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Chin straps (sigh)
#1
Let me start at the beginning. The Wisp is my ninth mask and I've been using it now for several months. But all the masks I have tried, including the Wisp, leak badly. One reason for that is that I am mostly a side sleeper, but also because I am a very active sleeper. They video recorded my sleep study and the doc said I was "all over the bed." People who have slept with me have said we needed either a much larger bed or restraints for me.

However, no one who has slept with me has ever said I sleep with my mouth open. And my sleep doc said I did not sleep with my mouth open during the sleep study. Nevertheless, I wonder just how open your mouth has to be in order to be a mouth breather. Does it have to be gaping so it looks like you're trying to catch flies? What if my mouth is just open a tiny bit - enough to cause the leaks but not visible on a video recording?

Several months ago, at Zonk's suggestion, I finally broke down and bought a chin strap from my local DME. Because my leakage problem is mostly due to movement around the bed I wear it over the mask. It's function is not just to hold the mouth shut but also to keep the mask in place. The chin strap from the DME has no brand name or identification on it, but it looks a bit like the Chin Strap - Deluxe SKU AG302425 on Supplier #3's web site, except that it also has a strap around the back. It's basically elastic bandage material. This chin strap has worked reasonably well for me, but there are problems: 1) about once a week I wake up in the middle of the night and the strap has come off and, 2) it has become horribly filthy and no amount of washing or bleaching will get the grime out of it. Nevertheless, using this chin strap I was able for the first time to get my leaks regularly under 24L.

About a week ago I started using a Ruby chin strap, mostly on the recommendations here and also on the reviews at our suppliers' sites. Man, I just cannot get that thing to fit on my head! For the past week my maximum leaks have never been below 35L and 95% never below 24L. It is the most uncomfortable thing I have ever had on my head, pinching me in places I was not designed to be pinched. On a positive note, it has not shown any dirt yet. Smile

I'm giving up on the Ruby, but I need other ideas. I need a chin strap that has no hard parts to pinch me in the middle of the night, can be slipped on over the head without having to undo the adjustments, has enough straps placed strategically so that I can't dislodge it and, doesn't cover my ears. Does anyone make a chin strap like that?
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#2
Following with interest.

I just recently (as in the last few nights) started using a chin strap. It's the Respironics Premium style which sounds similar to what you have. My first night was a lesson learned... I had the strap too tight and woke up with a wicked headache and got poor sleep. Since then I put it on with just enough tension to support my chin and keep it from dropping, no more. Pleased to say it works beautifully and my AHI last night was almost 0.

It's a pain to put on and I wish the straps didn't need to be undone every time. I wish it just slipped on and off like my SwiftFX headgear.
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#3
I can't help with chin strap selection, since I am a successful nose-breather. However, I've been thinking about the mouth-breathing issue and am wondering if the silly stuff I do to "play" with CPAP therapy as I fall asleep might actually help.

Obviously this only works with nasal pillows or a nasal mask.

While breathing through your nose with your CPAP on, open your mouth. Now, stop any mouth leakage. It's controlled by the back of the tongue, but you are going to have to figure it out for yourself. Eventually, you should be able to be breathing normally through your nose with your mouth wide open.

Next, with your CPAP on, breathe through your mouth while blocking your nasal airway. It's like blowing up a balloon - obviously you can block your nasal airway or else you'd never develop the pressure to blow up a balloon.

Finally, with your CPAP on, switch back and forth between breathing through your nose and breathing through your mouth.

I have no data whatsoever to support this, but I'm wondering if learning the voluntary control over those muscles will somehow improve your mouth breathing situation. I believe that when I'm asleep, my "default" state is to block off my mouth airway so keeping my mouth physically closed is not an issue.

Try it and let me know.
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#4
(08-29-2013, 11:11 AM)RonWessels Wrote: I can't help with chin strap selection, since I am a successful nose-breather.

I am too, though while asleep it's sometimes difficult to prevent air escaping from between the lips and causing the "lip flutter" as it's been described. Guess I'm not very tight-lipped Smile

This happens to me on occasion, despite learning how to control the airflow and cutting off the flow through my mouth. Since it's a voluntary action, maybe not everyone can hold it at all times while asleep?

My leaks and AHI were pretty low to begin with, but the fact is they are lower and the AHI is even better the last few nights. I'll try to collect at least a weeks' worth of data to compare with.
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#5
I haven't found a chin strap I like yet so I have been using an ace bandage (4" wide I think) held together with safety pins. Not the greatest but with it under the headgear it usually stays in place with my pointy head. Not to mention how fashionable it looks!!!
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#6
(08-29-2013, 11:54 AM)Paptillian Wrote: I am too, though while asleep it's sometimes difficult to prevent air escaping from between the lips and causing the "lip flutter" as it's been described. Guess I'm not very tight-lipped Smile

That's called being a blabber mouth! Dielaughing
Sleepster
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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 OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#7
(08-29-2013, 08:30 PM)Sleepster Wrote:
(08-29-2013, 11:54 AM)Paptillian Wrote: I am too, though while asleep it's sometimes difficult to prevent air escaping from between the lips and causing the "lip flutter" as it's been described. Guess I'm not very tight-lipped Smile

That's called being a blabber mouth! Dielaughing

I only spill when the pressure's on Rolleyes
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#8
JJJ, How about using this mask? It comes with a built-in chin strap and you cannot sleep in just about any position: [Image: PicturesAndVideos] Laugh-a-lot
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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#9
(08-29-2013, 12:39 AM)Paptillian Wrote: I just recently (as in the last few nights) started using a chin strap. It's the Respironics Premium style which sounds similar to what you have. ... It's a pain to put on and I wish the straps didn't need to be undone every time. I wish it just slipped on and off like my SwiftFX headgear.

I looked at this one on the websites for the suppliers. It seemed to me that the back strap was kind of high. When my old chin strap comes off it's always toward the front, and usually because the back strap has become "unvelcroed" or has ridden up too high. Another consideration that just dawned on me is that the reason my leak rates were so high with the Ruby were that the Ruby has little in the front. I need the material in the front to hold the Wisp in place. It looks like I might have the same issue with the Respironics Premium.

(08-29-2013, 11:11 AM)RonWessels Wrote: I have no data whatsoever to support this, but I'm wondering if learning the voluntary control over those muscles will somehow improve your mouth breathing situation. I believe that when I'm asleep, my "default" state is to block off my mouth airway so keeping my mouth physically closed is not an issue. Try it and let me know.

You have an interesting theory. I'm still not convinced I'm a mouth breather, but if I get more evidence that I am I'll come back here and give your method a try.

(08-29-2013, 08:21 PM)Eddie702 Wrote: I haven't found a chin strap I like yet so I have been using an ace bandage (4" wide I think) held together with safety pins. Not the greatest but with it under the headgear it usually stays in place with my pointy head. Not to mention how fashionable it looks!!!

I threatened a long time ago to just get an elastic "ACE ™" bandage and make my own as you did. Have you had any problems keeping it clean?
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#10
(08-29-2013, 08:49 PM)PollCat Wrote: JJJ, How about using this mask? It comes with a built-in chin strap and you cannot sleep in just about any position: [Image: PicturesAndVideos] Laugh-a-lot

Love that mask!!!!Too-funny Where do I find it? A dive shop? Seriously, that's what I need. I have run out of ideas.

Kate
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