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Mouth leaking air problem and taping
#1
I'm new to CPAP (Auto Pap) and have used my machine for 3 nights.    I have a nasal pillow mask (Swift Bella) and it is working well with not much leaking according to Sleepyhead.

According to my stats in Sleepyhead and the helpful people on this board, I will need to get my pressure range increased.  The machine is set to 4cm-8cm and I spend most time at 8cm still having apneas.

So I will get my pressure increased soon, I'm asking my doc first and if that doesn't work (e.g if he tells me to wait until my appointment in May), I will change it myself.

Anyway, when my pressure goes up to 7cm or 8cm, occasionally air spurts out of my mouth with a hissing or popping sound which wakes me up and wakes my husband.  He is not too happy about this.  

I am not a mouth breather and my mouth is almost always closed.  With CPAP on, it takes a bit of pressure to open my mouth.  So I don't think I'm opening my mouth accidentally, it is air that is popping it open a little.  Sometimes when it wakes me up, I concentrate on keeping my tongue up at the top of my mouth, touching front teeth, and even sucking a little.  Still the air pops my mouth open.

First I tried a chip strap (the white bandage-looking kind given to me by the DME) and it sort of gave me a headache, but my lips still buzzed and leaked air.

Then I tried taping my mouth shut.   This definitely was an improvement in the number of times my mouth leaked air.   But still a few times I would wake up with air stuck in my mouth, sometimes with chipmunk cheeks.  I didn't want to swallow the air so pulled the tape off a little to let the air out.   It isn't feasible to keep having to do this every night.

For people that tape their mouths closed, don't you get air stuck in your mouth, and when that happens, what do you do?

I like my nasal pillow mask.   Do you think I'm going to be stuck wearing a full face mask because of this, or is there some solution?
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#2
I have used a full face mask for years. It's not as bad as you may think if you get the right mask and get it adjusted properly.  The smallest is the Amara View which seals under your nose and doesn't go op to the bridge of the nose. I currently use the Airfit F20 which I like very much.

But I understand the reluctance to change. I've always been a mouth breather but intend to try nasal pillows as soon as I qualify for a new mask. I've been convinced that it's the better way to go if I can make it work.

I'm sure some of the nasal pillow users will be on soon to give you advice. I hope it works out for you.

I'll be looking at it because I hope it will work for me as well.

Get some data posted as soon as you can. Your pressure range seems awfully low but I will leave it to those with more expertise to advise you on that.

If your not sure how to organize and post your data se the links below.

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#3
(04-03-2017, 08:52 PM)Melman Wrote: Get some data posted as soon as you can. Your pressure range seems awfully low but I will leave it to those with more expertise to advise you on that.

Thanks, Melman.

I posted my data yesterday (sleeprider helped me post the Sleepyhead screenshot).  (May need to put http in front of this URL since I can't post URLs since I'm new:   http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-...#pid198803 )
I agree I need to get the pressure raised, so am trying my doc first to see if he will be responsive to working with me to find a good pressure range.

I somewhat suspect he gave me a low pressure because I'm skinny and thus he thought it was unlikely I really have obstructive apnea.  (I suspect it because he actually said 'I really doubt you have obstructive apnea" the second he walked into the room and saw me, even after seeing my 15 AHI home study results.)  My sleep studies said 11-15 AHI but I hardly slept at all during home study or PSG night so I don't know how accurate that was.

Unfortunately I have to sleep flat on my back all night long due to an old back injury (I have no pain unless I try to sleep on my side or stomach) and I know that makes apnea worse.
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#4
Welcome!

Unfortunately many doctors only associate OSA with older, overweight males.  While those are risk factors, any age, sex, or body type can have OSA.  And the pressure needed to treat it also does not depend on body weight, though there may be some correlation.

Despite how it may appear, the pressure (as opposed to the volume of air!) that these machines can produce is very low.  It is not enough to inflate a child's party balloon.  So when your tongue drops and you get chipmunk cheeks, you can just squeeze in your cheeks (relaxing your tongue) and force the air back into your airway and then out your nose. 

You should look into a soft cervical collar.  It helps some people to not mouth-leak, it worked for me.  It depends on what is triggering the mouth-leak.  Which you won't know as you are asleep at the time.

Full-Face masks are not uncomfortable, IMO.  The big problem with them is that they have a larger seal area, so more area to have a leak from.  Leaks really bother my sleep.
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