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A newbie with leakage issues
#1
I have been using the ResMed Autoset with humidifier for ~3 weeks. My AHI is typically below 5 with the machine (last couple of days it has been between 2 -4). Looking at my leakage charts, thanks to the ResMed software, it appears that I have 5 or 6 significant bouts of leakage per night. Not enough to get rid of the smiley face, but still relatively common. I just have a nasal mask, the mirage FX, and no chin strap. I do wake up with my throat really dry, so does this mean that I am lapsing into mouth breathing for a bit? I have tried to tighten the mask some, but then it becomes uncomfortable.
If I need a chin strap, is it the doctor that has to prescribe this?

Any input is appreciated.
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#2
Hi burninal,
WELCOME! to the forum.!

You could first try a chinstrap and maybe that will help you with your leaks.
You could also turn up your humidity just a bit.
Best of luck and hang in there for more suggestions.
trish6hundred
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#3
Mouth breathing often causes the leaks and dry throat you described. You don't need a prescription for a chinstrap. If your DME insists on a prescription, you can order one from one of the suppliers on the supplier list (see the link at the top of the page). I use the PureSom Ruby chinstrap, but I've also used spandex headbands as chinstraps. They stretch out after 2 or three nights, but you can shrink them back down by washing them in hot water.
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#4
One thing to remember is that Cpap does not work when you breath in thru your mouth. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. When you breath in thru your mouth with a nasal mask your airway and lung pressure has to be negative. Zero pressure is defined as atmospheric pressure. The pressure swings also disturb your sleep as well as allow apneas to occur.
GeneS



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#5
If you can get the chin strap to work for you then good deal!
You might want to get acclimated to the full face mask and learn to work with it
if the chin strap does not work for you. Sooner or later you are going to catch a cold and need a full face mask anyway.
Don't be caught unprepared!

P.S. Kill those leaks!
Smile
"With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable." - Thomas Foxwell Buxton

Cool
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#6
Well, I tried tightening my mask a bit, but that appeared to have a negative effect on the leakage. I guess that the looser it is, the more it will balloon out and seal better...but I am just guessing. Last night I showed lots of leakage during the first couple of hours, then quieted down for a couple of hours, got bad for an hour, and then I was good for a couple more hours. I don't know if I am opening my mouth or just breaking the seal on the mask by rolling over. AHI wasn't great, but it was below 5.
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#7
Don't short change yourself.
If your AHI is less than 5 you're doing pretty good!
Pick up a chin strap and see if you can keep the leaks down though.
I think Zonk makes his own from elastic bandages.
Experiment.
It took me several months but I have my leaks down to near zero with only occasional break outs and AHI is usually between 2.0 and 0.4

Everyone is different and has to work out their own system / style of operations that work.

Hang in there!

Smile
"With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable." - Thomas Foxwell Buxton

Cool
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#8
When I went from a full face mask to a nasal mask I tried a chin strap. Mine didn't stay on. It kept sliding off no matter how I secured it. Eventually a long ace bandage wrapped under my chin and over my head several times stayed on better but still slipped off. I woke up when I started breathing through my mouth because it was an uncomfortable feeling for me. I quickly learned to keep my tongue pressed against my the roof of my mouth.

Do the leaks wake you up?
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#9
I still do not know whether the leaks are from opening my mouth, or just leakage in the mask. I would think that if I opened my mouth, I would wake up, but looking at my graphs, I can see that the leakage is not related to when I awake which is usually time for a bathroom break. Is there a way from looking at the data to determine if the leakage is from mouth breathing versus mask leakage?

One other thing where I could use some advice is to whom I talk with concerning the fit and leakage. My history is: my cardiologist recommended the sleep study (with whom I see typically 1/6 mo), I did the sleep study which said that I have relatively severe apnea (16 - 20 events per hour), never saw a doctor after the sleep study (spent two nights, one the original study, and one with a CPAP), a home health care place called to say that they had my machine that was prescribed (I assume by the sleep study place). Of course, this week a do have an appointment with my family doctor, to whom I might drop these issues one.
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#10
Most fitting discussions happen with the supplier (DME) since they allegedly have trained staff.

16-20 is considered "moderate" sleep apnea. It's all the same to me though.

When looking at the data, a mouth leak is a huge spike where a lot of air is coming out. Mask pressure drops as well.

With a mask leak, it is often slow to rise vs a big spike. I would assume that a mouth leak would also come and go while a mask leak would last longer (until you rolled over or something).

PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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