Pros: Stable even with movement; lightweight; perception that there’s less bulk on the face; minimal leaks due to nasal pillow design
Cons: No “over-the-head” interface; possible discoloration of the headgear.
Overall: One of the most superior nasal pillow masks I’ve ever used; I hope it will be the same for all my patients!
The Swift FX is the newest installment to the Swift series of nasal pillow masks. The enhancements to the design features of this new mask is based on the idea that “less is more”. This mask was intended to make you feel as if your wearing as little as possible on your face and yet have the confidence that it not leak or displace in the middle of the night.
My first impression of the mask was that it was very light and it really has the streamline design that ResMed was trying to acheive. At first, I was slightly skeptical about the silicone material they used for the headgear which the call the soft wrap but was impressed by how stable it was when I put it on. The clear silicone also gives the visual perception that you have less on your face. I’ve used a nasal pillow style mask for a long time starting with the Breeze Sleepgear from Puritan Bennett, the Opus masks from Fisher and Paykel , and the full line of Swift masks; I have to say this has to be one of the most comfortable masks I ever used.
Let me break down a few of the points that makes this mask work so well for me; Going back to the stability of the mask, the silicone headgear has a locking mechanism on the top similar to a “zip-tie” which reduces movement unlike the buckle system used on the previous Swift models. The material also plays a role with the increased feeling of recoil and a slight “grip” to the face that minimizes sliding especially when I rolled my cheeks onto the pillow. Although I was left with some markings on the face in the morning, it quickly went away. For those who may have a problem with that particular side-effect, the mask comes with fleece wraps similar to those found on the Swift LT for Her. I have to let you know that using this accessory negates some of the benefits of “grip” that I mentioned above. The strap that wraps behind the head to add stability also had a minor improvement but addresses a lot of my patients’ complaints from the previous models. They eliminated the buckle on the back of the head and moved the velcro to the side of the mask (above the ear). I believe this will improve comfort significantly by eliminating the “bump” at the back of the head if one is sleeping on his/her back.
Another improved feature is with the tubing; the tube was designed like a “slinky” which absorbs the opposite forces that occur when the weight and position of the tube from the CPAP pulls one direction and the individual move the other direction. Normally sudden movements pull the nasal pillows away from the nostrils, especially when the position of the tube is just hanging on one side of the bed (unlike the Swift II and Swift LT, the tubing has no fastener to place it on the top of your head). I was amazed how well this design works; ifn fact I think they should design CPAP tubing that way altogether!
The pillow design is similar to the Swift LT but with less volume. The flatter design actually helps to minimize leaks because it seems to wrap around the base of the nose better. It’s also what adds to the streamline feeling when wearing the mask.
Cleaning of the mask is simple. Everything can be pulled apart without fear of breaking it. The only concern I might have is related to the possible discoloration of the silicone over time due to the increased surface area contact with the face or the hair. The nasal pillows are replaceable just like in previous models.
As I mentioned earlier, this is really a well designed mask. Since I started wearing it, I still have not found any reason that has made me reconsider some of my early impressions about the mask. I would’ve loved to see an adaptor or attachment that will allow the tubing to come from above the head. Though it may be more of a personal preference, it would’ve been a nice option. If you are a nasal pillow user, this is definitely one mask you should try.
To find out more information about the ResMed Swift FX Pillow Mask, call 1-877-304-1441 to talk to a Clinical Sleep Solutions representative. Or go to www.clinicalsleep.com