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I Want to Try CPAP Again
#1
Hi. I had a sleep study done in 2012. I was prescribed a cpap machine. I tried to use it, and I used a nasal mask, but that did not work because I am a mouth breather while sleeping. I tried a chin strap but I could get make the nasal mask and chin strap work for me. I also tried a nasal pillow mask that covered my mouth. I also could not make that work for me. I move around a lot while I sleep, and the mask would inevitably come off while I was sleeping. Sometimes the pressure itself would wake me up. Once up, I could not fall back asleep with it on.

I have a philips respironics system one remstar auto a-flex cpap unit.

The sleep study suggested I use a pressure setting of 14 cm h20 and a medium size nasal respironics comfort blue mask with a chin strap. A problem that I have is that I have a deviated septum and I can be a mouth breather, so sometimes my nose airway is not clear and I cannot use it it solely to breath from.

I later got a mouth piece device created by a dentist, a Thorton Adjustable Positioner (TAP). I could not sleep throughout the night with that either.

I was later diagnosed with stage 3 cancer and I focused on healing from the surgery and dealing with the chemotherapy. I stopped using the cpap machine and the mouth piece. I currently have what the oncologist calls "no evidence of disease", apparently they don;t use the work remission so much anymore. 

Well now I am trying to focus on my overall health again and I want to deal with the apnea. So I kept my cpap machine and i pulled it out recently. I tried both of the masks that I have, and they still do not work for me. I realized that I had not yet tried a full face mask. I want to give one a try.

I had to change health insurance since the time that I was prescribed the cpap and the mouth piece. I am on an ACA health insurance plan. I think I would like to bypass my health insurance, because I could not show compliance with my original cpap unit, and purchase a full face mask directly. I am trying to look for a low cost mask. I checked Ebay and Craigslist and I could not find anything. Can you suggest where I could purchase a low cost full face mask? 

I took measurements and the distance from the bridge of my nose to below my mouth is 3 3/8 inches and the length of my mouth is 2 3/8 inches. What size full face mask should I be looking for? small, medium, large?

Thank you for your advice.
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#2
Hi Nico08. You sure have been through a lot, and congrats on your recovery. Your machine records data on a SD card located in the center-back of the blower unit. That data can be uploaded to free SleepyHead software. Even though it has been a long time since you used the machine, the data is there, and it can help us guide you on changes to make the machine more comfortable and effective.

One problem is that your machine is set to fixed pressure. I think setting the machine to Auto mode and using a range of pressure, may be a big help. This link shows how to access your therapy settings and make adjustments. I think setting a minimum pressure of 10 and maximum pressure of 15 may be a good start. http://www.apneaboard.com/pr-system-one-...structions

There are 4 links in my signature. The first two discuss how to organize and post SleepyHead data. If you are able to share your data as shown we can do much more to help you optimize your machine settings. The 4th link is Fred Bonjour's mask primer. There is a good discussion there on getting and fitting a mask, as well as links to mask fitting templates. Take a look at the Primer. With regard to your dental device, I would suggest you leave it in a drawer. If you have obstruction that is caused by your sleep position, or chin tucking toward your chest, an ergonomic pillow or soft foam cervical collar is a lot more comfortable and effective than most dental devices used to advance the jaw.

Good luck and welcome.
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#3
On Mask selection see the Mask Primer in my Signature.  At the bottom are fitting guides.

Look at the bottom of your CPAP for the model number and post that here.

To get help with your therapy please download SleepyHread and post your graphs here.  Please pay attention to thge section on organization as some charts are more important than others.  How to is also in my signature.

Good Luck

Fred
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#4
How well any mask fits varies by individual.

It's best to test the fit before buying but without insurance I don't know of any cost effective way to do that. There are suppliers that offer return insurance that allow you to return a mask within 30 days. See supplier 1 in this list. http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-...plier-List.

As recommended, be sure to read the mask primer before buying anything. You may find some tips to make your present mask work. You could spend a lot of $$$ on a trial and error approach to selecting a mask.

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#5
Thank you Melman, bonjour and sleeprider for the helpful information. I have a feeling that I do not have much data on that sd card, but I will try and use the cpap device with the two masks that I have and see if I can create some more data points. Being that I am a side sleeper, an open mouth sleeper, that I move around a lot during sleep and that I have a deviated septum, I am surprised that the therapist who fitted me for a mask did not suggest a full face mask from the start. Hmmm....
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#6
Hi I checked the bottom of the cpap device and it says it is a remstar auto 560p there are some other numbers and a upc number but i think the model number is 560p
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#7
Hi nico08,
I wish you better luck this time around with your CPAP therapy.
Hang in there for more responses to your post.
trish6hundred
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#8
Hi Nico, I had already put together you have an auto machine, and that it provides data, and in Post #2 I suggested some auto CPAP settings and posted how to set them. Using the Auto settings will do a better job of telling us where you're at and should be more comfortable. The DS560HS is a very good machine, and should serve you well for years.
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#9
Hi sleeprider. Yes, I am going to make the setting changes to the CPAP unit like you suggested and I will see if that improves my experience.
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#10
Hi and welcome! I'm sure you'll be successful this time. You are in the right place!

I would say the cheapest and easiest way to get hold of a mask is Amazon.

BUT... everyone's faces are different, so you kinda need to try several masks and especially their varying sizes. In which case it would be cheaper to go through Supplier #1 who I believe has the 30 day exchange program. You could use that to its fullest, and really work to get a good mask that fits you well.

OR you could go to a DME, and tell them you need a mask and you're paying out of pocket. I would think - if they were any good (cross your fingers and toes!) - they'd do their job and help you find a mask that works for you.
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