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[CPAP] New To CPAP - Need Help Finding Mask, Reliable Dealer
#1
Hello. I am a 53 y/o man who had undiagnosed sleep apnea my entire life. Always sleepy, took an hour laying in bed + shower + bucket of coffee to wake up, etc. Finally went for a sleep test and I was diagnosed.

I have been on CPAP therapy for the past 7 days and my life has changed for the best! I wish I did this 20 years ago. I can name 5 things that have improved so far but that's not the point.

They started me on a nasal pillow mask - the ResMed Swift FX. It worked great except after a few days it started to irritate my nostrils and hurt my nose. I called my doc to complain and he wrote a prescription for a full face mask and sent it to the respiratory supply company. They were supposed to send a tech to fit me for an alternate mask.

When I came home yesterday the respiratory company left a full face mask on my doorknob (Comfortgel Blue). No note, no anything. I took it out of the bag and tried it on but I don't think it fits right.

I am at a loss. Is there such a thing as a show room where you can go and get fitted for a mask that fits perfectly? Or is it just trial and error. I am in the NY Metro area but I would be willing to drive an hour to find a place where I could try on different masks to find one that fits.

In the meantime, I will go back to the nasal pillows and deal with the painful nose because I can't imagine living life as a sleepy-head any more.

Thanks - I appreciate any help you offer.
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#2
CoreyCorey, welcome, I'm glad you found CPAP, I'm 50 and have also had it my whole life and have been on CPAP for 2 years now and they have been the best 2 years of my ife, you really start to feel the effect after 3 - 6 months. I can't help you with the fitting as I live in Australia but there will be places you can go. The mask is the most important and hardest part of the treatment so make sure you get some help. I use a FFM and love it but sometimes you need to try numerous masks till you get it right, good luck.
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#3
Corey,

Contact your DME and find out where they are located, then arrange a visit to their offices. Local DMEs (as opposed to online DMEs) should allow you to try on various masks until you find one that works for you. The DME should have set up an appointment with you, so you could try on the masks at your home.

BTW, Welcome
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 OPINIONS ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF FACT.
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#4
Welcome

You're in the right place, Corey.
I'm sure you'll be able to get things worked out from the stuff you learn here!

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

Cool
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#5
I'm new to the use of cpap, too. I googled cpap help and found an online guy who gives reviews after personally trying out a variety of masks. I found that to be very helpful. I actually wound up buying a mask not reviewed by him but quite similar to one he was reviewing. What was good about using the review site was that I had my own questions addressed, and learned about new questions i hadn't tho't to ask in regard to individual masks. It was a worthwhile experience.

I had waited for my local sleep clinic to contact me so I could see what was available, but when I went to the facility, they only had a few masks to show, even fewer to actually try on, and my overall impression was their primary interest was to get me to utilize them exclusively for ALL my apnea needs (i.e., they just wanted me to show them the money).

In the end, I used the link I found thru my google search, this forum, and my own personal physician to sort thru the myriad of questions and concerns I had. And I buy my equipment from a wonderful dealer online who is reliable, attentive and knowledgable. I won't be using our local sleep clinic anymore for this stuff.

By the way, I use Tap Pap, which I love.

(06-19-2013, 05:58 AM)CoreyCorey Wrote: Hello. I am a 53 y/o man who had undiagnosed sleep apnea my entire life. Always sleepy, took an hour laying in bed + shower + bucket of coffee to wake up, etc. Finally went for a sleep test and I was diagnosed.

I have been on CPAP therapy for the past 7 days and my life has changed for the best! I wish I did this 20 years ago. I can name 5 things that have improved so far but that's not the point.

They started me on a nasal pillow mask - the ResMed Swift FX. It worked great except after a few days it started to irritate my nostrils and hurt my nose. I called my doc to complain and he wrote a prescription for a full face mask and sent it to the respiratory supply company. They were supposed to send a tech to fit me for an alternate mask.

When I came home yesterday the respiratory company left a full face mask on my doorknob (Comfortgel Blue). No note, no anything. I took it out of the bag and tried it on but I don't think it fits right.

I am at a loss. Is there such a thing as a show room where you can go and get fitted for a mask that fits perfectly? Or is it just trial and error. I am in the NY Metro area but I would be willing to drive an hour to find a place where I could try on different masks to find one that fits.

In the meantime, I will go back to the nasal pillows and deal with the painful nose because I can't imagine living life as a sleepy-head any more.

Thanks - I appreciate any help you offer.

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#6
Hi CoreyCorey,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
If you want to continue using your nasal pillows, you might try to get some HPA Lanolin cream. You can find it at most stores in the baby isle. It's for nursing mothers but it's great for many other things such as this, and it won't break down the silicon in your pillows. Just put a "LITTLE" bit on a Q-Tip and swav the inside of your nostriles before you put your pillows in and that should help with the irritation.
Best of luck to you with your CPAP therapy and hang in there for more responses to your post.
trish6hundred
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#7
(06-19-2013, 05:58 AM)CoreyCorey Wrote: They started me on a nasal pillow mask - the ResMed Swift FX. It worked great except after a few days it started to irritate my nostrils and hurt my nose. I called my doc to complain and he wrote a prescription for a full face mask ...

Ok, I'm missing something here. If the only problem you were having with nasal pillows was irritation, you are obviously not a mouth-breather when you sleep. But then why in the heck did your doc switch you to a full face mask? A nasal mask should work even better - it's smaller, less intrusive, and will provide a better seal.

I would be surprised if you couldn't arrange to go to the offices of whomever supplied your mask (rather than them coming to you) and try on a whole assortment of masks. Be prepared to try several masks before you find one that is a good fit for you. What is the perfect mask for one person can be a perfectly lousy mask for someone else.
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#8
When I tried using the Hybrid..the nasal pillows made my nostrils hurt something awful after about a week or so..it started getting better the following couple weeks untill they didnt bother me at all anymore.

You Dme should have let you tried several masks at the very beginning of your therapy....not sure what the policy is on changing to another mask on the insurances dime after a week or two..I personally have to buy any new masks I havent tried before out of pocket myself and hope it works due to an extremely high deductible.
I don't believe anything I hear and only half of what I see
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