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09-28-2015, 09:36 AM
Hi, I'm new to the site.I was diagnosed with OSA in June 2015. So far I have used 3 face masks, and 1 hybrid. All with the same result. I fit the mask before I go to sleep to make sure that there are no leaks. Somehow over the course of the night, about 4:00 a.m., my mask starts leaking around the side of the mouth. I am a mouth breather sometimes, but I have the mask adjusted so that if I breath through my mouth, the mask has enough clearance not to cause leaks. I hope someone can help, as I am not benefitting from this therapy. I also have insomnia.
09-28-2015, 10:13 AM
(09-28-2015, 09:36 AM)1howardg Wrote: Hi, I'm new to the site.I was diagnosed with OSA in June 2015. So far I have used 3 face masks, and 1 hybrid. All with the same result. I fit the mask before I go to sleep to make sure that there are no leaks. Somehow over the course of the night, about 4:00 a.m., my mask starts leaking around the side of the mouth. I am a mouth breather sometimes, but I have the mask adjusted so that if I breath through my mouth, the mask has enough clearance not to cause leaks. I hope someone can help, as I am not benefitting from this therapy. I also have insomnia.
welcome to the forum.
you probably noticed several people who posted on this thread ended up solving the mask leaks with a chin strap. I got one myself and it works so well I was able to move from FFM to nasal pillows which are much lighter and more comfortable.
Like you, I went to some trouble each night to properly position the mask and make sure it was properly fitted. During the night I would wake up with a leak and wiggle my chin or use my hand to reposition the mask then go back to sleep.
The problem is not that you aren't doing everything correctly before you go to sleep. What happens to a lot of people is when we are asleep our jaw muscles relax and the jaw drops backwards just a slight bit which is enough to spring a leak in the air seal.
A chin strap will gently hold the jaw in place so that it doesn't move out of place once you are asleep. For me it was like throwing a switch, one night I had leaks, and from the first night with the chin strap no more leaks. Sometimes I still get small leaks but they are below the leak threshold and they don't wake me up.
Before getting a chin strap, I tried snugging up the mask a bit tighter at places where I thought it was leaking and that was mostly successful. Still had short periods of major leaks on a lot of nights although it didn't seem to be impacting restful sleep (or so I thought). But I woke up in the morning with lines on my face from the mask being so tight. If that was as good as it gets, I could have lived with it since that was still so much better than before CPAP therapy.
But then I tried a chin strap I had purchased before I was diagnosed to stop snoring, and the rest is history. I sleep better than I did even when I thought I had the leaks mostly under control. Those few times a night I was waking to adjust the mask were stealing restful sleep I didn't even realize I was missing.
So I am a big fan of working through the leaks as best you can, but if you can't make them go away, try a chin strap. As someone said above, it was relatively cheap to try and if it works you will enjoy more restful sleep.
Especially if you are insomniac, sleep time is even more precious since you don't get a lot of it. Hope you figure this out and feel better.
09-28-2015, 10:16 AM
How bad are the 4:00 AM leaks and what problems do they cause for you? Are the leaks waking you up? What is it about the leaks that wakes you up if you can identify it?
A mask liner can diffuse the leaks if it is the sound or the feeling of the leak. When I first tried a FFM, I kept getting leaks that were directed right at my eye and they would wake me up. If I had known about mask liners then, that might have cured the awakenings.
If the leaks do not interfere in your therapy and do not wake you up, then there would be no need to worry about them. I suspect this is not the case.
Does your mask use the inflatable cushions for sealing? I am not familiar with that mask and it was not apparent from the pics that I looked at. If so, do the cushions stay somewhat tacky? Do you clean them every day? Do you clean your face where the cushions contact every night just before donning the mask? Keeping as much friction as possible between the cushions and your skin extends the amount that the cushions can adjust for.
The tissues and muscles in your face relax as you sleep making the mask looser in the morning than it was the night before. How much your facial relaxation affects the mask seal depends on your face. For someone like me there is a very noticeable effect. Some others, not so much.
09-28-2015, 03:18 PM
(09-28-2015, 07:29 AM)ginzo Wrote: Great reply, yes I do go to bed early/rise early. I'M OLD, that's what old people do!! LOL.
busted out an lol on that. Good thing I wasn't sipping water at the time.
09-28-2015, 05:59 PM
Won't be long now, I'll be setting the temp in the house to 85 year round!:grin:
(09-28-2015, 03:18 PM)AlanE Wrote:(09-28-2015, 07:29 AM)ginzo Wrote: Great reply, yes I do go to bed early/rise early. I'M OLD, that's what old people do!! LOL.
10-02-2015, 02:28 PM
(09-28-2015, 10:16 AM)PaytonA Wrote: How bad are the 4:00 AM leaks and what problems do they cause for you? Are the leaks waking you up? What is it about the leaks that wakes you up if you can identify it?
10-02-2015, 02:36 PM
Saldus above has it right. I have a BIPAP. IPAP: 21 and EPAP: 17. That's a lot of pressure. And Yes I clean my mask and face. The problem is that my jaw relaxes and causes the mask to leak, and each time it wakes me up as the mask makes squeeking noises that wake me up. I can only tighten the mask so much, then it's just uncomfortable. I have three face masks, and one hybrid. I have problems with all of them. I think I need the nasal pillow mask and a chin strap.
10-02-2015, 06:06 PM
Might consider nasal pillows a second step after you verify that a chin strap fixes the mouth leaks. Or else be sure to buy them with return insurance so you aren't stuck with another expensive dust collector if they don't work out.
The P-10 nasal pillows costed about $99 (from Supplier #1 with free shipping and return insurance in case they didn't work out), while the chin strap I use is only about $12 on Amaz-you-know-what (My Snoring Solution Jaw Strap which I paid $39 for before another supplier showed up offering it for $12. I was skeptical about the $12 price but when I click on that product link it says I have purchased this item before so it must be the same SKU).
Full disclosure on chin strap: while I am very happy with the function of the chin strap and it seems to be holding up well after a few machine washes, I might soon be shopping around for one that doesn't leave big lines on my face in the morning. YMMV. I have to admit that complaining about facial lines is like the hosehead version of patients complaining about hospital food which is really a sign we are feeling better.
p.s. PaytonA taught me the most effective tips I know about how to get the best fit possible to reduce mask leaks.
<mulligan declared.> AKA oops, posted in wrong thread.
10-02-2015, 07:34 PM
As you can see from my 1st post, "I am/was the king" of LL's. I would try the chinstrap 1st. It cut my LL #'s in 1/2. I always used a nasal pillow, so I can't help you with what you are using now.
From there I changed from a Cpap to Apap mode. I started at 16 Cpap and it was blowing the pillow off my face, got the Dr. to lower it to 14, better but still bad. Then I took over, with help and advice here and switched to Apap. Went to 9-14 and almost nil. Now I'm fine tuning and just switched to 10-14 as my apneas seemed to hover around 10ish.
I tend to do 30-35 day tests before making an adjustment. After this period of 10-14cm, I can make a determination if I need anything else. At this point (just a few days in) I can't tell just yet, but I may try around 9.5-14 next.
I can't offer anymore as I don't understand BIPAP or it's pressures at all.
(10-02-2015, 02:36 PM)1howardg Wrote: Hi Payton,
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