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[CPAP] Seeking advice for two problems with nose mask
#1
Seeking advice for two problems with nose mask
Good afternoon! I’ve been advised to use a nose mask for a number of reasons, and it’s turning out to be problematic for me. First, my pressure is very high (14) and my humidifier is essentially useless. No matter where I set the humidity level, the air is dry, and the reservoir runs dry in a few hours. So I end up with a painfully dry nose, and even nose bleeds.

The other problem is that I have always been a mouth-breather in my sleep. I have tried a strap, and taping my lips, but when I do that, my cheeks just inflate, and I end up with air in my ears. It’s very uncomfortable. 

Does anyone have any experience with these types of problems? I’d be so grateful for any advice. Thanks!
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#2
RE: Seeking advice for two problems with nose mask
If you could elaborate on the "number of reasons" that you've been advised to use nasal pillows, it might help. Because my first reaction to everything that you've written is, use a full face mask.

There are also 'half masks' that fit under the nose but over the mouth. Would one of those address your issues?

Oh and also, have you changed your cpap machine mask setting from 'full face mask' to 'nasal pillows'? Nasal pillows take less pressure than full face masks. That might ease things off. 

And then, have you explored simply reducing the pressure on your machine?
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#3
RE: Seeking advice for two problems with nose mask
I was also a mouth breather in my sleep but I forced myself to keep the tongue up on the roof of my mouth and in a short period of time it became natural. So my advice is to work at it and give your body a chance to learn what your teaching.
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#4
RE: Seeking advice for two problems with nose mask
(04-21-2020, 06:57 PM)hegel Wrote: If you could elaborate on the "number of reasons" that you've been advised to use nasal pillows, it might help. Because my first reaction to everything that you've written is, use a full face mask.

There are also 'half masks' that fit under the nose but over the mouth. Would one of those address your issues?

Oh and also, have you changed your cpap machine mask setting from 'full face mask' to 'nasal pillows'? Nasal pillows take less pressure than full face masks. That might ease things off. 

And then, have you explored simply reducing the pressure on your machine?

Thanks for your reply. The respiratory therapist at my pulmonologist's office was very adamant that I, and indeed everyone should be using nose masks exclusively. She wasn't very forthcoming with reasons why. Just kind of expected me to accept her authority on the subject. I Found her position pretty extreme, but decided to research the matter a little. After reading about the importance of nitric oxide to general health (the production of which is benefited by nose-breathing) and the effect of extreme dry-mouth on my teeth and gums, I decided it was worth trying pretty hard to manage it. 


I did forget to change the setting to nasal mask from full-face, so thank you very much for the reminder. I have reduced my pressure a bit from where they set it at the DME, but I hesitate to reduce it much more. I really wish I could get a bigger reservoir for my machine.

(04-21-2020, 07:20 PM)Nightynite Wrote: I was also a mouth breather in my sleep but I forced myself to keep the tongue up on the roof of my mouth and in a short period of  time it became natural.  So my advice is to work at it and give your body a chance to learn what your teaching.

Certainly good advice. I do mean to try to re-train myself in that way. We'll see if I have any luck.
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#5
RE: Seeking advice for two problems with nose mask
MsFenriss, welcome to the Apnea Board.

If all other things fail to prevent mouth breathing, the manufacturers do make the full face mask for a reason. Despite what the RT told you, a full faced mask does work and provides apnea therapy to those that can't get a nasal or nasal pillows mask to work. Certainly try everything possible that you can to keep the mask to a minimal footprint like these pillows and nasal masks present. Chin straps or a modified variant called Knightsbridge Dual Band help some. The tongue trick to keep the normally natural seal can be done, but for some it's elusive to master. A full face mask may be an option, but it does present its own issues, such as maintaining a decent seal. Of all the aspects of apnea therapy, the right mask is still most difficult.
Dave

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#6
RE: Seeking advice for two problems with nose mask
Thanks for the welcome! I have ordered a chin strap, which may help. I can always fall back on my full face mask if all else fails.
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#7
RE: Seeking advice for two problems with nose mask
Chin straps didn't help me much with mouth breathing. A combination of a full face mask and soft cervical collar helped get my leaks to an acceptable level and stopped the dry mouth.

Using a room humidifier where you sleep may help the water in your CPAP machine last longer. Resolving the mouth breathing will help as well.
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#8
RE: Seeking advice for two problems with nose mask
The more I use my AirFit F30 FFM, the more I'm liking it. Much more comfortable than my AirFit F20. Those are the only two masks that I have / use. 

I'm a mouth-breather and have tried breathing via my nose. It just ain't gonna happen.  Dont-know
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#9
RE: Seeking advice for two problems with nose mask
in 3 years of therapy I've only ever used nasal pillows. none of the other masks they tried on me at my titration sealed, presumably because I sport a full beard. anyway, I've also always had problems with lip leaks. a soft cervical collar worked pretty well for a couple years but lately leaks have increased so I'm also using a chin strap of sorts - a one inch nylon strap with a buckle that I probably cut off an old backpack - to support the chin as close to vertically as possible. it's tight and uncomfortable (so is the collar) but so far is helping. my problem isn't jaw drop; it's air getting by the palatal shunt (idk what that's called) into the mouth and forcing the lips apart. chin straps and collars are often the first line of defense and if a beard is not an issue, a ffm or tape should help. some successfully employ the tongue suck technique, but I've been unable to master it, I think because my tongue is too big for my mouth.
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#10
RE: Seeking advice for two problems with nose mask
You're receiving excellent advice about mask choice, so I won't speak to that (since it'd be the same info as the others).

As for the dry mouth/nose and running the humidifier tub out of water... Are you using a heated hose? That would help. Maybe you can turn the temp up (warmer).

For me, I use a heated hose (game-changer) and a cloth hose cover (more comfy for me to brush against that in my sleep).
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