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Mask Help
#1
I have the ultimate mask challenge because:

1. I have a full beard about 3/8th inch thick.
2. I am a mouth breather
3. I have hi pressures of 18/14
5. I sleep on my side
6. I toss and turn

The only way I have any success is if I crank my mask down so hard I have neck pain at the base of my skull all day long. It is like sleeping with a bear trap on my head.

I've been at it 4 years with 100% compliance. I use a Quattro FX mask.

Is there anyone out there in similar circumstance that has had success with a different mask?

Thanks for your help, Cranky Zeeser
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#2
Others might disagree, but I doubt you would be able to get nasal pillows to work well at those pressures. Might give a nasal mask a try. Get the humidity set right to help with nose breathing and use a chinstrap to keep from mouth breathing. Unfortunately, at those pressures, a chin strap might not work because therapy pressure might just push your lips open and escape through your mouth. You can try tongue positioning techniques to prevent this and/or other products like chin-ups to keep your lips closed (they claim they work with beards); but, then you might have to learn to get used to sleeping with puffed out cheeks (if you get used to that you'll have to get used to achy, stretched out cheeks). My pressures are similar to yours and I've tried everything I could think of to try to be able to use nasal mask/pillows and have failed miserably - so please let me know if you get something to work.

Maybe someone with a beard and experience with Mirage Quattro FFM can chime in on that mask. I've heard that might work. I've also heard others recommend Total Face Mask (Fit For Life I think, Google CPAP Total Face Mask) for those with beards.

I've also heard tell of a product used by scuba divers with beards that makes the scuba mask seal over the beard. Might be worth asking the all mighty Google about that one too.

You could try all of these things, and a lot more; but, I personally think it would be better to just consider shaving the beard off.

Sleep-well
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#3
Thanks for you thoughts.
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#4
Hmm. sounds like you are compensating for leakage past the facial hair by tightening the mask down.
This will work but, as you can see, it causes much suffering.

#1. Try a restyle, so there is no hair in the areas where your mask needs to seat.
A goatee / close groomed moustache should work with a little silcone grease on the mask seal (if needed)
Then you can losen those straps to the point you can sleep better and not have the "bear trap" experience.

#2. Go for the clean face.

#3. Try a total face mask, though it might still be iffy around the beard are at the chin and cheeks, thus
might still require some trimming in some areas.
The TFM is fussy to work with but some folks swear by them



"With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable." - Thomas Foxwell Buxton

Cool
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#5
I hear you brother. I have a goatee and it's a struggle each night trying to position the mask for a proper seal. I end up with the straps real tight to stop the leaks and wake up with a sore nose bridge. Very uncomfortable being so tight and Total Leaks are still 96 for the 95% readings.
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#6
(02-17-2013, 09:52 AM)Shastzi Wrote: Hmm. sounds like you are compensating for leakage past the facial hair by tightening the mask down.
This will work but, as you can see, it causes much suffering.

#1. Try a restyle, so there is no hair in the areas where your mask needs to seat.
A goatee / close groomed moustache should work with a little silcone grease on the mask seal (if needed)
Then you can losen those straps to the point you can sleep better and not have the "bear trap" experience.

#2. Go for the clean face.

#3. Try a total face mask, though it might still be iffy around the beard are at the chin and cheeks, thus
might still require some trimming in some areas.
The TFM is fussy to work with but some folks swear by them

Geez the second person to suggest I shave off the beard. Thanks for you thoughts.
I get most of my leaking around my nose. Thanks
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#7
Not sure but you might be getting the leaks around the nose from the high forces applied by the straps.
this would distort your mask sealing surface to it starts to leak in what would be unlikely areas.
(S.W.A.G.)
Erm... How about an Abe Lincoln? That would remove any hair from all the critical sealing areas and you wouldn't have to do a total shave.


Smile
"With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable." - Thomas Foxwell Buxton

Cool
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#8
Can you stop the leak by pressing straight down on the air inlet? If so, consider purchasing an anti-leak strap from PadACheek. I use this strap and it has drastically improved my issues with leak on my Quattro mask.
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#9
(02-17-2013, 10:14 AM)zeeser Wrote: Geez the second person to suggest I shave off the beard. Thanks for you thoughts.

I shaved after 13 years of wearing a full beard. One advantage is that I don't have to check the mirror after blowing my nose.

Big GrinBig Grin

Razor technology has come a long way in all those years. I have an electric razor that makes shaving a breeze.


Sleepster
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#10
(02-17-2013, 10:14 AM)zeeser Wrote: Geez the second person to suggest I shave off the beard. Thanks for you thoughts.
I get most of my leaking around my nose. Thanks

Might be able to knock leaks back with a liner. You could check in the "Commercial Posts" forum for a post by a Rep. for Remzzzzs liners. She was recently sending out free sample packs to those who left her a request by PM. Results seem kind of mixed with these though, but who knows, they might work for you and you won't lose anything trying with free samples.

If you really prefer to keep the beard, I think your best shot would be to try a nasal mask. Many find it surprisingly easy to overcome mouth breathing with the humidifier on the machine pre-heated and set right, a good saline nasal rinse/spray (like "Ocean" or any of the cheaper generic store brands right next to it on the shelf) used right before bed and a good chin strap.

That stuff I said "might" happen (lips blowing open, etc.) doesn't happen to everyone and there are folks with high pressures that can get the right nasal mask/pillows to work just fine. I guess it mainly depends on the structure of your airway, etc. You won't know until you try, so probably worth giving a shot if you are "attached" to your beard, so to speak.

Best of luck!
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