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High leak, low AHI
#1
Help please. I experience a very high leak rate over 120 L/min but my AHI is 2.9, AI is 0, and HI is 2.9. Pressure is set at 15. I use a Mirage Quattro full face mask. I wake up once per night in a huge puddle of drool. In the morning my mouth is drier than the Mohave dessert. My wife complains about the noise from the air leaks. I want to solve the leakage issue so she can sleep better. I have tried loosening and tightening the mask and also changed the silicon pillow.

Does anyone have a solution to this problem?
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#2
I have the same mask and can get zero leaks. Most of my leaks were coming around the top near the eyes. I adjusted the head setting to like 21 and that stopped the leaks. I do keep the humidifier off and do get dry mouth. The higher the humidity the more leaks I was getting.
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#3
Hi BDC,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Have you thought about trying another type of mask, as Full-face masks are very proned to leak. The mask issue can take a lob of PATIENCE, so keep trying 'till you get it right.
How high do you have your humidity set? If you have it set high, turn it down a notch or two or, on the other hand, if you have it set low, turn it up a notch or two, it's a comfort thing and that will take some trial and error..
Have you mentioned the leak problem to your Dr. or your DME?
Hang in there and keep checkin back here for more suggestions.
Best of luck to you on getting these problems straightened out, I know it is frustrating for you and your wife, just stick with it.
trish6hundred
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#4
BDC-- As you will read on other posts here, finding a good mask is the biggest challenge. Keep in mind that with a high leak rate, such as you're experiencing at the moment, the machine's AHI numbers are most likely compromised and inaccurate. You may know that with Resmed's S9 machines, a maximum leak that the machine can compensate for is 24 L/min. For masks, many folks use nasal pillows and really like them, but I have also read that they are not too useful at higher pressures. Finding a mask that works is a personal choice and hunt. So, masks cannot be rated as Better, Best, Worst, etc. A leak stop idea that I discovered from another board member sounded crazy but works well is to buy a package of silicone earplugs at a drugstore, take several and roll them into a pencil-like shape and place this narrow sausage on the portion of the mask seal where leaks are occurring.
I also own a Quattro mask. Although I didn't have leak troubles with it, I did have sore nose bridge problems. Patience really helps in solving this kind of problem.
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#5
try another mask ... it might take several tries to find the right one
can use a nasal mask ... full face masks can be difficult to make works especially at high pressures
you need to fit mask at the set pressure "15" Not ramp or start pressure
check mask user guide fitting instructions and wash the cushion after each use.
you might need to turn up humidifier a notch or two. Biotene mouth wash may help relieve dry mouth symptoms

you can also cover the hose cover or use the climate line (heated hose) if the machine S9
on auto it provide added humidification and protects against rainout

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#6
Thanks for all the advice. I didn't mention it before, but I have been on CPAP for about 10 years and have been using my current mask style for as long as I can remember. That is what makes this problem so frustrating. I also wonder if the high leak rate is due to my leaving the mask on while mopping up the drool in the middle of the night. My wife complains about the noise all night so I guess that is not the case.

I ordered a new cushion. Hopefully that will help but I'm not optimistic.
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#7
Since you have been on CPAP for 10 yrs, you obviously understand that a full face mask is used for people who continue to breath from their mouths. Suggestions of masks such as nasal pillows will not work unless you have a chinstrap. However, with leaks that high, it does sound like you are removing your mask during the night. It might be useful to have your wife identify the source of the leaks and when they occur. This might give you some insight into how and why your leak data is significantly high
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#8
(11-05-2012, 04:28 PM)thecpapshop Wrote: Since you have been on CPAP for 10 yrs, you obviously understand that a full face mask is used for people who continue to breath from their mouths. Suggestions of masks such as nasal pillows will not work unless you have a chinstrap. However, with leaks that high, it does sound like you are removing your mask during the night. It might be useful to have your wife identify the source of the leaks and when they occur. This might give you some insight into how and why your leak data is significantly high

Unfortunately, there are many bad DMEs who want to give everyone Full Face Masks, so they don't have to deal with mouth leaks.

BDC, do you know why you ended up with a FFM?

Some people have complained about taming the Quattro mask. Some say it sort of needs to "float" and inflate the flap to seal to your face properly. Sometimes loosening is the solution.
Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
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