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Big leaks creeping in
#1
Big leaks creeping in
Recently, I started experiencing much higher levels of leaks than what I was used to. My therapy started 4 months ago, and I was typically seeing numbers in the range of 1% (percentage of time above leak rate threshold). However, last week's numbers are averaging 3.6%. Last night was particularly bad at 8.74%.

I'm trying to figure out if these are mouth, or mask leaks. While lately I've had cases of dry mouth, even waking me up, that was not the case last night, even with this highest leak rate ever.

I'm attaching here a magnified part of SH chart. I remember reading somewhere here that these flat tops in the leak rate chart typically point to mouth leaks. Can they still be a result of mask leaks, instead? I'm guessing that my P10 pillows may be moving out of position, as I turn in bed, especially now that the headgear is not as tight as in the beginning.


[Image: l5SzMCz.jpg]


http://imgur.com/l5SzMCz
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#2
RE: Big leaks creeping in
You can be tucking your chin in to your chest or it can be a sign that the P10 pillows are wearing out. When was the last time you changed them?
Crimson Nape
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#3
RE: Big leaks creeping in
I am alternating between 2 sets of pillows. One has been purchased just about a month ago, and the other has been in use for 4 months. I don't think pillows are the problem. More likely it could be the headgear, or of course, it could be that these are mouth leaks. I'd just like to figure it out, before I do something about it.
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#4
RE: Big leaks creeping in
To me, those look like mouth leaks. But I am not 100% certain. Are you using a chinstrap? What kind of pillow are you using? Is it quite soft and thick? If it is, you may want to look into a firmer, lower Memory Foam pillow or even better a buckwheat chaff pillow.
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#5
RE: Big leaks creeping in
Do the high leak rate times correspond to times that you are waking up? I notice my leak rates go way up at the times that I am waking up, even if I don't take the mask off - just tossing and turning seems to raise the rates (significantly at times)
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#6
RE: Big leaks creeping in
Looks like mouth leaks to me, and not serious enough to harm therapy. They are barely over the large leak threshold. Anyway, give the headgear a wash, and don't bet the 4-month old pillow is all that good. You have zero leak much of the night, so look for comfortable ways to stabilize the jaw. Unless it is disrupting your sleep, it doesn't look like an out-of-control problem yet.
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#7
RE: Big leaks creeping in
(05-17-2017, 11:16 AM)ppca Wrote: , it could be that these are mouth leaks. I'd just like to figure it out, before I do something about it.

Unfortunately the trial-and-error associated with doing something about it may be the only way to figure it out. The leak graph indicates mouth leaks. No way to be sure, though. Try a chin strap and see if that at least reduces it. From there, you may need to try a full face mask.

It's important, though, that you address this issue if you're interested in optimizing your therapy. There's no way you can get a good night's sleep with a leak graph like yours. I know because mine used to look like that. A chin strap helped a lot, but when I switched to a full face mask that is when I finally started feeling rested. It also got my fragmented sleep finally under control.
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#8
RE: Big leaks creeping in
I am thinking of getting a soft cervical collar, instead of a chin strap. A few years ago, when I was introduced to CPAP therapy (which didn't go well), I tried a chin strap, and I absolutely hated it. Maybe a collar will be a better solution.

The "good" thing, as Sleeprider noticed, is that these leaks are just barely over the threshold limit, and this last night was absolutely the worst ever, with 8.74% over the threshold, which is easily about the double at least, compared to other nights.

Thank you, folks!
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