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Is 87.5% considered too much for large leaks?
I need to rant a bit, feel free to ignore this post...

[Image: angry-man-with-smoke-coming-out-of-ears.jpg]

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,

I am not a Medical professional and I don't play one on the internet.
Started CPAP Therapy April 5, 2016
I'd Rather Be Sleeping
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Frank, are you sure you are an engineer, and not a comedian? You had me laughing so hard! Seriously, though, these are valid concerns and problems, and I sympathize mightily with what you are going through. I had only two weeks on the machine before I had to stop for awhile due to wheezing and asthma triggered by using it, but I experienced some of what you describe. The toots and bubbles and whistles from the lack of seal, and sometimes coming from my mouth, and the general cacophony of it all are not pleasant and interfere greatly with therapy.

Here's my 2 cents, although I am such a newbie, it's probably best to ignore me. The idea I have for you, even though I am sure you have tried it, since you seem to have been trying very hard to make PAP therapy work for you, is regarding sleeping positions. You say you change positions a lot. For years and years, due to arthritis and pain while moving in bed, I have battened myself down to 90% side sleeping on one side by having cordons of pillows all around me, literally on all 4 sides and between my legs. The pillows behind my back are against a wall. The ones between my legs are pinned to the bed so they don't migrate. I unconsciously turn slightly towards my back when my body says that if I don't, I'll get pressure sores. Then it's back to my side again when I wake up with apneas. Maybe if you could get used to this, you would be moving around less and the mask would get dislodged less, and you'd have fewer problems with mask seal.

I'd love it, though, if the engineers could get their act together and figure out something that would work better, no matter how we move around in bed or what shape our faces and noses are.

"Perseverance, secret of all triumphs."
Victor Hugo
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Frank, I tried reading your previous posts but unfortunately, due to brain fog, didn't get very far. So can you refresh my memory on which combination of masks, accessories have provided your best sleep in spite of less than acceptable leak levels?


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I can appreciate your problems. How many other masks have you tried to stop this? Please remember that the reason that there are so many different masks is because there are some many different face structures. I remember reading that one FFM developed was modeled on a group of people in one geographical location that have unusually wide faces. Now that mask will basically only work for those people. Think of this as a game with the object being to find the mask that fits before you run out of money looking for it.

Please keep posting your trials and tribulations. . . I need something to smile about.
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Perhaps a picture of the face that cannot be tamed would be enlightening. Smile
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Frank, enjoyed your rant as it parallels my own (xPAP for me started Apr 7 2016). My DME has been good about loaning me many ffm for a week to try. All result in leakage around my jaw when it relaxes. All I can say is this is a journey none of us want to take. Keep working at it! btw, really enjoy reading your posts
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I use Amara View, FFM. Take a look at it. I think part of its trick is minimal contact area and not trying to fit on top of the nose. I also tried the SimPlus but not only had the bridge of my nose issues with it but also spanning my cheek bones caused leaks. You really need to learn how to put this thing on, but once you do it has worked well and I have a beard and mustache. I tried the P10 with everyone raving about it, but I can't use a nose only mask because of exhale pressure. That dreamware mask or what every the name is looked interesting for nose only, but of course have not tried it.

Most people with mask leaks, my self included, go the way of increasing strap tension, I have found that this usually makes things worse as they tend to crush the silicone flap.
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Hi Frank,
Thanks for the chuckle today! I think I start to smile even before I click on your posts to read.

But seriously, how many masks have you tried. Your profile list two masks, and I don't remember reading about others. I know it can be expensive, but you can order from any online supplier and order a couple different full face masks to trial. Yes, you have to pay initially, but you can send them back within 30 days for refund.

There's got a be a perfect mask for you...keep trying!
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which one are you Frank Wink
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(07-14-2016, 02:32 PM)OpalRose Wrote: Hi Frank,
Thanks for the chuckle today! I think I start to smile even before I click on your posts to read.

But seriously, how many masks have you tried. Your profile list two masks, and I don't remember reading about others. I know it can be expensive, but you can order from any online supplier and order a couple different full face masks to trial. Yes, you have to pay initially, but you can send them back within 30 days for refund.

There's got a be a perfect mask for you...keep trying!

I came across an unpublicized self-funded effort to laser-image your face and then use a 3-D printer to prepare a flexible plastic interface to maximize comfort and minimize leakage. They were experimenting with iPhone face capture software along with some other tech tricks. It seems that one of the problems they were encountering was the slippage of strapping on hair. Haven't heard of any similar efforts -- but someone out there must be working on the issue.

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
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