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Full Face Mask Leaks
#1
Full Face Mask Leaks
I have been on CPAP for over 12 years.  I have always used a full face mask since I am a HEAVY mouth breather  Smile  Due to the recent CPAP machine recall, I was supplied with a ResMed AirCurve 10 VAuto.  For the first time, I was getting daily feedback on my previous nights activities (until recently, I had never even heard of OSCAR (my bad) and could not get the Respironics app to ever work.  I am now using the myAir app.  Here is my issue.  I started using the new machine with the mask I had used for years, the ResMed F10 Full Face Mask.  Immediately, I had trouble.  My physician cranked the pressure up and I was getting leaks and "fart" noises galore!  I tried two different chin straps thinking that my jaw was dropping but they did not help.  I have used three different types of mask liners (Snugz, RemZzzzs and the blue cloth reusable thingies).  The RemZzzzs sort of work, but if I tough my mask at all at night the seal gets disturbed.  I have had absolutely no luck with the other two products.  I was getting really poor grades on the mask seal (over 60 L/min).  What was interesting was that my AHI readings are really good!  (.5 or below every night).  My concern was that the leaks were not addressing my episodes and that I was getting bad readings on the AHI as a result.

At my own expense, I purchased a ResMed AirTouch F20 mask.  The mask is comfortable I guess.  My confusion is that when I end my therapy in the morning, I see two green "Happy Faces" on the CPAP machine indicating that I had an acceptable length of therapy and that my seal was good.  Unfortunately, the myAir app is telling me that I still have an average of over 60 L/min of leak!!!  I have tried tightening, loosening and adjusting the mask to no avail.  I tightened it so much that I left a strap mark on my face for the entire day!!  I have tried all of the mask liners mentioned above and get worse readings (to include a red frown face on the machine in the morning). Angry

At my wits end, I ordered (again at my own expense) a ResMed AirFit 30 thinking that less contact to my face will result in less leakage.  I should get the mask tomorrow and will post the results.  

In the interim, I was wondering if anyone else has gone through this and if there are any suggestions???  Is it possible I am getting bad readings on the myAir app for example?  Should I be adjusting the straps in a different manner?  Should I shoot myself??  Smile  I guess I am wondering if ignorance was bliss when I was not checking my results on a daily basis.  Any insights would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks
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#2
RE: Full Face Mask Leaks
Welcome to the forum.

For the mask start here http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php/Mask_Primer

The MyAir app is junk just like Dreammapper...

Go get Oscar https://www.sleepfiles.com/OSCAR/

Run OSCAR for the first time
How to create a profile and import data Basic OSCAR organisation
A description of the various windows in OSCAR and the available options. OSCAR Chart Organization and preparing for Screen Shot
For a brief tutorial on the best way to arrange your OSCAR charts for review, follow this link: For advice on attaching charts and images to Apnea Board forums, follow this link: Post some data from your SD card and everyone here will help you figure it all out.

Welcome
Thank you,
Brent aka Factor

Just a Regular guy.
My untreated AHI was 87.  You can do it hang in there.
"You can if you will"   Jerry Kramer

Got OSCAR?
Organize Charts
Optimizing Therapy

My Story
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#3
RE: Full Face Mask Leaks
I've been on CPAP now for three years. I only know two masks. The F20 AirFit and the F30 AirFit. Both do an okay job, but I still get some leaks now & then. 

It's my opinion, leaks are just part & parcel of the experience. Maybe I'm wrong and someone will come along and say their mask is 100% leak-free.  Eat-popcorn

Until then, leaks are just something that I deal with, and don't get too very upset over.
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#4
RE: Full Face Mask Leaks
Thanks. I am hoping that I am over reacting
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#5
RE: Full Face Mask Leaks
I am also a mouth breather. After trying the normal advice (use a FFM, use a chin strap, etc) without success, I have found two strategies that help me. YMMV of course.

Because of FFM leaks, I decided to try the Brevida pillow mask. Now I often get very low leaks for a very small portion of the night. Even when the leaks are a little larger, they are not large enough and long enough to be a significant problem.

Then I tried the "standard" 19mm inside diameter tubing, as opposed to the "slimline" 15mm inside diameter tubing. The theory is that to pass X amount of air in Y amount of time requires more pressure if the tube is small. Think about a 1/2" garden hose versus a 3/4" garden hose; the principle is the same but easier to visualize. 19mm is some 25% larger than 15mm. So the air flows more slowly and irritates me less when I mouth breathe (which is most nights).

Bottom line - the problem is minimized although not eliminated.
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#6
RE: Full Face Mask Leaks
Thanks for the detailed response.  I will download OSCAR and try that.

Thanks so much.  I will look into that.
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#7
RE: Full Face Mask Leaks
I experienced a lot of mask leaks and aerophagia with the recalled Philips Respironics DreamStation 1 Auto CPAP and Philips DreamWear full face mask (which is a pillow type mask under nose and covers the mouth area also). The CPAP pressure was set at 6 with no exhale relief and no ramp up. After the recall I educated myself about the therapy as I realized what I received from the sleep clinic was very superficial, inadequate and they didn't even resolve my issues fully. All they did was recommended another mask from ResMed, which did not address my issues. I told them I suspected the pressure setting was the issue. I got the replacement Philips DS 2 yesterday and tweaked the settings. I used the ramp setting to ease into the therapy pressure, but don't really need the ramp up. I used the exact same tubing and mask that I used with the DS1. I tweaked the exhale pressure relief setting called Flex and that's the thing that made the difference for me. No major mask leaks and no aerophagia. I need to experiment more and look at the Oscar data long-term to draw any conclusions. This exhale pressure relief feature allows the pressure to be reduced by up to 3 units during exhalation, making therapy more comfortable while reducing mask leaks. I'm still waiting for the ResMed machine, being jerked around by DMEs.
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#8
RE: Full Face Mask Leaks
DS2 not supported by OSCAR yet.
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#9
RE: Full Face Mask Leaks
Thanks for the info
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#10
RE: Full Face Mask Leaks
Two things I did to fix my inconsistently controlled leaks, replace the F20 with something else, and don't use the machine mask fit.

Personally I replaced the F20 mask with a Fisher and Paykel Vitera. THAT alone fixed the leaks the F20 couldn't control.
Dave

OSCAR
Standard OSCAR Chart Order
Mask Primer
Dealing With A DME
Soft Cervical Collar Wiki
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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