators that you might benefit from the use of a chin strap for CPAP treatment:
- You have an unacceptably high leak rate according to the readings from your CPAP or BiPAP machine
- You experience “jaw drop” when using a full face mask, causing your mouth to fall open and break the seal
- You regularly wake up with a dry tongue, mouth or throat
Which CPAP chin strap is right for me?There are many chin straps on the market since designs vary greatly in function, appearance, and comfort. Getting the right snoring chin strap is very important to sleep quality. Chin straps need to comfortably stay in place all night and exert the minimum force needed to hold the mouth closed. They should allow for the mouth to open easily, yet allow for the jaw to remain shut when relaxed. Regardless of what chin strap is being used, the pressure from the strap should only be the minimum amount needed to keep the mouth closed.
How do I wear a CPAP chin strap?
Wondering how to use a CPAP chin strap? Here’s how to find the perfect fit:
1. Take a hold of the loose strap
2. Secure the strip around your head so it’s tight but not too tight, while taking care not to get your hair caught in the process
3. Experiment until you achieve a comfortable level of tightness. It should hug gently against your head
4. Remember, it’s ok if you can open your mouth while awake as the strap is designed to keep your jaw securely shut when resting, not to clamp your mouth shut