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[Equipment] What face mask would you recommend?
#1
What face mask would you recommend?
In 2018, I had an in-lab study that showed 50 RERAs within 2.75 hours of sleep and a total of 6.5 minutes of REM sleep. 4.7AHI. 18.1RDI.

In 2019, I requested my own mail-order sleep study to do at home. It showed 5.3AHI. My longest apnea was 85 seconds. Shortest was between 20 and 30 seconds. Hypopneas averaged about 20-30 seconds each.

Sleep doc from the in-lab study wouldn't help me get CPAP because I was 0.3 away from the 5.0AHI required for official diagnosis of mild sleep apnea. As my ENT doc noted, my "mild" sleep apnea hits way harder than some people with much worse, likely because of my RERA's. I used the at-home sleep study to get my ENT doc to write an APAP prescription. I had my eye on the ResMed Air Sense 10 Autoset For Her because of the extra algorithm for lighter hypopneas/apneas that women tend to have. A lot of guys apparently get the For Her version because if they have UARS with lighter apneas/hypopneas, the regular APAP mode won't react to it as well.

I have been using the ResMed Air Sense 10 Autoset with the ResMed P10 nasal pillow mask for about a month and a half now. I typically only kept the mask on for 1-2 hours before I would wake up the next morning and it would be off. It either fell off or I pulled it off. Eventually, I figured out that after a while of having the mask on, air was blowing through the right corner of my lips and waking me up by making a loud blowing sound. That was disturbing me and I was likely pulling the mask off. I don't want to tape my lips. A chin strap won't fix it because my jaws are closed when it happens. Plus my lips  already get chapped every day from toothpaste.

The other night, I hit a milestone of 4.4 hours with my P10 mask on. I was awake when I took it off to get up for the bathroom, but then I fell asleep before putting it back on. That's the longest I've ever kept it on. My P10 mask is rigged very well with the Swift FX headgear (works very well and is sturdy) because the original P10 headgear was too flimsy. I use medium nasal pillows.

Current settings on Air Sense 10 (set to regular mode):

Starting pressure: 5.6. I can breathe comfortably with that. EPR is set at 3.
Minimum pressure is also equally set at 5.6.
Max pressure is set to 9. Every time I have awaken at night and looked at the machine, I was at 8.9. It is nearly uncanny that it is virtually always 8.9.

On the best night when I slept 4.4 hours with the mask on:

17L/min leak, 0.4AHI, 0.2AI, 0.0 centrals. The numbers are beautiful. I feel better, but need more sleep with the mask on.

I feel that even with my rigged P10 mask, some of the things like when I briefly open my mouth during the night and have air blow out and choke my throat...that's uncomfortable. My understanding is that a full face mask (one of the minimalist ones that cover the mouth and nose) equalizes the pressure between the mouth and nose, so that issue wouldn't happen and the air puffing out of the mouth wouldn't happen. The trade-off seems to require tighter straps to hold it to the face.

I've been looking at Philips DreamWear and AirFit F30. One seems to have nasal pillows and the other is just open for mouth and nose.
Given the situation, any other suggestions for masks? My unit is like 1.5 feet from my head on a table at the head of my bed, so the hose on top is not an issue at all. I've read where someone said they didn't do well with the nasal pillow mask and got a full face mask (AirFit F30) and kept it on for 8 hours the first time.

I use Sleepyhead to review my results. Most of the time my apneas/hypopneas don't even start until an hour or two after I go to sleep.

I'd like to at least try a full face mask for the nose and mouth to see if that stays on longer. I have also had some people try to discourage a full face mask because of leaks, rude sounds from leaking air, etc.
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#2
RE: What face mask would you recommend?
I use the AirFit F20. I rarely have leaks and it is the most comfortable mask I have used. I tried the Amara View which covers the mouth and fits under the nose and had significant leak problems. I'm sure there are others who would report the opposite for the two masks. Our faces are all different which makes finding the right mask one of the biggest problems.

Sometimes it's just a matter of proper fitting and adjustment. See the mask primer (link below).
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#3
RE: What face mask would you recommend?
You pretty much answered your own question at the end, "I'd like to TRY a full face mask ... "

Honestly, that's the only way you'll know if a FF mask will work for you and the only way to figure out which make/model suits you is to trial them.

I would add however, that a FF mask doesn't necessarily require 'tight' straps. I have my straps fairly loose, as in loose enough that I can slide the mask around without too much trouble. This allows pressurised air to get between the layers of the mask cushion (rather like the skirt of a hovercraft) and it is only then that the cushion will conform properly with the contours of your face. You then have to learn 'mask technique' to minimise leaks and dislodging, basically avoiding knocking the thing off or sideways and, in my case, actually using my pillow to help keep the mask in place (I'm a side sleeper).

I use the Resmed Mirage Quattro FX, in size Medium. I have tried just one other but came back to my original.
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#4
RE: What face mask would you recommend?
I have also had someone tell me that my low pressure and general numbers for the nasal mask that I'm using do not warrant getting a full face mask. When I keep the mask on for long enough, I've figured out my numbers and it keeps everything in check. I just need to do so for 8 hours each night.

Any recommendations on a 'better' nasal pillow mask, too? Something with much better straps? I'm also a side sleeper a lot.
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#5
RE: What face mask would you recommend?
If you don't care for the hose connection on top of the head get F30, Dreamwear full face has this tendency to crack your septum skin under the nose.
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#6
RE: What face mask would you recommend?
(08-16-2019, 02:43 AM)crowtor Wrote: If you don't care for the hose connection on top of the head get F30, Dreamwear full face has this tendency to crack your septum skin under the nose.

I apply Lansinoh (medical grade Lanolin Cream) to my septum before using the mask and it has helped tremendously.
hearsay73
Hosehead padawan 
Repaying my sleep debt, 1 night at a time...
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#7
RE: What face mask would you recommend?
(08-16-2019, 05:59 AM)hearsay73 Wrote:
(08-16-2019, 02:43 AM)crowtor Wrote: If you don't care for the hose connection on top of the head get F30, Dreamwear full face has this tendency to crack your septum skin under the nose.

I apply Lansinoh (medical grade Lanolin Cream) to my septum before using the mask and it has helped tremendously.

Tried medical creams, only made the wound slimy. I cut out the silicone piece that hurt me, and now it even leaks less. My nose shape isn't standardized apparently.
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#8
RE: What face mask would you recommend?
Hi jmr1068204,
Finding the  right mask is one of the hardest parts of therapy.  What one person loves, another will hate.

With that said, check the Supplier list at the top of the page.  Supplier #1 is great for viewing the different type masks.  Their photos are pretty good and you can get a feel as to what they look like.  

If you have a DME that would help, go try on some full face masks to see if you might like them.
You don’t have to buy from them.

Also, many other online vendors will allow you to trial a mask for 30 days.
You sometimes pay for shipping or a small fee, but at least you can return it and try another.
OpalRose
Apnea Board Administrator
www.ApneaBoard.com
Dreaming


https://www.sleepfiles.com/OSCAR
OSCAR Chart Organization
Using Attachments to Post ScreenShots.




INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE.  ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA.  INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#9
RE: What face mask would you recommend?
I've only tried two masks so far. I started out with the the AirFit F20 and then tried the AirFit F30. 

I'm now back to using the F20. I'm a mouth breather, and it's next to impossible for me to breathe thru my nose for any lengthy period of time. 

Funny thing though. The F30 mask did make it easier to breathe thru my nose. My F20 tends to put pressure on the sides of my nose and makes it harder to breathe thru my nose. Almost impossible actually.
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#10
RE: What face mask would you recommend?
I don't have lots of masks compared to some others, but I've used/owned the Respironics Amara View, ResMed F20 in both AirFit silicone and AirTouch Memory Foam. These 3 are various forms of a full face. My newest is the ResMed N30i, a nasal mask; it's still getting used to me...we'll see how this goes as this is my first non-full face.

I've had the best success with the F20 in silicone over the others listed. Note that it may or may not be for you.
On my N30i, what I really like compared to those full face masks is that it feels minimal. Obvious because it is less than any of my full face masks.

Maybe your DME or other provider of choice will let you test your mask choices to get some results. I believe mask is not only the most important decision, it's the hardest to get right.

Coffee
Dave

I'm not a doctor in real or fictional life. My posts include opinions based upon user experience regarding CPAP therapy and should not be considered medically professional direction or advice. Even a 1,000 mile trip requires a good first step. My recommended first steps include getting good walking shoes, 1 great cup of coffee, and a good GPS.

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Mask Primer
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