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[How to] Using the Oracle Oral Mask for Ear and Eye Problems
#1
I keep having to explain this, so I'm going to make a single thread to reference for this.

There's a "trick" with the Oracle Oral mask to help some people with ear or eye problems.

First, let me say I don't recommend this mask in general. However, if you can learn to use it without the nose plugs, it has some unique advantages for nose, ear or eye problems.

Nasal or full face masks put pressure in your nose. This can go up your Eustachian tube and cause pressure in your middle ear, or go out the nasolacrimal duct and cause air to leak into your eye socket.

Properly used, an oral mask will not put any pressure into your nose, and there will be no pressure in your ears or eyes.

The trick is to seal off your soft palate, which keeps air pressure in your mouth and lungs from getting into your nose. To picture how this works, consider what happens when you blow up a balloon. Even though there is air pressure in your mouth and throat, no air comes out of your nose.

The trick is to do this same balloon maneuver when using CPAP with an oral mask. F&P says that you should start using the mask with the nose plugs and you will learn to use it without the nose plugs after a while. What I found I could do was put on the mask, start the machine, and pretend I was blowing up a balloon, feel my nose seal off, and then relax carefully and start breathing in and out. I found the CPAP pressure helped to keep the soft palate "valve" closed.

You do require a humidifier if you use the mask. I found it dried out and irritated my throat too much, even with a humidifier. I also found the sensation of not breathing through my nose was uncomfortable.

However, if you have nasolacrimal duct eye problems or ear pressure problems on CPAP, it may be worth a try. It might also eliminate some other nose related problems.
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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#2
which one exactly is the oral mask
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#3
I think there's only one Oracle CPAP mask. However, it's Fisher and Paykell Oracle oral mask HC452.

https://www.fphcare.com/products/oracle-oral-mask/
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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#4
hmm. I'd think that oral mask would still pressurize the nasal cavity and continue to cause eye/ear problems. I think the recommended mask may be a "Full Face" mask that actually covers the full face, such as the Respironics FitLife model. That would pressurize all the areas equally and not cause any pressure differential in any area that would cause eye/ear issues. JMHO

Best regards,

Dude
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#5
Fitlife will deal with eye problems. I guess if you were having ear problems it wouldnt but as far as air leaking into the eyes or from the tear ducts it will stop that cold.
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#6
(01-28-2015, 12:00 PM)surferdude2 Wrote: hmm. I'd think that oral mask would still pressurize the nasal cavity and continue to cause eye/ear problems. I think the recommended mask may be a "Full Face" mask that actually covers the full face, such as the Respironics FitLife model. That would pressurize all the areas equally and not cause any pressure differential in any area that would cause eye/ear issues. JMHO

Best regards,

Dude

No.

If you use the oracle oral mask without the nose plugs, your nostrils are open. How do you think the air pressure in your throat gets blocked from coming out the nose?

The "nose valve" (soft palate) is at the back of the nose. The Eustachian to your ear and the nasolacrimal duct to your eyes are between this point and your nostrils.

Here's a picture:

[Image: 681px-Blausen_0872_UpperRespiratorySystem.png]

When you "close off your nose," the soft palate moves back and seals off the nasal cavity from the airway. The Eustachian tube is called the "auditory tube" in this picture. The nasolacrimal duct isn't shown in this picture, but it's up front by the eyes. The are both in the "unpressurized" section of the nose.

It's exactly the same as if you are blowing up a balloon. The soft palate at the back of your mouth moves up and seals the opening between your throat and your nasal cavity.

Try this:

1) Close your mouth and pinch your nostrils shut. Now blow air into your nose to pressurize it. This is like using the nose plugs.

You will hear and feel your ears pop.

2) Do the same thing, but leave your nostrils unpinched and blow air into your mouth like you're blowing up a balloon. Don't let any air come out of your nose. This is like not using the nose plugs.

You will not hear and feel your ears pop.

The "total face" masks will probably prevent nasolacrimal problems with the eyes, but will not help ear problems. The nasolacrimal duct will not leak air because the pressure is the same in the nose and in the eye socket. Your ears will still pop because the pressure in your nose/middle ear is higher than the pressure in the outer ear. (i.e. across your eardrum).
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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#7
Thanks archangle for taking the time to educate a fool - nice illustration and explanation. I think my assumption was based on some advertisement I read about the Full Face mask I mentioned.

I may consider giving that oral mask a trial since I am blessed with all of the side effects of backflow of CPAP therapy into my eyes and also off/on vertigo from the pressure/flow affecting my inner ear. It'd help with my red nose problem as well.

Best regards,

Dude
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#8
Thank you archangel, it is easier to understand with an illustration.
I would consider trying the Oracle mask except that I am claustrophobic.
Not sure if I could wear that thing, but if I can't get the eye problems under control, I may have to talk myself into it. Thanks
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#9
OpalRose, I think the mask would be a good choice for claustrophobic people. It's not a full face one like I was referring to but an oral mask that fits inside the mouth leaving the rest of the face uncovered. The downside, from what I read, it causes dry mouth and throat issues, especially at higher pressure/flow rate therapy. I'll have to pass on it since I require a pretty high flow rate. Also there is some drooling that always goes along with having something placed in the mouth. The brain says that may be something to eat and asks the salivary glands to deliver the juice.

[Image: 250pjj9.jpg]
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#10
You may also be able to use the Oracle mask without a strap to help with claustrophobia.
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.
Post Reply Post Reply


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