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Constant air leaks
#1
I have given up on the CPAP for the past week. The constant air leaks during the night. No matter how we adjust the straps or how tight they are, same problem. Does the size of the mask make any difference? If I am going to spend more money, it should be spent on a solution. What else might work?
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#2
Every face is different.
A common mistake is overtightening, the seal must be allowed to conform to the face, but due to different shapes, some masks seal better than others.
Full-face masks like the F20 are the hardest to seal.
I like the F20, but I get leaks around my chin because my head drops as I sleep and pushes the bottom of the mask away.
I use the P10 nasal pillows, and a soft cervical collar to support my chin to help avoid mouth leaks.
-- Rich
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#3
If you have insurance and you are using a DME to receive your supplies, I suggest you ask them about using their demo masks to find the right fit for you. Durable medical equipment providers (DME), good ones, will have masks for you to try before you commit to a certain mask and fortunately, you don't pay until you've selected the mask that works best for you.

If you are getting supplies online and out of pocket, obtain a guarantee so that you aren't dumping money on a variety of masks that may or may not work. Some suppliers offer guarantees if the mask doesn't work and you return the mask for a new one if it doesn't work out. I think some suppliers offer this standard and some offer it with a premium.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

Good luck and best wishes.
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#4
(05-22-2018, 07:22 AM)NewUserOK Wrote: I have given up on the CPAP for the past week. The constant air leaks during the night. No matter how we adjust the straps or how tight they are, same problem.

Just to be sure that this is not what you're talking about, before you continue your personal mask quest: Every mask has an air vent in front to carry away exhaled air+CO2, forced out by a small fraction of the pressure from the machine. In some masks, it's covered by a diffuser so that it's very quiet and you won't notice the air flow unless you put your hand next to the diffuser. In other masks (the vast majority, I assume) there is no diffuser and the vent's air flow can be (depending on the make & model) either loud or physically annoying or both. I haven't used the F20 so far, so I don't know about that one.

Dealing with that is just one small part of the big adventure of finding the right mask for you.
"I wanted to be a Boy Scout, but I had all the wrong qualities.  They were looking for kids who were trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.  Whereas I tended to be devious, fickle, obstructive, hostile, rude, mean, defiant, glum, extravagant, cowardly, dirty, and sacrilegious."  (George Carlin)
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#5
(05-22-2018, 07:22 AM)NewUserOK Wrote: I have given up on the CPAP for the past week. The constant air leaks during the night. No matter how we adjust the straps or how tight they are, same problem. Does the size of the mask make any difference? If I am going to spend more money, it should be spent on a solution. What else might work?

As is the case in so many instances, size really does matter.  So does fit. The two, in concert, make for a blissful world across those same many instances.  The magic is finding the confluence of the two as you must appreciate, if ruefully.



For the first time since starting PAP, I had to adjust the two top side-straps of my AirFit N20 nasal mask just two nights ago.  I noticed the leaks becoming more frequent, so as I was wearing the mask, I loosened the Velcro straps and gave them a very slight tug and re-seated them.  Much better since then.

I read of people who have taken up all the slack they can tolerate without popping off the tops of their heads who beg for advice here, wondering why they simply can't get a seal.  It must be the wrong mask or gear, but it's 100% certain its the wrong fit.  As one responder has stated already, tightening the straps too much will not solve the problem.  But judiciously, experimentally, slackening some while tightening others, or making other combinations, might improve things considerably.
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#6
Make, model, size, shape of your face all makes a vast difference to the mask for leaks.
The biggest problem is people (including me when I started) is to tighten the mask far to tight and when it leaks to tighten it even more, to the point it hurts and can even cut the bridge of the nose.
The answer is to tighten the mask just enough for the seal of the mask to touch the face and hopefully be just tight enough to stop any leaks.
Start the machine and adjust tightness if required when leaks occur.
How most masks work is when the mask is put on the seal should just touch the skin and not be to tight, when the machine starts it pushes the seal out
wards and pushes the seal against the skin to make a seal.  If you tighten the mask to much, the seal can't move outwards to from a seal.
If you tighten it to tight it will just dig into your face and cause deep marks where the seal dug in.

You may find that when you go to sleep you have a good seal, then during the night you wake up to leaks everywhere, this I found was always the case  (it is almost as if you shrink when you cool down at night) but just nip up the tightness of the straps slightly and carry on.
Most times you can do this without stopping the machine, but if you need to go to the rest room, this is a good chance to do it.
When you return, just pop the mask on as before and start the machine, check there is no leaks, if there is adjust the mask and have another good sleep.
>^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^<
I am NOT a doctor.  I try to help, but do not take what I say as medical advice.

I am just a long term user of c.p.a.p. and therefore I have some experience in using these machines and equipment.

However, I am NOT an expert, so advice given should be taken as given in good faith only and NOT medical advice.

Every journey, however large or small starts with the first step.   Coffee
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#7
Hi NewUser

Well you have uncovered the most difficult aspect of CPAP therapy- mask leaks. It took me well over 6 months to find a mask that works best for me. Key word is “best” since leaks will occur regardless in my humble opinion. Leaks from Full Face Masks (FFM) are the most common for me but mouth leaks is my bane with Nasal/cushion/pillow masks.

Size and adjustment is critical. I can get lots of different FFM’s to seal using the mask fit on my Airsence A10 but my chins drops causing major leaks so I use a soft cervical collar every night. I also have the jowls or folds on my face adjacent to my mouth which also makes for leaks as my face relaxes during sleep.

My nightly use FFM is now the Philips Dreamwear FFM but size was crucial for most nights without “major” leaks. I use the Medium and the medium wide won’t work without major leaks - so hopefully you have a DME that should help you get fitted.

Mask fit is a long journey but an essential one.

Some great advice already given you - try them and don’t give up.
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#8
I too am struggling yo find the right mask. Mouth breathing precludes a nasal mask, although I have tried Resmed N20 with Chinup straps, some mask with nasal pillows, a Resmed mirage full face mask, Phillips Dreamwear full face mask, none of these work for me. I have had some success with the Resmed F20 and Remzzzs mask liners. The liners are pricey, about $25 for 30. They want you to change to a new one every night, but I and many folks here get 3-4 nights from each one. I did find one box of them on Ebay for $15 and snatched it up. I have also had success making my own liners from cpap wipes. Others have used old tee shirts. It took some practice to get it cut right. I did take advantage of the mask insurance from Supplier #1 and returned the Dreamwear mask for a full refund.
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#9
Read Mask primer on the link below. It might help you out.
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#10
(05-22-2018, 05:55 PM)srcpt Wrote: I too am struggling yo find the right mask. Mouth breathing precludes a nasal mask, although I have tried Resmed N20 with Chinup straps, some mask with nasal pillows, a Resmed mirage full face mask, Phillips Dreamwear full face mask, none of these work for me. I have had some success with the Resmed F20 and Remzzzs mask liners. The liners are pricey, about $25 for 30. They want you to change to a new one every night, but I and many folks here get 3-4 nights from each one. I did find one box of them on Ebay for $15 and snatched it up. I have also had success making my own liners from cpap wipes. Others have used old tee shirts. It took some practice to get it cut right. I did take advantage of the mask insurance from Supplier #1 and returned the Dreamwear mask for a full refund.

I have been using nasal pillows and the Ultimate Chin Strap to limit mouth leaking for 8 years. Perfect for me.
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