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[CPAP] Can't wear mask for long periods of time.
Can't wear mask for long periods of time.
What if you can't wear your mask for periods of time? I have to use a full face mask and after trying many types only one works.
I have to tighten in down very hard to keep it from leaking and sometimes it cuts the bridge of my nose. I can go a week before my nose heals enought to wear the mask again.[/font]
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RE: Can't wear mask for long periods of time.
Ok, you might need (you do need- had the same problem) to pad your nose bridge or put moleskin on the mask. Don't let this get out of hand, I can't wear a mask that contacts the bridge of my nose anymore. I use the FitLife Total Face Mask now (not the one size fits all). You should not have to tighten the mask that much. I know it's counterintuitive, but the mask should float on your face. Review instructions on fitting the mask. It takes some adjusting to get it right. Try the FitLife. I know it's daunting in appearance, but fits well, doesn't touch your nose, and I usually have 0 leaks with the straps fairly loose.
Good luck. I got tired of hearing "what's wrong with your nose", and had to take 21 days off and still have a scar and thin skin on the bridge of my nose.
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RE: Can't wear mask for long periods of time.
For one, you should never tighten a mask so tight it leaves a mark. Over-tightening actually causes more leaks than it cures.

There are pads and the like available like Zimlich suggested. Irritation and marks are common. With some nasal masks, I had a problem with that stabilizer thingy that rested on my forehead. For some reason, the silicone there bothered my skin but it didn't elsewhere.

If I may ask, why do you have to use a full face mask? Which one do you use? Where is it leaking?
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RE: Can't wear mask for long periods of time.
Hi cycle5200
Full face masks are the most leaky but if you have to use full face mask for some reason than you need to find a comfortable one to wear. What full face mask are you using, try to wear it looser as the cushion need to inflate with air to get a good seal. Here is an excellent mask fitting guide by jeffy1958

If one mask didn't work for you try another your can exchange masks within 30 days and try another, there different style of full face masks with and without the dial, Hybrid (Mirage Liberty with nasal pillows) and also one from Fisher & Paykel goes under the chin. Here are some examples of full face masks.

[edit by Admin: this site is now a DME - (go to Supplier #25 in the Supplier List)]

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RE: Can't wear mask for long periods of time.
You may want to try the Swift FX Nasal Pillow with a Chinstrap.
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RE: Can't wear mask for long periods of time.
I have to use a full face mask because I am a mouth breather which cannot be corrected with a chin strap. Duct tape works, but is painful to take off.

I have many types of full face masks and found the Fisher Paykel Fexfix Fit 431 comes the closest to leaking less. When it leaks it is on the left side of my chin and wakes my wife. It leaks every night.

I have tried light pressure and every combination of tightening and/or loosing the combination of the four straps.

I am an active sleeper and move around alot. One turn and light pressure leaks right aways. I sleep on my side and have a tendency to sleep with my face into the pillow. This is what is
causing the cuts on the bridge on my nose. I use a silicone pad on the bridge on my nose, but it doesn't prevent the mask from cutting my nose all of the time.

I tried to learn to sleep on my back without sucess.

I am on 14 sonagrams. Since I have to go up to a week without the mask, I am worried if I am causing myself health damage.

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RE: Can't wear mask for long periods of time.
Yes, you are.

Not breathing or shallow breathing causes low blood oxygen (saturation). This can cause cells to die or not function completely. While a week will not necessarily kill you, it will make you miserable. Your blood pressure could increase as well. Mine sky rockets which is my indicator it is time to adjust the pressure.

I wonder if there are different straps that you can use? Or a different headgear that holds it better?

Small leaks are not a problem and your machine can compensate. I wake up once a night to readjust my mask, especially when I've been sleeping on my back (a new thing for me lately). I always wake up when I roll off my back anyway so it could be the mask had been leaking for a while but, like yours, my spouse is my leak alarm.

Why did the chinstraps not work? There's a lot of them out there.
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RE: Can't wear mask for long periods of time.
I have been using a CPAP for 10 years and have spent quite a lot of money on various masks, headgear and chinstraps. I could not find one chinstrap that could keep my mouth closed, except for duct tape. (Not a good solution) So I have to use a full face mask and I think I have tried them all.

I appreciate all the responses I got from my posting. Just trying to make sure I'm not missing anything. It just may be a case of the fact that I toss and turn all night long and all the movement is causing the mask to leak no matter how hard I strap it down. My wife is also my leak detector and I am constantly adjusting the mask, but it seems once it starts leaking there is no stopping it, so I just take it off. These are not small leaks.

It is what it is. I know I could not use a full head mask, so I'll make due with the one I have. I figure I use it about 4 hours a night.

One issue I'd like to make is you are told to go back and see your CPAP supplier. The 20 years old girl with 2 years of community college that has never
worn a CPAP mask is in no position to be able to help you. Your CPAP doctor, likewise has never use a CPAP and can offer no solution. As many people that need to wear a CPAP and the many more that need to use one but don't know it, it seems to me that better equipment should be available.

I read somewhere, that if you can use it 4 hours a night, you are getting enought therpy as using it all night. Has anyone heard of this?
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RE: Can't wear mask for long periods of time.
(03-17-2012, 09:39 AM)cycle5200 Wrote: I read somewhere, that if you can use it 4 hours a night, you are getting enought therpy as using it all night. Has anyone heard of this?

any time you sleep without the mask you are having apnea episodes with all the associated o2 deficiency and inner organ problems that go with it. so it's not like you sleep 4 hours and get charged up or something like that. the purpose is not to sleep a few hours and feel a little good. i guess therapy as it is used is a bad word. it's more like treatment. you need to be treated with cpap every minute you sleep to prevent or overcome episodes.

the 4 hour thing is mostly an insurance benchmark for paying for the machine. companies that do check compliance will normally not pay for it if you don't use it at least 4 hours per night. that doesn't mean 4 hours is all you need. if you can exist on 4 hours sleep per night, you're good. most people can not.

if you are sleeping for any reason at any time or any place the mask should be on you. if you have tried every mask and no mask works, you need to be in the sleep doctors face telling him, so he can come up with another plan. if he can't help you find another doctor.

at a bare minimum you should have an o2 generator to sleep with so your o2 doesn't drop so bad during episodes. thats what i did when i couldn't tolerate pressures til i got my auto machine. o2 does not replace cpap but it may mitigate the damage apnea is doing. get your doc to order an overnite pulse oximeter test to see what your o2 is doing overnite now. you can buy your own oximeter that may or may not be accurate, but if your doctor orders it, he will get the information to justify an o2 generator to the insurance company.

i hope this helps.
First Diagnosed July 1990

MSgt (E-7) USAF
Retired 1968-1990
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RE: Can't wear mask for long periods of time.
Four hours a night satisfies insurance requirments, it does not satisfy your health needs. If you are having apneas the other hours you sleep, and if you desat (not everyone does- buy an oximeter if you want to know) you are damaging your heart. Those of us committed to our therapy and health use the machine 100 % of sleep time, including naps. There is plenty of equipment out there. Everthing doesn't fit every person. I must have tried 20 masks (some just tried on) before I found the one I love that works for me. I too have trouble with the bridge of my nose and cannot use a mask that rests there. If you use a nasal mask use painters tape, not duct tape to tape your mouth shut. Also a denture adhesive lightly applied to the lips, during the night you can open your mouth and then just lick your lips and it should adhere again.

Sorry to be blunt, but this is your life and your health. Man up. You have not tried everything, some have- they kept at it until it worked for them It's a lot of effort, but worth it. You're doing the right thing writing to the forum- shows a good attitude- you want to make it work.

As for the mask leaks. You might want to try the tried and true Macks Silicone Ear Plug Method. You take some of the ear plugs, roll them in your hands to soften, roll into a string the size of a pencil and place around the edge of the mask where it meets your face. Has to be redone every day, I take it off and roll it into a ball and place in an airtight container. Redo the next night. Doesn't take much time.
Good luck, keep us posted, please.
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