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Head position problems with full face mask?
#1
Head position problems with full face mask?
Been using the ResMed machine and full face mask for 6 months and it apparently helps, as I was constantly exhausted and at the end of my rope. With better sleep, I improved an already healthy lifestyle, but still experience sleepiness and fatigue, just not the total exhaustion. Some days seem better than others, so I wonder if there are specific sleep head positions that are better/worse (I sleep on my side and change positions at least several times). My mask has the head top connector, with air delivered through the 2 straps. Thanks!
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#2
RE: Head position problems with full face mask?
Hi SnoopJohnny,

Welcome to the Apnea Board. Even with side sleeping, head and neck alignment are important. The thickness of the pillow could place your head either too high or low for comfort and the proper alignment for breathing with a minimal restriction. Also your head may slide off the pillow making your chin tuck towards your chest. That has happened to me at times.

A few suggestions so we can help fix fatigue if possible:

1. Consider a soft cervical collar, check the wiki to get pointers but you should wear one looser than for a neck injury.

2. Get your sleep study, the detailed multi paged version, post screenshots of it here with personal info redacted. This helps to know apnea history and Doc thoughts so we know what you're dealing with.

3. Download OSCAR and use it to post some daily charts on your apnea sleep events.

These last two arms us with info on what you're dealing with, setting info can be seen as well. It may be pressure setting edits that need done. We'll know that with the info. Find out exactly which machine you have and get the user manual in the link on the top banner. Hopefully we'll get you on the right track soon.
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.

Wiki Info for Beginners
OSCAR Chart Organization
Mask Primer
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#3
RE: Head position problems with full face mask?
Sleeping on your side is always going to be the optimal position.  However, who doesn't have fond memories, at least in early years, of waking up on our backs, arms above our heads, and feeling like a million bucks?  My hand is up.

Sleeping on one's back is almost always an invitation to tongue sag, chin open, chin tucked down because only our head is on the too-high, or too stiff, pillow, and the pillow tilts our heads up at the top, chin tucking at the lower end.  It closes off, or restricts, our air flow.

Finding a way to sleep successfully on one's side can be a challenge, but in my own case, and my only frame of reference, it eventually began to happen.  For the first six months I was knocking my nasal mask askew, or merely deforming it, by pressing it against my hands or the pillow.  Somehow, near six months in, I was suddenly sleeping well on my side.  I had learned how to position everything so that I could sleep well and not have leaks.

The thing is, even on our sides, our chins can tuck some.  Mine does.  If it goes too far, you begin to pinch off your air flow.  When people simply can't control their chin-tucking, they must take steps to prevent it.  One proven way is to begin the use of a soft foam cervical collar. Worn loosely so that it doesn't impose or feel too hot around the neck, it restricts the ability of one's chin to move toward the chest. Lying with such a thing around one's neck, but on one's side, will lift the mask a bit more clear of the pillow...probably.  That may make mask leaks a thing of the past, or much less intrusive.

I think you'll probably find that over time as well. But remember, side sleeping is really going to be your best bet as you go forward.

Edit - (Was composing this, and posted, while Dave was just finishing up).
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#4
RE: Head position problems with full face mask?
2 quick replies...thanks.  I do sleep on my side(s) and have adopted head positions and chosen a new pillow, with the aim of better airflow. These were my initial "best guesses" for easy-to-correct issues. So, when surfing forums I saw a post about "chin tuck" and picked this forum to ask. And I'll definitely try alternative head, chin positions, pillow, etc. However, your recommendation to post the sleep study and a read-out of my nightly record (that's Oscar, right?) may be a better bet for addressing problems. I will try to get this info and check back. Thanks much.
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#5
RE: Head position problems with full face mask?
Correct, OSCAR is the program to use for the nightly data report off your SD card.
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.

Wiki Info for Beginners
OSCAR Chart Organization
Mask Primer
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#6
RE: Head position problems with full face mask?
This positional apnea situation is so common we wrote a wiki about it using OSCAR charts http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php...onal_Apnea

The soft cervical collar fix has also become common, and there is a wiki that describes it and compares before and after results. http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php...cal_Collar
Sleeprider
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com

____________________________________________
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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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#7
RE: Head position problems with full face mask?
Looks like my problem may be something other than head position. After 6 months of easily getting a smiley face mask seal every night, I'm now unable to get the machine to indicate proper mask seal. For the last few weeks, the same comfortable fit and perceptible airflow shows the bad mask seal indicator. I next day ordered a new face cushion a few days ago and it worked for 2 nights. This morning I woke up up early and saw the bad seal indicator again. And I can tell I haven't had much sleep. Doesn't make sense that it's just mask seal issue, with a brand new cushion, and the same "fit" used to achieve consistent seal on a nightly basis, for many months using months-old mask and headgear. Have you experienced similar issues of bad seal indicator, despite seemingly correct seal? Is there a "reset" or similar solution? 
thnx JP
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