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Ears popping & mouth filling with air
#1
Question 
Ears popping & mouth filling with air
Lately, I have been having issues with my ears popping in the middle of the night and my mouth filling with air, almost like you're holding your breath and your lips and cheeks fill up.
It's waking me up and causing me to remove my headgear.
I would go pee or get a drink, hop back in bed and put the mask back on only to have my ears start to try to pop again, like going on an airplane.  Headgear comes off and I just go to sleep without the mask when this happens.

I am using the ResMed AirFit F30 mask when this happens, it's currently the only "right-sized" mask I can use until Jan 22, 2021 when my insurance will approve a new mask.  (getting an F20 medium when it happens, my original F20 just leaks all night nowadays, it's from September with the same gasket) - buying from a reseller isn't an affordable option right now Sad

Not sure what I can try, my pressure is set for 5-12 on my ResMed AirSense 10 so I don't think I am even going that strong, I see some of ya with pressure set probably double mine.  Searching the forums for the word "ear" or "ear pop" is too few letters so I apologize if this has been answered a billion times already.

(I don't have access to OSCAR data tonight but I can upload tomorrow if necessary, hopefully this is a common thing)
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#2
RE: Ears popping & mouth filling with air
Most of us naturally keep our tongues up near the roof of the mouth, and this 'diagonal' position tends to seal against the cheeks as well.  However, soon after commencing PAP therapy of a kind and of any pressure, some of us learn that our mouths open, or our jaws sag, or our tongues lose their tone completely, and we start mouth-breathing.  Or, more like mouth 'gushing' as the machine senses a reduction in the desired pressure it is obliged to maintain, and it ramps up slowly....more gushing.

If you don't already do this, consider acquiring a foam 'cervical collar' from an online supplier or at a health supplies outfit near you, and don it when you retire for the evening as you don your headgear for your PAP therapy.  They help to keep the jaw closed.

In my case, I prefer to tape over my lips.  This is not for the faint-of-heart.  But, it works for me.  I was in the Canadian Armed Forces and learned to sleep with a full face gas mask out in the boonies on exercise.  You can get used to anything.

You can try to use the 'tongue suck' technique, which I believe is explained in the glossary...not sure about that.  You lift your tongue to the palate during the day, any time you think of it, and suck the tongue up and lock it 'back' against the pharyngeal tissue and rear of the palate.  Supposedly, in time it becomes a sort-of default.  But, you must persist.  If it becomes second nature, it will also be the default during sleep.  It seals off the mouth cavity from being inflated.  No more cheempunk cheeks.
Contrite, and wiser.
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#3
RE: Ears popping & mouth filling with air
TY for the advice but I need to keep my mouth open while I am asleep because I breathe from it.  Maybe I am just imagining taping the whole mouth shut but you're suggesting not closing it entirely?  If I close my mouth entirely I won't be able to breathe from just my nose, one nostril is super deviated.

I have a neck-pillow for airplane/travel sleeping I will use tonight before I get on ebay tomorrow morning and look for an actual neck cushion.
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#4
RE: Ears popping & mouth filling with air
It sounds like you may need to adjust your pressure settings to strike a good balance of efficacy and comfort. I had to do that with aerophagia problems. Anytime the pressure gets above my threshold, I get a belly full of air. I have learned some techniques to minimize air pressurizing my eardrums. Bottom line is, you need to get proper therapy, but you also need to maximize your comfort which may require a compromise. That way you will look forward to a good night sleep on PAP and continue benefiting from effective therapy.

I would recommend installing OSCAR and upload some screen snapshots so the experts here can offer some adjustments to try. If you haven't accessed the clinician menu to make adjustments, just hold the Dial and Home button below the display for a few seconds then the clinician menu will popup and become available.

You should be able to find an F20 cushion on Amazon or eBay for a little over $20. It's nice to have a spare on hand since the silicon seal is fairly delicate.

One thing I would also recommend is to turn on the Ramp function with settings that mimic the feel of normal breathing without PAP. If you normally fall to sleep in 5 minutes, set the ramp to 5 minutes too. The idea is to fall asleep in the most comfort you can with your machine and ramp up to therapy pressures once you are asleep.

I'm usually out in 5 to 10 minutes, so I set mine to 5 minutes. And it works well for me.

Don't worry about asking questions that have already been addressed. It sounds like you did some homework already, but everybody has different experiences and different needs. Often times someone will post a reply with a link to another thread they may be helpful. So, please, ask away.
RayBee

  
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#5
RE: Ears popping & mouth filling with air
I have posted several times about ear popping. Click on my name, and you should be able to see what I've posted. But long story short, for me, the ear popping was during the day, and I was able to resolve the ear popping by turning off EPR/flex. I think my ears don't like the constant pressure change with each breath. (My ears have always been sensitive to pressure changes due to altitude, etc.)
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