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Experiences with FFM Masks That Work for You
#1
I know that there are several threads about masks on this forum.

I have an appointment on Wednesday with the RT to check my compliance and to get a mask. They do NOT have masks for us to try on. They have masks that they supply on a mannequin head and they do NOT have all masks that are available.

That being said, I want to go in with a list of ffm that I want to inquire about. As I have posted before, I got a Quattro FX (I was so new to CPAP therapy I didn't even know there were different masks available) and for over 2 years had trouble with this mask I was still never told about a different mask I could try. The final solution was to give me a size small mask which did work better as far as leaks go but that is the extent of it. I do NOT like the Velcro and for the past week, I keep waking up because the Velcro comes undone. I made sure the head gear was clean and free from any fuzz, my hair, etc. and it still comes undone during my sleep.

The RT tried to get me to use a mask that would fit in my nose and cover my mouth but I rejected it b/c I have allergies and most the time, my nose is stopped up.

I asked for the F&P Simplus but it is not available in the U.S. and rather than being told of an equivalent mask that is available in the U.S. I was told there just aren't very many ffm out there.

I have looked on the internet and I see there are several ffm available but I don't want to just pick one of them without checking here with the experts on what has worked for them. Comfort is a big issue with me and I really want to have one that has hooks rather than the clips. I also think I like the fact that the Simplus has a piece that goes across the forehead.

So, I would like to hear from those that use a ffm and see what has worked for you. I have a small nose so that shouldn't be a problem.

The 2nd part of my question is about those that use a sleep aid before bedtime. How does using a sleep aid affect you AHI's? I was told to take a Xanax before I had my first sleep study and I am not sure if that was a wise decision or not.

Now, I am getting a 2nd sleep study and the doc told me to take my Xanax before the sleep study. Normally, I take Xanax 3 times per day but always make sure I take the 3rd one 4 hours before I go to sleep.

Any suggestions, help, would greatly be appreciated.

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#2
How long have you been taking Xanax at t.i.d.? It has about a 6 hour half life; and is quite addictive.
If you've been taking it for some time, then not taking it would be unwise.
Benzodiazapine withdrawal is very uncomfortable; and can even be life threatening.
If Xanax t.i.d is you daily routine, then you should follow your regular routine.

I use a mirage quattro FFM size medium (there's an M on the face cushion that indicates size.)
I've been using it for 4 years; and I like it. I adjust the straps rather tight as I dislike any leak.

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#3
(10-08-2013, 07:56 AM)justMongo Wrote: How long have you been taking Xanax at t.i.d.? It has about a 6 hour half life; and is quite addictive.
If you've been taking it for some time, then not taking it would be unwise.
Benzodiazapine withdrawal is very uncomfortable; and can even be life threatening.
If Xanax t.i.d is you daily routine, then you should follow your regular routine.

I use a mirage quattro FFM size medium (there's an M on the face cushion that indicates size.)
I've been using it for 4 years; and I like it. I adjust the straps rather tight as I dislike any leak.

I have taken Xanax for a while now but only as needed and not 3 times per day unless on a given day I needed to take it 3 times. Last Friday, I started taking it 3 times per day but I would take the last one 4 hours before I went to bed. I do know how addictive Xanax is so that is why, up until last week, I was taking it as needed. My blood pressure was high last week each day so my cardiologist told me to start taking it 3 times per day (btw, I did not take the full strength of it but cut it in half) and to take my blood pressure once per day at the same time each day. Immediately, my blood pressure has gone back to what is normal for me.

Thanks for the information about Xanax and the mask you use. Appreciate it.
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#4
The best mask I've found is the Quattro Air. It's hardly perfect, though.

First, it leaks. I've started using a Remzzzs' liner, and while it does away with the "fart" sounds, I think my leakage is actually worse using it.

Still, it's not so bad that my S9 can't keep up, so I think having quieter leaks more often is better than loud leaks occasionally.

The second problem is with the headgear; it seems to stretch over the night so by 2-3 a.m. I have to pull the straps to tighten it again.

Even with these problems, I still like the mask and find going back to my old Quattro Fx unpleasant now.

I too am looking forward to the Simplus once it's available in the US. Good luck with your search.
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#5
I can weigh in on both your concerns.

First, the FFM. I too have no option but to use a FFM and my pressures are somewhat high, so finding a mask that leaks minimally is a high priority for me. In six months or so of therapy I'll bet I have tried 90% of the FFMs on the market-no kidding. Up until a little while ago the Mirage Quattro worked the most reliably for me, but at a price: on any given night, the heavy Quattro had the ability to turn the bridge of my nose into raw hamburger. I have had said sores take 2+ weeks to heal. So it was a love-hate thing with the Quattro. It worked, but it became a game of seeing what I could put on the bridge of my nose to minimize the damage. Yes, I tried everything.

Enter the Quattro Air. I immediately loved this mask, but it had the alarming tendency to allow my lower lip to "fall out" of the mask. I'd wake up with the bottom of the mask clenched between my teeth like a bridle on a horse. No other mask did this with me. Finally, by scrupulously washing my face with soap and hot water right before bedtime, and washing the cushion with baby shampoo every morning I have generate enough "stickum" between the seal and my face to prevent this most nights. It's easily the lightest and most simple mask I have ever tried. Truly it's a minimalist's dream. It's also very quiet-the quietest I've tried. One hint: for me the headgear was a bust. Not only is it made of skimpy material and chintzy velcro, the part that goes over your head is non-adjustable and was too small for me-so the too small top strap kept pulling the mask up on my face. After some experimenting I substituted a headgear from the Fisher & Paykel Eson nasal mask. The top strap is adjustable, the material is probably twice the thickness of the Resmed material and it fits the Air perfectly and works like a dream. I've ordered some spares but never yet worn one out.

By the way, in my opinion the Quattro Air runs a bit small, so be aware.

As far as the Xanax is concerned, I've been taking it on a PRN basis since in came out around 1980 or thereabouts. At first it was considered non-addictive and at one time I was taking 4 mg/day. It's no big deal to get off of, just use common sense and taper down. I now take .25 mg (probably not even a therapeutic dose) an hour before bed just to relax me a bit. My sleep doc says it should have zero effect one way or the other on my AHI since it doesn't do anything toward relaxing airway related muscles. Just be reasonable with dosage and don't mix alcohol or other sedatives with it and I'm sure you'll be OK.

Good luck!
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#6
(10-07-2013, 08:11 PM)me50 Wrote: They do NOT have masks for us to try on. They have masks that they supply on a mannequin head and they do NOT have all masks that are available.
I find this appalling. Is this common?

My DME certainly doesn't have all the possible masks available but I have always been offered the chance to try a mask from the rental/sample pool. My DME has boxes of these, right in the consulting room. These are disinfected after each rental/tryon.

Have you checked to see if there are other DMEs in your area that might provide better service? I know, this doesn't help you with your upcoming appointment but, if you do find such a DME, you might be able convince your DME to let you try its rental masks in the store, hooked up to your machine, if they won't let you use one of theirs.

As a last resort, try renting a potential mask, on the understanding that your rental fee, or at least a portion or it, will be applied to the purchase price. Repeat, as needed, until you find one that works.

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#7
(10-08-2013, 11:27 AM)old dude Wrote: I can weigh in on both your concerns.

First, the FFM. I too have no option but to use a FFM and my pressures are somewhat high, so finding a mask that leaks minimally is a high priority for me. In six months or so of therapy I'll bet I have tried 90% of the FFMs on the market-no kidding. Up until a little while ago the Mirage Quattro worked the most reliably for me, but at a price: on any given night, the heavy Quattro had the ability to turn the bridge of my nose into raw hamburger. I have had said sores take 2+ weeks to heal. So it was a love-hate thing with the Quattro. It worked, but it became a game of seeing what I could put on the bridge of my nose to minimize the damage. Yes, I tried everything.

Enter the Quattro Air. I immediately loved this mask, but it had the alarming tendency to allow my lower lip to "fall out" of the mask. I'd wake up with the bottom of the mask clenched between my teeth like a bridle on a horse. No other mask did this with me. Finally, by scrupulously washing my face with soap and hot water right before bedtime, and washing the cushion with baby shampoo every morning I have generate enough "stickum" between the seal and my face to prevent this most nights. It's easily the lightest and most simple mask I have ever tried. Truly it's a minimalist's dream. It's also very quiet-the quietest I've tried. One hint: for me the headgear was a bust. Not only is it made of skimpy material and chintzy velcro, the part that goes over your head is non-adjustable and was too small for me-so the too small top strap kept pulling the mask up on my face. After some experimenting I substituted a headgear from the Fisher & Paykel Eson nasal mask. The top strap is adjustable, the material is probably twice the thickness of the Resmed material and it fits the Air perfectly and works like a dream. I've ordered some spares but never yet worn one out.

By the way, in my opinion the Quattro Air runs a bit small, so be aware.

As far as the Xanax is concerned, I've been taking it on a PRN basis since in came out around 1980 or thereabouts. At first it was considered non-addictive and at one time I was taking 4 mg/day. It's no big deal to get off of, just use common sense and taper down. I now take .25 mg (probably not even a therapeutic dose) an hour before bed just to relax me a bit. My sleep doc says it should have zero effect one way or the other on my AHI since it doesn't do anything toward relaxing airway related muscles. Just be reasonable with dosage and don't mix alcohol or other sedatives with it and I'm sure you'll be OK.

Good luck!
Thank you. Since I don't drink, I am good there. The most I ever did drink (when I wasn't on Xanax) was a small glass of wine for heart health. You would probably laugh at how many bottles of red wine I have in my refrigerator that only one small glass is missing. I just am not a fan of alcohol.
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#8
Well, I've been in the hunt for a good FFM for use when I get plugged up. I can mirror the comments on the Mirage Quattro...good, tacky seal, but heavy and can be very rough on the nose if you have a bigger schnozz like me.

The Quattro Air, IME, is a lot like the Mirage FX...nice and comfy, but can be finicky. I don't usually run big pressure and found it sealed fairly well. Big plusses: light weight and quiet. Possible cons: can be tough to get a good seal and keep it.

I've test fit a few others, but can't give much on them. Was hoping to try a Simplus here, but the local DME that would have them can't get stock Sad I guess they are popular.
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
I'm happy with the Quattro Air. I'm using a padacheek mask liner, and it does increase the leaks *slightly*, however it's fixed the leaks where air shoots across my face, and the leaks are still well within the acceptable limit.
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#10
(10-08-2013, 01:21 PM)PsychoMike Wrote: Well, I've been in the hunt for a good FFM for use when I get plugged up. I can mirror the comments on the Mirage Quattro...good, tacky seal, but heavy and can be very rough on the nose if you have a bigger schnozz like me.

The Quattro Air, IME, is a lot like the Mirage FX...nice and comfy, but can be finicky. I don't usually run big pressure and found it sealed fairly well. Big plusses: light weight and quiet. Possible cons: can be tough to get a good seal and keep it.

I've test fit a few others, but can't give much on them. Was hoping to try a Simplus here, but the local DME that would have them can't get stock Sad I guess they are popular.

I thought simplus was in Canada now
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