Welcome to the board, Mike. Since your profile shows that you use a nasal mask, it would seem that your mustache is causing your leaking problem rather than your beard, right? I also have both, but I can't think of a leak being directly pinned on my beard. Of course, I have had my share of mask leak issues and only recently found an answer to my latest leak battle which now seems to be under good control, but it didn't involve beard or mustache. When battling leak troubles in the past, I used to make an effort to keep my beard well trimmed, hoping doing so would help reduce leaks, but I never found a direct connection. I first used a nasal mask, then a full face mask (nose and mouth coverage) and currently a total face mask (eyes, nose and mouth coverage). The mask seals seem to do a good job even on the beard; my leaks have involved headgear adjustment and mask sealing mostly in non-beard areas of my face, it seems.
Thanks folks! I think I'll try the mask liner first (hadn't heard of those). And Dawei is correct, it is really my mustache, not my beard, that is the problem. I also think my nasal mask is too big and may try a smaller one.
I shaved my moustache. Quick and easy solution to an otherwise daunting problem. Tried nasal pillows. Poor seal. Tried nosebag. Poor seal (and I have a box full and all the bells and whistles to show for it). Tried full face mask and that seemed to work okay, but had already decided to shave the moustache anyway as it had turned white in contrast to the rest of my hair.... I have been with Quattro full face mask ever since after retrying the nasal pillows and nosebag repeatedly. And it works extremely well for me if kept clean and oil free (and wash or wipe your face before going to bed).
Facial hair is a big pain in the butt for us airheads. Wishing you the best of luck but ultimately I think you will find that the fastest and easiest route is going to be to shave off the 'stache'. And perhaps even the beard. My blood pressure also went down as a result of the loss of frustration and my leak rate, as given by my S9 Auto is the mask leak rate and rarely, if ever, goes above that unless I REALLY smoosh my face into the pillow as I am wont to do.
Educate, Advocate, Contemplate.
Herein lies personal opinion, no professional advice, which ALL are well advised to seek.
07-06-2012, 10:01 AM
(This post was last modified: 07-06-2012, 10:01 AM by BabyDoc.)
While my experience can't speak for everyone's, I haven't had a leak problem just because of my beard or mustache. My nasal mask didn't work because of leaks around the bridge of my nose, not because of my mustache. My nasal pillows leaked inititially, not because of my mustache, but because the pillow was TOO small and the straps were TOO tight.
I know several people with longer beards, more full than mine, who use full facial masks and never have a problem. Not only that, but when I went for my sleep study, I asked before hand about shaving off my facial hair, and was told by the tech that she had never had a problem with eliminating leaks that required a patient to shave off their facial hair.
This is all good info, thanks. I tried pillows during my sleep study and did not like them at all. I know that was just for a short period of time but I think I'll play around with the nasal mask first. Removing the beard and mustache is not a desirable option.
Mirage Activa LT nasal mask. I've used one since my initial DME appointment. I have a full beard/moustache. My RT took one look at me and went and pulled the LT from stock.
My average leak over the last 2 years is < 3.
I'm a scuba diver, so I'm in the habit of shaving a line across the top of my 'stache just to get the dive mask to seal, so I assumed I'd have to just do that more often, now, to use the cpap mask... but I don't. I've worn it with a 2 month growth of hair under my nose and never seen increased leakage.
So, I'd say try one - your mileage may vary, but it also might cure your issue.