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Just started my CPAP trial and struggling.
Slujones, you've gotten a lot of good recommendations. The mask was the hardest part for me and I tried many. One old tried and true method of sealing you mask is very simple. Buy some silicone earplugs (usually Macks) take a few of them and roll them in your palms until soft, Fashion into a string the size of a pencil and place around the perimeter of your mask where it meet your face. It can last up to three days- lightly score the silicone the second and third days. If it seems not to be sealing, remove the silicone, roll into a ball, put in an airtight container and begin the next night.
Many of us had one problem or another when getting started. It's good you wrote for help.
Best of luck to you, with your attitude I'm sure you'll be successful.
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After two more nights I'm still not having much luck. Last night after a bit less than three hours without falling asleep for more than a minute or so at a time I ended up hyperventilating and had to get up and breath into a bag for a while.
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My advice is to contact your doctor ASAP.
You may want to adjust the comfort feature on your machine exhale pressure relief (EPR, C-Flex) setting or turn it right off..see if it make any difference to your breathing.

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Hi again slujones, What type of mask and machine do you have? Sorry to hear that you are still strugling with it but hang in there, it can take LOTS OF TIME & PATIENCE.
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You need to figure out what particular CPAP machine you have. What does it say on the machine?

Why did you end up with a full face mask (FFM) ? In my opinion, a FFM should always be a last resort for people who can't breathe through the nose, or who leak air out their mouth. Unfortunately, a lot of lazy DMEs simply give them to everyone so they don't have to deal with finding the right mask.

You usually have 30 days to change masks for free if the one you have doesn't work.
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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I'm on a trial so I'm just using the apparatus they supplied me with. I've tried the nose mask and I leak air out my mouth very badly. I go back to my specialist tomorrow so I'm going to ask for a chin strap to try and explain what's going on. I'm not going to use either mask tonight, I'll try again after I speak to her.
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Well, we have all been there so understand the problems, the right type of mask make's things a lot easier.
I was quite embarassed of mine at first and tended to sleep under the cover's (Something you can do in winter!)
Just hang in there it will get better.
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(08-13-2012, 12:07 AM)slujones Wrote: ..... The full face mask seemed to leak badly and woke me every time I drifted off (I even shaved off my beard that I've had for six years to try to help the seal). The nose mask caused air to blow out my mouth every time I fell asleep.

Hi slujones...

I am also new to this business and I am still learning.

I could not find a full face mask that did not leak across the bridge of my nose.

I have always been a mouth breather so when I tried the nasal pillows with a chin strap I felt as though I could not get enough air.

In the end I have had good success with the ResMed Mirage Liberty which is a Mouth mask with nasal pillows built in. Unfortunately they seem to not be available any more but I got mine but buying the bits as spare parts.

I also found the Mirage Quattro FX reasonable. That is a small full face mask that goes across the nose much lower down than many full face masks.

The thing is that mask fit is a very individual thing and the mask that I swear by will be the mask that others will swear at....

I found that I was well served by my sleep tech provider who was prepared to lend me 4 different masks and two different machines in my quest for success - not all seem to be so lucky.
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(08-15-2012, 08:44 AM)Moriarty Wrote: In the end I have had good success with the ResMed Mirage Liberty which is a Mouth mask with nasal pillows built in. Unfortunately they seem to not be available any more but I got mine but buying the bits as spare parts.

These are called hybrid masks. There are lots of others available. Check the Suppliers List.
Apnea Board Moderator

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Hi slujones. Everyone here with more experience than we have has great advice. I was just noticing last night that I have adjusted in a new way to the nasal mask. When I first used it the pressure was nuts and I felt as if I was not able to catch a breath. I could not even open my mouth, and when I coughed it was scary. Now I seem to have gotten used to the pressure and can cough just fine. So the reason I mention this is that I am more and more realizing that it really does take time, and we will all go through stages, even when we have found the right mask. (or at least think we have found it!)
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