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[Equipment] Mask TOO heavy! Help!
Hi everyone- I'm newly diagnosed and have had my machine for a week now. The first couple of nights were okay... but the last couple have been horrible. I'm using the Amara mask as I'm a mouth breather and all is well when I fall asleep, but after a couple of hours I wake up and feel like I have a 10 ton weight on my face. It feels so freaking heavy that I can't stand it and have to pull the mask off to feel like I'm breathing freely. My face is also wet, and I can't really tell if that is sweat, or if the humidifier is set too high (it's on 3) or if I'm drooling, lol. Regardless, it's miserable. My room is very cool so it's not that.

I get little leaks around my eyes, too. The mask I have is the petite as I have really small features, but if I make it too tight, it causes a headache and it's tearing up my nose (wearing a bandaid at night seems to be helping with that, though.

All in all, I'm feeling pretty miserable and unrested right now. I've read that the Amara is the lightest ff mask available. Is this true? Any suggestions? Help!

Thank you!
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Hi JaneOnymous,

It gets better, I have been on "the hose" since October and the first 2-3 weeks are rough.
Bandaids on the nose will reduce the chafing there so keep that up.
The full face mask is not an easy critter to tame, but I have had to since my nose is
not sufficient by itself for me to breathe through.

everyone has a different face so:
I have tried 3 other masks and finally found one I can live with.
One for my friends has gone through 10 before finding a keeper.
Poke around this forum some more and there are some good tips for fitting
the mask each time you put it on. (It does make a difference!)

I wash mine in Dawn (original formula) almost every day but on the occasional day I don't do that I mop it out well with Handi-Wipes to disinfect and de-grease the surfaces.
Degreasing is a major thing since the mask needs to stick to your facial skin to prevent leaks.
Leakage can be so bad that the CPAP machine cannot fully compensate for it and then it can't do it's job well. (besides being noisy)

As for the breathing discomfort: perhaps if you discribe more as to how the machine settings are, someone may have some good ideas for you since I am not that familiar with your hardware.

And again:
"Never give up, never surrender and never EVER back down, unless it is immoral to do so!"
:Winston Churchill

Good Luck!
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It's not so much that I'm having trouble breathing, it's just that I feel like there's something smothering me because the mask feels so heavy.

I guess I'm wondering if anyone know of other masks that are lighter, or has any suggestions on dealing with that.

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Is it the mask or the hose that feels heavy? If it is the hose pulling or adding to the weight, hook it to the headboard or use a string and a screw to attach it to the wall.

Sit up during the day with the mask on and the machine on. Wear it while watching TV or reading. The idea is to get used to the feel of it and to work out any kinks in its use. This will also help you to find out where the moisture is coming from. It is most likely condensation from the humidifier. You could try turning it down to 2 and see if that helps.

Leaks around the eyes are common yet can be dangerous. Have you tried any other masks or a chin strap?

You've only been using it for a week. There's a lot to this. It's not easy but it does get better. I don't think any of us got the mask right on the first try. I went through about 6-8. Being tired after starting to use it is common. There's sleep debt to pay off (google that term for more info).
Apnea Board Moderator

Breathe deeply and count to zen.


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sorry you having such a problem with the mask
it take some time get used to sleeping with things strapped around
it can be done ... just have to be persistence

Quattro FX is light mask with no forehead support
Mirage Liberty full face mask got less skin contact with nasal pillows and a piece goes over the mouth

mask liner can help absorb some of the moisture
pad a cheek are washable and usable

edit: Hose Clip (check Supplier #1)
prevents your CPAP tubing from pulling on the mask. Use the Velcro and metal clip to secure your CPAP hose.
[Image: blue-tube-management-clip-cpapdotcom.jpg]

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Hi JaneOnymous and WELCOME! to the forum.!
I'm sorry you are having such a rough time right now, but if you'll just stick with it, it will get better. The mask is the hardest thing about CPAP therapy; it can take LOTS of PATIENCE, so don't give up.
You could turn your humidifier down to two and see if that helps you.
Best of luck to you as you go on your CPAP journey and hang in there for more responses to your post.
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Thanks for all the support and advise!!

I actually had to leave work today because I was so tired and had a headache from having such a miserable night last night. I decided to try the nasal mask that I have (I had a coupon) and laid down for a nap. And it worked! I didn't think I'd be able to sleep with my mouth closed but I was... and the mask is SO much lighter than the full face mask. Maybe this will be the solution for me.

Trial and error, right?
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I also use a Hose buddy. (CPAP hose Holder)
That way my blankets & myself dont get tangled up in the hose.
Some masks ventilate better than others do as well.
I have one mask that definitely runs on the stuffy side. (poor design) If I lift one edge of the seal next to my jaw
I get a blast of cool air from the hose and it clears up the stuffy feeling right away.
I can't stay awake all night and do that though. >.<
So I got another mask with the vent holes repositioned.
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(12-28-2012, 08:11 PM)JaneOnymous Wrote: I didn't think I'd be able to sleep with my mouth closed but I was... and the mask is SO much lighter than the full face mask. Maybe this will be the solution for me.

Trial and error, right?
Mirage FX nasal mask is feature light ... you would happy with this mask if works for you
same here assuming needed full face mask bc mouth breathe but could not make it works and leaked like a sieve
tried SoftGel nasal mask, suddenly leaks come down and able to keep mask on
now I use Active LT nasal mask, much lighter and fit on the same frame and chinstrap helps keep mouth closed

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Yes you are right, it is trial and error. Full-face- masks, (FFMs) are very proned to leaks so if you can get a nasal mask to work for you, that's great.
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