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Help with getting the right mask fit
#1
Help with getting the right mask fit
Hello,

I received my machine on January 30th.  The tech that came to the house set everything up and "fitted" me with a mask (DreamWear full face size small).  I told him it was blowing on me, meaning there was a stream of air going up my forehead.  He told me it was supposed to do that.  I also said I felt like I couldn't breathe, meaning it was closing off one nostril.  He told me everyone says that.  Okay.  Whatever.  I tried it for two nights, moving it around on my face trying to get comfortable.  I also found it to be very hot.  When going through all the stuff that was in the equipment bag trying to find the directions to turn off the heated hose, I realized there were extra masks of the same kind in different sizes (would have been nice if the tech told me that, I thought they were all the same.)  I also realized that the mask I had been fitted with was the one used in my sleep study that I could have told him didn't fit.


So I have now tried the DreamWear full face in small, medium, large and medium wide.  The best one is medium wide, but only if I wear a Breathe Right strip on my nose, otherwise, there is a leak that goes into my eye.  I did want a full face so I had the option to breathe through my mouth, but I'm finding I don't really need to.

So now I want to get a mask that actually fits.  What is the normal process for being fitted with a mask?  I'm assuming the dump and run technique that was used isn't what is supposed to happen?

I also have some questions about how the machine is set up.  According to the directions, there should be a temperature control for the heated tube, but there isn't a setting that does that in the menu.  I would also like to use the ramp feature, but that doesn't work either.  Is it possible that the supplier has disabled some features of the machine?

I told my doctor I don't want to deal with this supplier anymore, but he said it was a problem with the insurance company to switch.  I have no problem calling the insurance company and explaining that this supplier is wasting their money by not properly fitting masks.  Has anyone switched suppliers?


Thank you all for your help!
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#2
RE: Help with getting the right mask fit
G'day JWood. Welcome to Apnea Board.

Getting a mask to fit comfortably without leaking is really the hardest part of this therapy for many people. A well-fitting mask won't blow into your eyes and it won't pinch off your nostrils. Can I suggest you read the mask primer which will tell you all (or most) of what you need to know.

Quote:Is it possible that the supplier has disabled some features of the machine?
Yes, this is possible. Go to the top of this page and find the link to CPAP Setup Manuals. You'll be able to request a copy of the clinical manual which enables you to get into the "secret" menu and unlock the features you've been locked out of.

Quote: Has anyone switched suppliers?
Yes, lots of people. Talk to your insurance company and explain that the DME is wasting their money.

Good luck, and welcome!
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#3
RE: Help with getting the right mask fit
Your DME should allow you to switch out that mask and try something else. It's up to you to be a squeaky wheel and call them. But first, call your insurance. You don't have to deal with that DME, but may have to return the machine if starting over with a different DME. Your insurance company can advise.

In the meantime, order your Clinicians manual here:
https://www.apneaboard.com/adjust-cpap-p...tup-manual

This will show and explain how to change comfort settings, and the ins and outs of your machine. Believe me, you wont get that information from a DME.
OpalRose
Apnea Board Administrator
www.ApneaBoard.com

OSCAR Chart Organization


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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#4
RE: Help with getting the right mask fit
Thank you both so much for your help!!!
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#5
RE: Help with getting the right mask fit
I’m just starting my therapy and perhaps similarly do not like the “warmth” of full face mask. Since you mentioned that a nasal mask is something you might audition. If you are not a mouth breather then a nasal mask could be used without a chin strap. While getting to sleep if you felt any claustrophobia or whatever with nasal mask it is is easy to breath through mouth to recover composure but once asleep to be effective you need to nostril breath. My own DME has been great, yours as you note was dump and run. It might be just the tech you worked with and not your entire DME but still not a good sign so definitely look at switching. You probably can find online reviews and I found that very helpful in choosing DME. I only had 2 choices and the reviews of one were quite poor and the other was good to very good. My exp with them so far has matched the very good reviews. Like me I expect you will find this forum to be outstanding. I checked out 3 other forums before settling here. 
Finally one forum user suggested 2 step approach to finding good mask. Of course always try them under pressure. 1st step is to hand hold mask in position and vary the pressure from hand to check fit and potential comfort. Of mask passes this test only then put on straps and audition further. Your sleep DR or DME should be able to order a mask fitting appointment where for an hour you can lie down (bring your pillow from home so tearing is most beneficial) and try several different masks and go home with one that is most promising. The mask wiki on apnea board as already suggested to you has very good tips on finding a mask.
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#6
RE: Help with getting the right mask fit
I'm about 18 months or so into my SA Therapy. I started out using a ResMed AirFit F20. That served me well for some time. I then went to an AirFit F30. 

The F30 I liked even better. I still experience air leaks thru the night though. My DME supplier lets me swap back & forth between the two masks, when it's time for me to receive new ones. All I have to do is to let them know which one I want shipped to me. 

I'm a mouth-breather, so that pretty much limits my mask choices. For me, finding the right mask has been the toughest part of getting the CPAP therapy to work well.  Oh-jeez
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#7
RE: Help with getting the right mask fit
If you don't need to breath through your mouth, I'd suggest you try a nasal pillow mask. The most minimalist and popular is probably the ResMed P10. Be sure to get all three size of pillows and try them all. The fattest part of the pillows should sit on the outside of your nares.

I also see that your minimum pressure is 5. For most adults, a pressure that low can cause a feeling of not getting enough air. I'd suggest you go into the clinician's menu and increase your minimum to 7 and see if it feels better.
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#8
RE: Help with getting the right mask fit
Welcome

I agree with Dormeo. I'd consider trying these suggestions. Let us know if it works. Best wishes on success.
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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#9
RE: Help with getting the right mask fit
Thank you all for the suggestions.  I will use them this week when I try for another mask.

I think I am okay with the pressure at 5, the average has been 6.  I used my pulse ox meter the first night I tried the machine and my oxygen levels were fine.
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#10
RE: Help with getting the right mask fit
I have a Philips DreamStation BiPAP, whose humidifier I have to refill a couple times a night. I suspect it's a leak problem, but haven't determined the source yet. I don't move much during the night, but I still think a little pressure or movement  on the mask from the pillow or blanket moves its enough to make it leak. There's a pattern of leaking (or not) for a 2 or 3 hour  period, and when I replace the mask after getting up, it may leak (or not) for the next period. Since I can go for 2 or 3 hours not leaking, I suspect mask alignment rather than intermittent  mouth breathing. I am, however, a mouth breather trying to reform, but chinstraps don't work, and being of the bearded persuasion, no mask sealing against the face works either. I used a P10 for the last 2 years with mixed results, and am now trying the N30 with similarly mixed results, but I like it. Hoping the 3rd time will be the charm, I just ordered the P30 sample kit to try. I've tried chinstraps, but found that they really don't keep my mouth shut, so I'm working on the tongue trick. Getting no help from my DME, especially now in semi-lockdown. I'm a rank amateur at reading all the OSCAR data, but if anyone sees any obvious clues, I'd appreciate your comments.


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