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Changed Full Face Mask
My DME Supplier only offers Drive Medical masks. Apparently they are not main stream masks. Recently the model I had been using was discontinued by Drive and I was supplied with a similar but different model mask which I have used for eleven nights.

Comfort level is somewhat better and noisiness is less. With the previous mask my AHI was running most of the time between 5 and 10 which I know is high. From the first night, with the current mask the AHI has been below 5, ranging between 2.6 max and 0 one night. The new mask is showing a slightly higher leakage rate of between 3.5 and 13.0 LPM compared to leakage of the previous mask in the range of 2 to 8 LPM. RESmart indicates leakage < 90 LPM to be less than high leakage so the rates shown for either mask appear to be well within acceptable rates.

So, my question is: Should I rejoice in the lower AHI readings or is there reason to think it's too good to be true? Before using the current mask I felt like it was going to take replacing my CPAP with an APAP to get the AHI below 5.

I attempted to attach a copy of the three page report that can be printed from the SD card in my machine but I don't think it was successful. I will try to follow up with that.
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hi stanleydean,

how are you feeling with the new mask? sounds like it's more comfortable and less noise... do you feel like you are getting better sleep?

The improvement in AHI is probably real. The machines can tolerate a bit of a leak and still accurately measure the events. Leaks within the 8-13 range are probably within the tolerance of the machine.

It might be interesting to look at before and after reports from the data on your SD card to see the details of what has changed. Different masks do behave differently, so maybe the same machine pressure with the new mask crosses some threshold of pressure delivered to your pipes to keep them a tad more open. Or maybe being a little more comfortable means you don't move around or wake up as much and so get less disturbances that translate into events.

If you had hypopnea events a slight increase in pressure caused by a different mask might make some of those go away and reduce the AHI. But you would need to look at the data before and after in order to determine what is different in the metrics between the two masks to understand what changed.

Bottom line is that lower AHI is a good thing. Congratulations on dropping down to zero-to-2.6, that's awesome. If you can feel the difference during the day from better sleep then that's even better.

Saldus Miegas
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Never look a gift horse in the mouth and never argue with winning scores. Maybe that's why they discontinued the other mask! Wink Sleep well.

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The iCodeConnect printout that I can get from my CPAP machine is attached below. The printout is in PDF format and on my computer it opens with Adobe Reader. I can not confirm that what appears below as [attachment=2185] is actually the report so I'm posting it to see if it posts properly. If it does not come through properly any and all helpful input will be appreciated.

Thanks, Stan


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I opened the previous post and it looks like the attachment worked! The AHI chart shows clearly when the new mask came into play with the string of readings less than five. Also the change in leakage rates is apparent.

Thanks to the responses from SaldusMiegas and surferdude2 I am feeling more comfortable that this marked reduction in AHI is for real. The attachment also seems to indicate that the leakage rates with the new mask are within reason and should not result in erroneous AHI readings.

What an amazing forum this is, thanks to all of the participants.

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Well I agree with the above. Looking at your data, if I did not know about your mask change, I might think something has broken with your machine. That change in your numbers from one day to the next is amazing and great to see. You might even get it to drop a point or two depending on if the apnea's are OA's or CA's. If they are CA's you do not want to raise the pressure. If OA's a slight pressure increase might knock a few down as long as it does not also raise up some CA's.

Either way your looking good where you are. As above how are you feeling? Less tired? more energy? Happy? or about the same?

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Hi Stan,

There are others in the forum who are experts at interpreting other people's data, but I would be pretty happy to see this in my own data.

I don't see any reason to doubt the data in the report is real. Also don't see anything in the data that jumps out to explain the sudden improvement.

I would be tempted to tinker a little with the pressure along the lines of PoolQ's suggestion to keep a watch on what changes in the numbers if you tweak the pressure a little higher or lower. If you do make changes, small tweaks like a half cm pressure and watch for several days to allow for natural variations before you decide what the effect was on your numbers.

The air leaks are at a manageable level, but if you wanted to try and improve on that, then I would go search for youtube videos on how to fit your new mask, maybe you will pick up a few pointers that might make a difference. Might find these with keywords like: <your mask model> review fitting features (etc). Also think about where you feel or hear leaks, do they wake you up? If not then no worries, if yes, then what do you do to make them go away when that happens?

btw, have you noticed any improvement in how you feel after a couple of weeks of lower AHI sleep time?

Congrats and best wishes.

Saldus Miegas
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Thanks PoolQ and SaldusMiegas. Yes, I am sleeping better and the mask is more comfortable. I may be feeling better during the day also, not 100% sure because I am also in the midst of dealing with some back and knee issues involving some pain but mostly causing me to become tired late in the day. I am probably feeling better with the new mask. I do feel pretty good and I am definitely a happy 82 year old, thankful that I am in relatively good health with no complaints.

As you can see from the chart I do get enough sleep and and except for two or three times to answer nature's call it is good sleep, the new mask has improved the quality of sleep.

A while back still using the previous mask I did try upping the pressure from 9 to 10 for a couple of days, it seemed to cause increased AHI and was not comfortable. If I can dig out the obstructive vs central numbers and it is mostly central I will play with the pressure some more with the new mask and will post accordingly.

Thanks again for your interest and help, Stan
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