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Mouth Taping? [as sole treatment]
#1
Hi. I joined this group to ask a question to the members. I have been diagnosed with light sleep apnea. Over the years there have been a handful of times where I woke up gasping for breath and several times my heart was beating at a rapid rate. On a normal night I will get up 2 to 3 times to urinate and I never seem to get a good nights sleep. I live alone so I don't have anyone to inform me of sleep habits, but I'm very aware that I'm a mouth breather. Due to this, when I awake at night, my mouth is very dry.  I had an appointment with a neurologist yesterday who made a suggestion that I try taping my mouth shut before going to bed. She assured me I wouldn't suffocate! I used some light blue painters tape as it's not too sticky. After falling to sleep I found myself waking up at my regular time 6:30 am. This was the first time in 10 years that I slept thru the night and didn't wake up several times to urinate. I think for once, I actually got a good nights sleep. For just trying this one night, I'm very impressed and am looking forward to trying this again tonight.  I am wondering if anyone here has tried this mouth taping with success (or failure)?  Any feedback will be appreciated.
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#2
Welcome to the Apnea Board.

Mouth taping is controversial, perhaps the most controversial of all the techniques for controlling mouth breathing, though I am an advocate.  Keep in mind that your jaw is one of, if not thee, strongest muscles in the body, very little can stop you from opening your mouth if you want to.  You should always perform a test, if you cannot open your taped mouth when awake you need a looser tape or a different taping taping technique.

BUT, my recommendations are for use in conjunction with CPAP use to facilitate the treatment of Sleep Apnea.

The question I have is what is "light sleep apnea"?

Here are the AHI levels of severity for Sleep Apnea:

Mild: 5-14
Moderate: 15-29
Severe: 30+


Where do you fall?  

Can you post the results of your sleep study
Why a consultation with a neurologist?  Central/Complex Apnea?  

I is very hard to provide advice when we have very little info to base it on.


Fred
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#3
Well, I was happily using tape too...until one night, when I woke suddenly, feeling my throat and mouth filling up with a hot liquid. It was difficult to get that tape off fast enough to deal with the situation, and actually pretty frightening. So, this is how I discovered I have a hiatal hernia and reflux. Until this experience, I laughed at people who thought taping was a bad idea. I would imagine something like this is super-rare, so I'm not discouraging you from trying taping, but if you do have any reflux problems--though I was unaware of my own--please make that tape easily removeable, even when you are incoherent with sleep. I myself will never tape again, even though I don't typically feel reflux.

Best of luck with your apnea treatment!
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#4
Fred, Thanks for responding. The Dr. I saw is "certified in Neurology and Sleep Medicine".  She mentioned that the sleep study I had put me at a 5 level. I don't have any other numbers or results other than that. But even though I may be a mild case, my mouth breathing is a big issue for me. I did test the tape I used and it's light enough to come off if needed. That blue tape just isn't that sticky.  I'd be afraid to use something stronger. If this method ends up working, I may not need anymore equipment. I'm hoping last night wasn't a fluke.  It is good to hear that you are an advocate. Any other advice is welcome.
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#5
Orava... thanks for your feedback. A good example of why it's best to use lightweight tape.
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#6
I use mouth taping sparingly. While it it helps, I don't view it as a long term sleep aid.  If the tape looks to be a long term event, I think I'd look into a change to FFM.  

I've had occasions to need rapid removal too.  I've found a 1" wide paper first-aid tape works the best.  I also make 1" fold backs on each end for pull tabs.

Please update your profile so we may see the CPAP model and mask that you are using.
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#7
My sleep doc doesn't like the idea of taping the mouth.  And I also feel just because you have a sleep study with an AHI of 5 doesn't mean that you don't need therapy.  Mine was barely above 5, it was 6.6 and I felt I had a good night with pretty much no apnea.  You on the other hand, sound just like what I was going through, waking up every few hours feeling tired like I ran a marathon, sweaty some times, had to go to the bathroom.  Once on CPAP, things have improved physically, although it has also shown that my AHI score is worse than expected, as we can see what I've been doing every night, not just one study.
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#8
An actual PHYSICIAN with credentials in SLEEP therapy suggested MOUTH TAPING as treatment for your sleep apnea?

Are you *#(@)#* serious???

OMG! As if keeping your mouth closed is going to keep your throat from closing?

That's...that is...I mean...

I am so angry right now I could scream.

That's like a mechanic telling you to turn the radio volume louder so you don't hear the power steering whine.
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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#9
<Raises hand, also mouth breather>

I have used tape off and on with my CPAP and nasal mask.  The best I found that does not irritate my skin as much is the 3M Micropore tape.  It comes in 2" wide rolls, I believe, which is just wide enough to cover my mouth from below my nose to chin.  As someone suggested, I also fold over the ends so I can remove it more easily.  The hard part is remembering to remove it extremely slow so I don't take a layer or two of skin with it.

Like another poster pointed out, I have reservations about sleeping with my mouth taped closed due to the extremely rare occasion when I might become ill in my sleep (that's not happened since I was a wee girl, though).

I recently switched from my Swift FX for Her nasal mask to an Amara View FFM.  It gives me the comfort of the nasal mask and also covers my mouth.  Wearing a soft cervical collar keeps my mouth shut.

Mouth taping is a matter of choice.  Some do it exclusively, some alternate with other masks.  I've even heard of people using denture adhesive to glue their mouth shut...that's some scary stuff right there.

I've often wondered why mask manufacturers don't address our problem since there are so many of us mouth breathers.  Incorporating some kind of "chin cup" to as part of the mask design for example.  Something to gently hold the mouth shut.  Chin straps don't cut it for some of us, though.  The air just blows out between my lips without my mouth taped shut.

Unsure
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#10
Taping ones mouth closed in addition to using a CPAP is controversial, but it does work. It does not TREAT the events, but enables the CPAP to do its job since it stops a big leak issue.

Taping ones mouth closed INSTEAD of using a CPAP is....bad advice.

I snored really bad before CPAP. So bad I had hotel guests complain to the front desk. Yet my mouth stayed closed. I never snore with my mouth open. Taping the mouth instead of using a CPAP does nothing but keep the mouth moist. That MIGHT maybe perhaps keep the throat from becoming sticky but, seriously, no.
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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