I am so sick and tired of fighting leaks. Large leaks, small leaks, buzzing leaks, squeaking leaks, whistling leaks, hissing leaks, popping leaks, and mouth breathing leaks. Leaks with my full fast mask blowing icy air over my eyes and leaks with my nasal mask somehow ending up my stomach. Just every imaginable kind of leak...
Last night I hard a bad night with leaks. Can't you tell. I thought I had them mostly tamed and had been running around 5% most nights for a while now. But, last night I was in a constant battle with changing positions, adjusting mask position, adjusting strap tightness, reattaching mask straps that came off, etc, etc... I got up this morning to a new record for me- YEAH - well, maybe not YEAH. 87.9% large leaks. I had quiet and peaceful sleep for all of 12% of last night!
It doesn't take very much research on google to find that the two leading problems with the use of CPAP machines is mask comfort and leaking. There are a lot of masks out there and most people can find one or two they can live with from a comfort point of view. And there seems to be a few odd balls among us that don't have leaks... probably nonconformists in every other walk of life too no doubt... But for the rest of us, battling the War of the Leaks is am almost nightly challenge.
As an engineer I know that problems in my field can appear "easy" to people not in my field, so I always hesitate to criticize others for lack of progress solving a problem in their field - but seriously folks, this isn't late breaking news. Leaks haven't just started. While I am amazed at the current designs ability to comfortably conform to a wide range of face shapes and sizes (and lets face it, there is a fairly wide range of face shapes and sizes amongst us - and we wont even mention nostril sizes - whew!) That feat alone is worth an award for exceptionable engineering achievements.
But come on folks, there has got to be a way to stop the bloody masks from leaking and the engineers have had decades to figure it out! Please recall this is now a multiple billion dollar per year business and is not a single inventor working out of his garage in Australia like it started out. Big businesses with lots of highly trained engineers working for decades on staff, and I still leak for 87% of the night - argh!
And worse yet, when my F10 starts leaking I can play a freaking symphony with it by twitching an eyebrow, moving my lips side to side or puckering them, opening my mouth, closing my mouth, scrunching up my nose, opening and/or closing an eye or both, tensing or relaxing a jaw muscle - with each producing it own unique tone.
Sadly, I have on some nights thought that maybe that was the engineers evil plan when they invented that insidious thin silicone seal which vibrates so readily with leaks. I can see the engineers sitting around the break room discussing how, if they could come up with a really thin flexible edge for the mask, and sell it as a "comfortable seal, then they could design it to buzz at different frequencies depending on where and how much air is leaking. That started an all out internal secret design contest to see whose design would sound the best. It was all great fun for people involved in the incredibly boring job of reducing costs of consumer products. The winning entry of the contest, as we all know, was the silicone seal and the inventors picture has been hanging in honor on the wall of the break room ever since... You can still hear engineers chuckling and humming as they walk back to their assigned work areas from the break room.
burp, burp, hiss, burp, burp, hiss, hiss, squeak, squeak,
burp, burp, hiss, burp, burp, hiss, hiss, buzz, buzz,
Started CPAP Therapy April 5, 2016
I'd Rather Be Sleeping