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Is Mouth Breathing Recorded as a Leak When Using Nasal Pillows?
#1
My AHI last night was about 20 while trying out an Icon nasal pillow type mask. Based on a table in the mask manual, the reported leakage of 28 was below what one would expect with that mask (and I didn't notice leaks). So what should I conclude from this?
--If mouth breathing with nasal pillows is not recorded as a leak by the Icon, then maybe mouth breathing was the problem.
--Or perhaps the fixed CPAP pressure of 9 is not sufficient when using nasal pillows (perhaps my nasal passages are to narrow, etc). I was using a full face mask when the pressure level of 9 was determined during my sleep study. Does the "required" pressure vary with mask type assuming no leakage problem?
Thanks.

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#2
(03-26-2012, 07:57 PM)ark Wrote: My AHI last night was about 20 while trying out an Icon nasal pillow type mask. Based on a table in the mask manual, the reported leakage of 28 was below what one would expect with that mask (and I didn't notice leaks). So what should I conclude from this?
--If mouth breathing with nasal pillows is not recorded as a leak by the Icon, then maybe mouth breathing was the problem.
--Or perhaps the fixed CPAP pressure of 9 is not sufficient when using nasal pillows (perhaps my nasal passages are to narrow, etc). I was using a full face mask when the pressure level of 9 was determined during my sleep study. Does the "required" pressure vary with mask type assuming no leakage problem?
Thanks.

type of mask should have no bearing on pressure. this is why some people use full face because their nose can't handle the required pressure. everything is recorded as a leak whether it be out the mouth, the side of the mask or thru the exhaust vent. so leaks will not be zero til the machine is turned off. as far as your way forward, i don't know.
if you are new to this or new to this mask, keep trying and see if the ahi gets better.
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#3
No, the pressure does not matter with the type of mask. On some wee level it might but not enough to be a problem (unless the user is very anal and loves details). The full face mask was still pushing air down the same nose.

As for the leaks, not sure. I would assume mouth breathing would be counted as a leak. How would it determine the difference? Did you have a dry mouth or really bad morning breath?
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#4
I don,t know if the Icon report unintentional leak (mask + mouth leak) or total leak [intentional leak (mask vents leak) + unintentional leak]
Why not give the auto a try (2 or 3 below and over the fixed pressure) and see what would happen.
Try a chinstrap if you suspect mouth breathing .
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#5
Mouth-opening also causes the water level in the humidifier to drop faster than normal.
Sleepster
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#6
Well, the last 2 days the reported leak is slightly below the "expected" leak for the pillows mask, yet my AHI remains around 20. I can't think of any other explanation other than the pressure is to low. I'm going to have my clinician ask the doc to allow us to put the machine on auto to figure out what pressure is needed.
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#7
See if you can find out what the AHI is composed of. If mostly obstructive apneas, you may need to raise the pressure. If mostly clear-airway apneas, you may need to lower the pressure. You should discuss with your doctor.
Sleepster
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#8
(03-28-2012, 07:19 PM)Sleepster Wrote: See if you can find out what the AHI is composed of. If mostly obstructive apneas, you may need to raise the pressure. If mostly clear-airway apneas, you may need to lower the pressure. You should discuss with your doctor.

Interesting comment -- thanks. I had not heard the term clear airway apnea. I think we are going to try for a wide range in auto mode -- well below and above my current fixed setting of 9. If lower pressure is needed, hopefully the machine will figure that out.

Edit: I just realized clear airway apnea is another term for central apnea.
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