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CPAP Blowing My Cheeks Up?
#1
I feel like my CPAP machine is blowing my cheeks up like a puffer fish when I sleep. Is this normal or am I having some mask fit issues?
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#2
I would think that more of a problem with higher pressures

mine sure do want to blow up and do to a point, I have some extra straps as I had to deal with pressures up near 25 cmH2O, it does want to expand and I can feel it against the straps, when the extra straps were not there I was feeling like a trumpet player with their big puffy checks

I am still on my first week on the machine so I would also like to hear how others deal with this
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#3
That is normal, annoying, and there are some methods and masks that reduce or eliminate this.

Nasal masks alone won't do this IF you close the back of your mouth. They will do it if you open the back of the mouth so the pressure in the mouth is greater than the outside air.

This is the same effect as what holds open your airway -- the primary positive benefit of CPAP -- so it is expected whenever you let higher pressure air into your mouth.

Straps are one method to controlling this when you cannot keep the air out of your mouth (e.g., mouth breathing, or just not closing off your mouth when using a nasal only mask.)

Chipmunk cheeks can happen at moderate and even lower pressures.

With 10-14 pressures:

I don't see it at all with the nasal pillow mask since the back of my mouth stays closed off and I allow no space for air in my mouth.

With an FFM, I do see this IF my mouth is part of the active airway.

With the Oral Mask (F & P Oracle) is was pretty much the way it was going to work and the strap was important for counteracting the effect. It made my jaw a little tired, even sore. Likely people learn to deal with it but it isn't going away without something to counteract or prevent the internal vs. external pressure difference.

Sweet Dreams,

HerbM
Sleep study AHI: 49 RDI: 60 -- APAP 10-11 w/AHI: 1.5 avg for 7-days (up due likely to hip replacement recovery)

"We can all breathe together or we will all suffocate alone."
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#4
It's a common thing. Sit up with the mask and machine on during the day and practice with it. Heck, you can practice blocking it without the mask.

Open your mouth and breathe through it. Then, using just your tongue, block the air from coming out your mouth. It's might be awkward at first.

Now, put on the mask and turn on the machine. Open your mouth and let the air come out. Now move your tongue and block it. Keep your mouth open for now. Just block it with your tongue. Practice with this for a while until it is easy.

Now close your mouth and let the air puff up your cheeks. Use your tongue again to block the air from coming into your mouth. It should be easier.

Eventually, you will be able to open your mouth and no air at all will come out. I don't know how I do it any more. I actually have to WORK at it to get air to come out!

PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

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