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Earplugs as sealant
Earplugs as sealant
In a quest to conquer my leaks last night I used silicone earplug material for the first time. The results were not dramatic, but encouraging. Normally my leak rates average 34.4 L at 95% and highest at 41.2 L. Last night my 95% rate was 27.6 L and highest was 31.2 L. It's only one night, but at least it's an improvement.

I'm currently in my ninth mask, and all have leaked just as bad. The problem is not the mask, it's that I'm all over the bed all night long - too much movement. Every time I roll from one side to the other (every 15-20 minutes) the mask dislodges.

I had a big problem with the silicone material. I rolled it between my hands into a thin rope, then tried to place it on the mask cushion (Wisp nasal mask). The silicone just fell off the cushion. It is not sticky, and the cushion is not flat, so there is no way to get it to stay on the cushion as I place it over my nose. Bear in mind that the part of the cushion that is in contact with the skin is just a very thin film so that it will conform to the shape of the face when pressurized. If it was hard plastic I could have stuck the silicone onto it, but the flimsy flap makes it impossible.

Finally, I leaned my head back and placed the silicone around my nose, flattening it down a bit. It still did not stick, but at least it stayed in place long enough to put the mask on. But when I took the mask off this morning the silicone had disappeared. I finally found it on the floor next to the bed.

I bought Mack's ear plugs from a local Walgreen's pharmacy.

For those of you who use silicone ear plug material as a mask sealant, can you give me suggestions for getting it to stay on?
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RE: Earplugs as sealant
I bought some of the same ear plugs, anticipating a need for them but ended up vanquishing my leaks
with simple cleaning. (FFM in use )

Have you tried silicone grease for sealing diver's masks? It is simple food grade silicone grease. (not oil or sealant)

I would think the grease would stick to the pillows and your nose well, but still wash off easily.
(Haven't actually TRIED this however.)

Anyone else out there know?

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

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RE: Earplugs as sealant
JJJ, the earplugs are hard to use as you said. I have used the mask sealant. It's very sticky, glues the mask to your face- a little goes a long way.
That said I have found for me (not anyone else) there is not substititute
for a properly size and fitted mask. I had help from a great DME tech with my quattro fx and am surrprised- it is not at all tight, the cushion fills with air and provides a seal as it's supposed to do.
It took me four years and countless masks to get to this place.
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RE: Earplugs as sealant
(02-28-2013, 10:24 AM)zimlich Wrote: JJJ, the earplugs are hard to use as you said. I have used the mask sealant. It's very sticky, glues the mask to your face- a little goes a long way.

I recall you said you used mask sealant for scuba masks, but I live inland and there are no places to buy scuba gear here. What brand of mask sealant do you use, and where do you get it?
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RE: Earplugs as sealant
Don't know if you want to try this or not, but I'll throw it out there.

I was in Alabama for a couple weeks on business and hadn't brought a replacement cushion with me. The cushion I was using was about two months old and getting too flimsy. A few days in and the cushion started leaking badly. I was in the hotel room and didn't want to go out looking for something like earplugs, so I started looking around for something sticky to help the cushion seal to my face. I found a little condiment packet of honey - yeah, I know, but I was desperate and willing to try anything. Squeezed a little honey out on the tip of my index finger, smeared a small amount on the cushion where it contacts my face. It worked for me. I went to Walmart and bought a small jar the next day and used it until I could get home and replace the cushion. It feels kind of funny against the face and I don't know what kind of effect long term use would have on the silicon, but I was using a cushion that was headed for the trash can anyway. I would use it again in a pinch, but now carry replacements with me so I don't have to worry about it.

In case anyone is wondering, ketchup doesn't work so well...
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RE: Earplugs as sealant
If I were an admin (and praise be I am not), I would change your username to HoneyPot.

JJJ, I was looking into this a while back when I thought I may have to change masks due to higher pressure. Every nasal mask I have tried always leaked into my eyes.

Anyway, I've not looked in the local SCUBA shops but I did poke around online. Google "scuba sealant". I found two different types. One looked to be in a lip balm kind of dispenser and another was in a jar. Trident is one brand name but some SCUBA shops make their own. Google "Dive Right In SCUBA gear" (or "DRIS gear") for a one that does this.

I've not tried any of them as the Breeze is still working out for me.

Take a deep breath and count to zen.

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