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[Equipment] Any part-time mouth breathers transition from a FFM to Nasal Pillows?
#1
Any part-time mouth breathers transition from a FFM to Nasal Pillows?
I’ve been using a ResMed F20 mask for the past 7 months with mixed results. The problem I am having is that it will leak at the top on the sides of the bridge of my nose and/or the corners of my mouth. There seems to be a fine line between too much leakage and having to tighten the headgear so tight that it hurts my cheek bones and the back of my neck.

I have tried 7 or 8 FFM and one nasal mask over 6 titration studies through Kaiser’s Sleep Lab. The F20 was by far the best but far from a perfect solution. I just don’t want to compromise my enthusiasm to continue using my machine at the cost of a bad mask fit because I feel so much better when using the machine.

I went with a FFM because I often open my mouth when I sleep. I didn’t know if others have been in a similar situation and had success with chin straps and switching to Nasal Pillows.

Part of the problem I face is I am 100% out of pocket. If I go to Kaiser’s Sleep Lab, each visit is $70. And they seem to be pretty disinterested in working out this type of problem. Besides at $70 per visit, I could amass a collection of trial and error masks for the money I would spend on office visits. But of course I don’t want to.

It seems like there are a lot of Nasal Pillow options out there including the ResMed Mirage Liberty Hybrid but that is pretty pricy.

Do chin straps really work for a side sleeper? It seems like a lot of people, personal friends included, that love the Nasal Pillow configuration. Can't say that about my FFM. Are there any part-time mouth breathers who have transitioned to a Nasal Pillow successfully?

Thanks in advance.

Ray B.
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#2
RE: Any part-time mouth breathers transition from a FFM to Nasal Pillows?
Sorry, I was a full-time mouth breather when I started. The most successful combination is (IMHO) the ResMed P10 and medical tape (3m-micropore is common) to seal your lips. The best mask for you is the one that works.
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#3
RE: Any part-time mouth breathers transition from a FFM to Nasal Pillows?
I'm a stomach sleeper, and was full-time mouth breather when I started. My one-night experiment with a FFM was a complete failure, so I opted for the P10 and attempted to use a chin strap, but found that the chin strap was too uncomfortable for me to tolerate. After that, I started using Micropore tape with the P10 to keep my lips closed. I started with two strips spaced apart, then graduated to one strip one-inch long and down the middle. After about 9 months of using tape, I discovered that I no longer needed the tape; somehow my old habits had been erased and my mouth didn't open during the night. In any case, good luck!
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#4
RE: Any part-time mouth breathers transition from a FFM to Nasal Pillows?
I'm currently using the F20, as I've deemed it my fav FFM.

I see you are using the AirFit (silicone). Have you tried the AirTouch (memory foam)? I get a better and much more consistent seal with the AirTouch, and I don't have to crank the headgear down as tight. It's $30 online (I use Amazon) for the AirTouch cushion, and it is interchangeable with the AirFit cushion in the F20 mask.

Also, my RT helped me with deciding on the small size AirTouch cushion. I measure as being between sizes. He said you want it above or at the crease where your lip meets your chin. Sure enough, that got me a better seal!
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#5
RE: Any part-time mouth breathers transition from a FFM to Nasal Pillows?
When I began xPAP therapy, I was a mouth breather... but went with a nasal mask due to 1) claustrophobia, 2) vanity, and 3) to see if I could become a nose breather. Sure enough, nose breathing came easy to me, and I naturally did the tongue trick before I knew it was a thing!

I went with DreamWear, and liked it.

But I heard so many great things about the P10, I eventually succumbed and gave it a try. It was divine! So very quiet. Loved it! But then after a year or so, I became a mouth breather again.

I now believe it's because my P10 stopped venting well, so I was re-breathing my own air, and thus my brain insisted on getting good air and thus made my mouth open. I concluded this recently when I decided to try a different nasal mask (Wisp), and sure enough my mouth stayed closed all night.

So... I'd encourage you to give it a shot.

I will also say, I think some people may not be able to become a nose breather. I've witnessed someone else sleep - a dedicated mouth breather, and extremely deep sleeper - and the nasal mask was a total joke. So... I'm sure it depends on the person.
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#6
RE: Any part-time mouth breathers transition from a FFM to Nasal Pillows?
No way I could breathe thru my nose. I simply cannot get enough air. I use the AirFit F20 and although it's not perfect, it does do a pretty good job. 

I get air leaks at night. When I do, I simply re-adjust the mask. I'd be surprised if any mask was 100% leak free. I'm a side sleeper as well and that just complicates matters more.
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#7
RE: Any part-time mouth breathers transition from a FFM to Nasal Pillows?
Thanks for the comments.

I did buy an AirTouch mask. But I am beat down with a nasty head cold right now, often having zero ability to breathe through my nose. And it's driving me up a wall until the next round of Sudafed kicks in. I know trying to use my FFM would be a futile effort until I beat this bug. I first thought it was allergies, but not so lucky.

I have been watching some YouTube reviews on many Nasal Pillows - P10, DreamWear, Mirage Liberty, Vista, Aloha, and a few others. I figured it would at least be a good way to see better images of the various offerings and take some notes of what I like and dislike.

It is interesting to hear how people's subconscious habits change with time and how equipment holds up too. I will watch that with myself as well. You all have provided lots of great information, hint and tips for me to consider.

What is the "tongue trick"? I have seen that a few times in the Forum, but have not seen any description of what it is or what it does.

Have a great evening all and thanks again.

Ray B.
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#8
RE: Any part-time mouth breathers transition from a FFM to Nasal Pillows?
(03-18-2019, 11:31 PM)Big Guy Wrote: No way I could breathe thru my nose. I simply cannot get enough air. 

That's exactly how I've been all my life!  But somehow the nasal masks (especially the nasal pillows) are able to blow them open plenty for me to get good breathing going on!
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#9
RE: Any part-time mouth breathers transition from a FFM to Nasal Pillows?
(03-19-2019, 12:26 AM)RayBee Wrote:  I am beat down with a nasty head cold right now, often having zero ability to breathe through my nose. And it's driving me up a wall until the next round of Sudafed kicks in. I know trying to use my FFM would be a futile effort until I beat this bug. 

I just got over a several week long chest/head something-or-other, with an ear infection thrown in for fun.  I could not breathe through my nose one tiny bit.  I still used my CPAP, with my F20, and it was great!  I cranked up my pressure just a bit, because my throat was fighting staying open as well, and it worked wonderfully.  

It's worth a try.
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#10
RE: Any part-time mouth breathers transition from a FFM to Nasal Pillows?
(03-18-2019, 11:31 PM)Big Guy Wrote: I get air leaks at night. When I do, I simply re-adjust the mask. I'd be surprised if any mask was 100% leak free. I'm a side sleeper as well and that just complicates matters more.

That's been my experience, too.  I just wake up, readjust, go back to sleep.  But with the memory foam of the F20 AirTouch, I sleep through the night. It stays put (despite me sleeping on my side).

I mention it, just so you or others might know there could be an option/solution.
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