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Mouth opening - Need full mask?
Mouth opening - Need full mask?
Hi everyone, I am new on this board and a new CPAPer. I have mild sleep apnea due to vasomotor rhinitis (thick mucus, post nasal drip, etc). So during the night I snore and end up breathing out my mouth most of the time because my sinuses get blocked and dry. And as a result, my mouth is always dry when I wake up.

I started out on May 5th using the nasal pillows and then switched to the nasal mask. I found the nasal mask to be more comfortable. However, I am still having this trouble where I am LUCKY to wear the mask 4 or 5 hours a night and then have to take it off. The problem is after a certain amount of time my sinuses, mouth, and everything gets so dry and stuffy that air has no place to go but blow out my mouth which eventually wakes me up. I tried upping the humidity as suggested by my respiratory therapist but that didn't make a difference; it just made me more uncomfortable and still have air blowing out the mouth after a few hours. I tried the chin strap on two different nights and had to take it off. Between the straps for the nasal mask and that, it's too much. I end up with straps all over head, it's crazy. I really want to wear it all night to get the full benefit, but have been unable to.

So tonight I am trying the full face mask. Could this be the solution to my problem?

BTW, My minimal pressure 4 and my max is 9. The max was 13 but my doc changed it to 9 because I was averaging around 6-7.
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RE: Mouth opening - Need full mask?
A full-face mask may be the solution for you based upon your comments. Most people, including me, find the FFM is a problem because of leaks. The larger surface area and differing face contours make these larger masks difficult.

Good Luck!

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RE: Mouth opening - Need full mask?
I use a full face mask and still try hard to avoid mouth breathing, because even with the humidity set high I still get a dry mouth that wakes me up. You didn't say anything about the humidifier setting you are using. I would suggest setting it as high as you can stand and use a heated hose if you don't have one now.

I have had rhinitus in one form or another for more than sixty years, so I imagine I understand what you are dealing with at least partly. I found that taking a steroidal nasal spray an hour before bed time helps a whole lot. Your mileage may differ.

But the high pressure air does help to keep the nasal passages open and if they are drying out you need to have a humidifier and a heated hose to prevent that. Also there are various nasal gels that will help your nose stay lubricated.
Ed Seedhouse

Part cow since February 2018.

Trust your mind less and your brain more.

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RE: Mouth opening - Need full mask?
I use a FFM (hybrid actually) and find it more comfortable than having to wear yet-another-appliance such as a chin strap. It all boils down to what you feel comfortable with wearing. A pressure setting of 4 is low for most people. What do you have the humidity set at now?


Using FlashAir W-03 SD card in machine. Access through wifi with FlashPAP or Sleep Master utilities.

I wanted to learn Binary so I enrolled in Binary 101. I seemed to have missed the first four courses. Big Grinnie

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RE: Mouth opening - Need full mask?
Hi MouthBreatha,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Good luck to you with the FFM.
Hang in there for more suggestions and answers to your questions and much success to you with your CPAP therapy and finding a mask that works well for you.
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RE: Mouth opening - Need full mask?
I have been up and down the spectrum with humidity and temperature. Nothing worked. 4 is low, but that is just how it starts. It is generally hanging out around 7 most of the time. I just started using SleepyTime today so I have much to learn, much to learn. Thanks for the replies. I'll report back tomorrow how things went.
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RE: Mouth opening - Need full mask?
I find that my sleepybugs report usually looks really rough. I keep fluttering between AHI of 3 and 9. I have been able to sleep pretty well, and feel happy.

I use the full face because I just don't want to accidently shift out of nose breathing while sleeping and getting lousy sleep. That said, coping with the leaks and itchy nose and sweaty face whiny multi-sleeps are par for the course with the FFM.

I'll probably go a-tinkering again soon.

So, go for the FFM and relax a while. Looking thru the forum, most would be saying they changed their start (or ramp start) pressure to higher than 4, generally in the 6 range, or just setting to off. I would be doing this if I had your experiences.

Good luck!

Dedicated to QALity sleep.
You'll note I am listed as an Advisory Member. I am honored to be listed as such. See the fine print - Advisory Members as a group provide advice and suggestions to Apnea Board administrators and staff concerning Apnea Board operation and administrative policies. Membership in the Advisory Member group should not be understood as in any way implying medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment.
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RE: Mouth opening - Need full mask?
Hi, I am fairly new here to the forum and they are awesome for giving you helpful info. It was suggested by the RT today because I can't use steroid sprays she suggested that I use saline spray before bed and then try using a tensor bandage as a chin strap to see if I could tolerate that more.
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RE: Mouth opening - Need full mask?
I used the FFM last night and was able to use it the entire night for the first time. YEAH! So that is a big relief. I did get more than normal leaks though and slightly more apneas, the latter possibly because I used it longer. And I didn't feel as dry as I normally do. So I am going to try and up the humidity and temp a notch tonight. What has made really testing this machine out fully is that my wife and I had a baby about 5 days after I started therapy. Therefore, I've only had a few nights since May 5th that I have gotten 7 hours of sleep or more. So It's hard to say how well its working.

Last night the barometric pressure dropped to a low pressure system, (below 29.92) just below that actually. Have any of you noticed that a low BP will give you a poor night's sleep or make you sleepy during the day when its low? I noticed that a few years ago and I and i am hoping this CPAP helps with that. If you have noticed this, does the CPAP help?
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RE: Mouth opening - Need full mask?
By BP, I presume that you mean barometric pressure and not blood pressure. Might not want to use that abbreviation.

Best Regards,


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