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Mask itches insanely, nasal mask hurts like crazy
#1
Question 
I am not sure if this is where to ask this question, but here it goes:

I have a ResMed machine. Overall I am happy with it, even though I pull it off when I am sleeping, I still sleep better.

I have two different masks. One is a nasal mask with the forehead thingy. The other one is a face mask without the forehead thingy. It just goes around the nose and mouth.

For the nasal mask, how do I know if it is too loose? I'll think I have it fine but it shows on the software that it is leaking about halfway through the night. Any tighter and it hurts really bad! But wearing it comfortable makes it leak.

As for the face mask. I use it when I am having allergies pretty bad but OMG! That thing itches so bad! I wake up swollen, my skin hurts to touch... I can get it comfortable enough, I guess. I really think it is too small for me. If I have it sitting below my lip, the top of the nose piece presses my nose down. I wake up feeling like I was punched in the face. I was hoping I could find one that didn't itch so bad.

I would call and ask the lady at the medical place but she was so lackadaisical about fitting me for a mask, I'd prefer just to skip that whole experience again. She didn't really tell me how to fit it or anything. I did that on my own.

Any advice would be great!
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#2
Hi dotchianni, welcome
I find chinstrap worn over the mask helps keep the mask in place
If you,re using ResMed masks, this masks fitting guides would helps
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA23652FAF5627F3F

I don,t aim for zero leak and not bothered by leaks as long as not awaken by it or shoot into the eyes. S9 acceptable leak, anything below 24 L/m
I wear my mask loose so it feel comfortable, cushion seal better when not creased and fully inflated

Scroll down page 4 ... troubleshooting section, the tips for the forehead dial might helps even if you don,t use this particular mask
http://www.resmed.com/au/assets/document...ac_eng.pdf


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#3
Oh thank you! I'll have to get the chin strap later. But I will be looking at the links for sure. Thanks so much!

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#4
Hi dotchianni, welcome to the forum.

(10-24-2013, 01:43 AM)dotchianni Wrote: I have two different masks. One is a nasal mask with the forehead thingy. The other one is a face mask without the forehead thingy. It just goes around the nose and mouth.

There are lots of different masks out there - can you tell us which particular ones you have? (The make and model should be marked somewhere on the mask).

Quote:For the nasal mask, how do I know if it is too loose? I'll think I have it fine but it shows on the software that it is leaking about halfway through the night. Any tighter and it hurts really bad! But wearing it comfortable makes it leak.

As Zonk said, a slight leak (up to 24 L/sec) is within limits. If it's below that most of the time, and not waking you up, then that's OK. If the leak is waking you up, or consistently higher than 24, then you need to get it checked out. It should NOT be so tight as to hurt you.

Quote:As for the face mask. I use it when I am having allergies pretty bad but OMG! That thing itches so bad! I wake up swollen, my skin hurts to touch... I can get it comfortable enough, I guess. I really think it is too small for me. If I have it sitting below my lip, the top of the nose piece presses my nose down. I wake up feeling like I was punched in the face. I was hoping I could find one that didn't itch so bad.

Two problems - first is the allergy and second is the fit. I don't know anything about allergies, except that there are different mask and seal materials (eg gel, silicone etc) which might be better in your case. If the mask feels too small for you then it probably is. They come in different shapes and sizes, and often you'll find the same shape will come in large, medium and small. Everybody's face is different so it's important to get a mask which is comfortable and fits properly. You'll never benefit from PAP therapy unless your mask is right for you.

Quote:I would call and ask the lady at the medical place but she was so lackadaisical about fitting me for a mask, I'd prefer just to skip that whole experience again. She didn't really tell me how to fit it or anything. I did that on my own.

Whatever happened to the concept of customer service? You're the customer - she's the merchant. She's not doing you a favour, it's the other way round. Now I don't pretend to understand the arcane mechanics of the American health system, but I assume the medical place doesn't get paid until you sign off as satisfied? You need to be calm but firm and explain that you're not happy, that service hasn't been provided as required.

I've seen so many posts on here in my short time about the poor approach and bad service provided by American medical providers. You need to take charge and make sure that you get the right equipment that suits you. The mask must be the right size and it mustn't leak, and it mustn't give you allergies. Until these things are under control all the money and time and effort going into your therapy will be wasted.

Good luck!
DeepBreathing
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Bed

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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#5
(10-24-2013, 03:52 AM)DeepBreathing Wrote: Hi dotchianni, welcome to the forum.

(10-24-2013, 01:43 AM)dotchianni Wrote: I have two different masks. One is a nasal mask with the forehead thingy. The other one is a face mask without the forehead thingy. It just goes around the nose and mouth.

There are lots of different masks out there - can you tell us which particular ones you have? (The make and model should be marked somewhere on the mask).

Quote:For the nasal mask, how do I know if it is too loose? I'll think I have it fine but it shows on the software that it is leaking about halfway through the night. Any tighter and it hurts really bad! But wearing it comfortable makes it leak.

As Zonk said, a slight leak (up to 24 L/sec) is within limits. If it's below that most of the time, and not waking you up, then that's OK. If the leak is waking you up, or consistently higher than 24, then you need to get it checked out. It should NOT be so tight as to hurt you.

Quote:As for the face mask. I use it when I am having allergies pretty bad but OMG! That thing itches so bad! I wake up swollen, my skin hurts to touch... I can get it comfortable enough, I guess. I really think it is too small for me. If I have it sitting below my lip, the top of the nose piece presses my nose down. I wake up feeling like I was punched in the face. I was hoping I could find one that didn't itch so bad.

Two problems - first is the allergy and second is the fit. I don't know anything about allergies, except that there are different mask and seal materials (eg gel, silicone etc) which might be better in your case. If the mask feels too small for you then it probably is. They come in different shapes and sizes, and often you'll find the same shape will come in large, medium and small. Everybody's face is different so it's important to get a mask which is comfortable and fits properly. You'll never benefit from PAP therapy unless your mask is right for you.

Quote:I would call and ask the lady at the medical place but she was so lackadaisical about fitting me for a mask, I'd prefer just to skip that whole experience again. She didn't really tell me how to fit it or anything. I did that on my own.

Whatever happened to the concept of customer service? You're the customer - she's the merchant. She's not doing you a favour, it's the other way round. Now I don't pretend to understand the arcane mechanics of the American health system, but I assume the medical place doesn't get paid until you sign off as satisfied? You need to be calm but firm and explain that you're not happy, that service hasn't been provided as required.

I've seen so many posts on here in my short time about the poor approach and bad service provided by American medical providers. You need to take charge and make sure that you get the right equipment that suits you. The mask must be the right size and it mustn't leak, and it mustn't give you allergies. Until these things are under control all the money and time and effort going into your therapy will be wasted.

Good luck!

Who is your DME (just curious)? Funny thing is, that most RT's really are not concerned about things like this and I have seen this even if they are cpap users too!
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#6
Hi dotchianni,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
First, what DeepBreathing said.
There are many different masks out there, so don't be shy about asking to try different ones 'till you find the right one that works for you. I know it's rough when it seems like your RT or DME doesn't care, but that's what they are getting paid for, they need to earn their keep.
Best of luck to you in getting this straightened out so you can have GREAT CPAP therapy.
trish6hundred
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#7
The itching definitely sounds like an allergy. Especially with the swelling. But it may not be an allergy to the mask.

Wash the mask with the same soap you use on your face. If you are unsure if it is safe to use on the mask, dilute it. Put just a drop or two in your bathroom sink then fill the sink. Put the mask parts in the swish them around, rubbing all the parts with your fingers very, very well. Rinse the mask very, very well and let it air dry.

Then wash your face well. Remove all skin oils, any makeup or lotions or whatever.

After the mask dries, wear it again but this time while awake. Wear it (with it attached to the machine and the machine on) while watching TV or reading or whatever. See if it itches then. If it still does, then it is the mask itself. If it does not, then it was something either on your face or on the mask.

Many of us continue to use our nasal pillows or mask while we are having nasal allergies. The pressure from the machine pushes the nasal congestion out of the way and we breathe just fine. Not all of us do, but most of us can. I use nasal pillows and sleep just fine with my seasonal allergies. The humidifier really helps, too!
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

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
We really need to know what mask you have. If you look carefully, it may say something like "ResMed" and "Quattro FX."

The parts that touch you are probably silicone. If you can tell us what model the mask is, we may be able to advise you. You may try disassembling and cleaning the parts that touch you very thoroughly. There might be some sort of residues from the manufacturing process left.

The manufacturer probably doesn't recommend it, but if I had that much problem with my mask, I'd disassemble it and put the silicone and hard plastic parts into the dishwasher and run several cycles. I've been washing my plastic mask parts this way for 8 years now with no problems.

At your own risk, of course. I would not dishwash any foam or cloth parts this way.
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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#9
We really do need to know your mask type to help with leaks as well.

Also, look next to the power button and tell us whether it says something like AutoSet, Elite, etc.

One hint a lot of people miss is that tighter is not necessarily better. Some of them sort of need to "float" like a hovercraft so the "skirt" inflates and seals right.

When you put the mask on, turn on the machine and try to relax your face and make it leak, then adjust your mask to stop the leaks. Many people subconsciously tense up into the mask to stop leaks, and then when they relax, they leak. There's also a "mask fit" function in your machine to help you fit the mask at full pressure.

Turn the machine off, hold the round knob down for 3 seconds and you should get a smiley face or frowny face. Then it blows at full pressure for you to fit the mask.

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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#10
Consider using the washable reusable pad a cheek liners for your masks. Pad a cheek liners are great -gets the silicone off your face ,reduces leaks , keeps face oil off the mask, wicks away moisture. Find out what masks you have and talk to pad a cheek ,you will love the feel of them . Masks are very personable , you have to go through a few of them to find one that you can live with. Cpappers constantly try new masks . You must develope a style of hose management to keep pressure off your mask that tends to make it leak . Even a hook on your head board to suspend your hose helps , there are hose swivels and extensions to help, you can use a girls hair scrunchy to suspend the hose from the hook .
With your allergy the liner sounds like your ticket. I have 4 of them .
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