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Nasal OR Pillow Recommendations - - ASV User
#1
Nasal OR Pillow Recommendations - - ASV User
I am a 25 year old male with Central and Obstructive apnea.   I am posting to hopefully gain suggestions for a more comfortable, mask, both headgear wise and with few leaks.
It is important to note that I use an AirCurve 10 ASV machine. I currently use an AirFit F30 mask, but I find that the mask will slip out of place during the night, and wake me up, and the headgear straps cause pain around my neck and head. 
I am interested in trying a nasal mask, particularly one that covers your nose as opposed to the ones that sit underneath.  I say this because I’ve tried the N30 AirFit, and found that it tends to leak for me. 
My question is: what types of nasal masks (either pillows or nose masks) have people found success with, especially those who use an ASV machine or bi-level machine?   An ideal choice would be something that does not have annoying headgear straps, but will stay in place for a side sleepers.
I have recently started my CPAP journey and am really hoping to find relief in this area, thank you very much to any experienced users who may have helpful advice!  Thank You
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#2
RE: Nasal OR Pillow Recommendations - - ASV User
You might take a look at the Bleep mask, which has no headgear at all. What they call "ports" stick to your nose with adhesive, and then you snap on the unit that includes the short hose. They will soon be releasing a version of the mask that uses magnets to attach that unit to the ports, which should reduce the amount of fiddling required.

If you use an alcohol wipe to get oils off your skin before you stick on the ports, they will stay put all night. I never get mask leaks.

It's not for everyone -- no mask is.
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#3
RE: Nasal OR Pillow Recommendations - - ASV User
The resmed n20 (available in silicone and memory foam cushions) has headgear but I find it to be comfortable.

If you want to keep using your current mask you could try a basic chinstrap like the resmed chinstrap. If you keep your jaw up the ffm might not leak as much.
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#4
RE: Nasal OR Pillow Recommendations - - ASV User
@jnnfrgr I expect that you will get better input to your quest for a nasal/pillow mask that might work for you IF you provide some additional information:
In what sleep position do you predominantly sleep? (I am a side sleeper probably 98% of the time and what my disturb a mask for me causing leaks would be different than for someone who is most on their back).

Do you move around a lot in your sleep versus are you pretty inactive?

Do you use a hose hanger to help stabilize the hose and have its contribution to the dynamics of what might move a mask and cause leaks thus be a somewhat stable factor?

If you are a side sleeper, what kind of pillow do you use? Do you consistently sleep with your head at the edge of the pillow so that most of the mask gear does not interact with your head pillow?

Do you have a beard? Any unusual things about your nose, cheek bones, or facial structure?

As I am sure you have read in other threads, masks and how they work (or not) can be very individual yet we understandably try to narrow it down by learning from the exp of others. I have found that if I find comments/reviews from someone with similar "inputs" to me (side sleeper; inactive; mouth breather but I tape my mouth to control for that source of leaks; sleep with face at edge of pillow; thin boned, sensitive skin, but no asymmetries or other unusual facial features) then their exp is far more relevant to me.

While it is time consuming and money up front, vendor #1 has a good 30 day try and return policy and I myself am currently utilizing that after having narrowed things down. I am actually going in opposite direction of trying some full face masks after having trouble with large leaks using DreamWear Nasal mask (this is one that sits just under the nose without any prongs into the nose), but have also found that by doing mouth taping I have eliminated virtually all leaks and probably will still with my current nasal mask.

It is not the style that you prefer so briefly: I like it alot as is small, light weight and not claustrophobic. The head gear has only one major adjustment, but I do find that with the hose exiting from the top which I strongly prefer that making sure how the hose is relating to the hose hanger is very important in both influencing the slight pressure on the under nose and as importantly whether the nasal opening is tilted or well aligned; all of this only makes a very slight physical difference but does have large impact for me on leaks. Since with this style the air is coming through tubing on side of cheeks if I darg my head and face across the pillow versus rolling my head then this is likely to create a leak. Since I am fairly stationery sleeping this is NOT an issue for me. I find the head gear easy to adjust and the back band seems very stable low down at back of my head. With any mask that you try I'd suggest using the Mask Fit or Mask Test feature on your machine and intentionally move the mask to find what triggers leaks, or roll your head or do other typical movements in an exaggerated manner to see if you can trigger leaks. While we want to be leak free, sometimes knowing what will trigger a leak is equally important information so you know where any "weak spots" are for you with interacting with the mask equipment. My own exp is that if a mask is in the ball park of working well for me it is then a matter of a lot of self observation and experimenting to know how to optimize things (what tension on the strap(s); exact positioning on face; exact positioning of head gear; where is my head on the pillow; where is the hose; what are all of these sweet spots and how do they interact). While I'd love a mask that is very forgiving and has wide tolerances of when it will still be happy and not leak, for any mask and for some of the interactive parameters it might have a fairly narrow range of how it will work and not leak. And of course as the equipment is used and stretches and as silicone ages one needs to make adjustments for these new factors.

I am not constantly tweaking, but probably every 5 to 7 days I might need to really sense things carefully and note whether I need to make some slight change. Good luck to you.

PS I have not used any of the masks you note in your OP so can not offer any comparison comments.
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#5
RE: Nasal OR Pillow Recommendations - - ASV User
Thank you very much, this is good information.  I'm new to the CPAP world and am trying so hard to find a mask that will not slip and still be comfortable.  I appreciate this and your time.

Thank you very much, this is good information.  I'm new to the CPAP world and am trying so hard to find a mask that will not slip and still be comfortable.  I appreciate this and your time.

Wow!  This took some time to write and I appreciate you posting the reply.  I'll take into consideration all of your suggestions.  Have a great day!
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#6
RE: Nasal OR Pillow Recommendations - - ASV User
I am a side sleeper, and in your response I noticed that you mentioned you are trying a few full face masks, do you mind sharing what exact masks you have tried?  Currently, I have tried using the F30 AirFit Mask, but I find that the nose openings often slip out of alignment and make it difficult to breathe.  I'm looking for help with this.  Thanks for any information you can provide.

I am a side sleeper, and in your response I noticed that you mentioned you are trying a few full face masks, do you mind sharing what exact masks you have tried?  Currently, I have tried using the F30 AirFit Mask, but I find that the nose openings often slip out of alignment and make it difficult to breathe.  I'm looking for help with this.  Thanks for any information you can provide.
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#7
RE: Nasal OR Pillow Recommendations - - ASV User
@Jnnfrgrgg my trial of full face masks was limited to one night and while I expect I will at some point in next 6 months to exploring that as an option don't think my very limited exp. is of much value. After reading reviews etc. I tried F&P Evora Full which I liked but had horrible large leaks. Since I had made good progress with mouth taping and Dreamwear while waiting for Evora Full in mail, I did not pursue Evora further. Forum members indicate that with most F&P masks that strap tension should be much less than what one might use with other brands. I set things up in that direction and used mask test on machine.

Mask wiki here indicates I believe that FFM is more likely to have more leak challenges simply because the number of places and total surface area that needs to consistently seal is greater than with nasal or pillows mask. That makes snese to me as a guideline ... less might be more. Since I am using 3M tape for mouth taping and it is causing very very slight wear and tear on lips I expect to get some FFM to work for me so I have an alternative tool in my kit.
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#8
RE: Nasal OR Pillow Recommendations - - ASV User
I've had a P10 for 7+ years on a AS10 (getting AS11 soon). I just started using OSCAR and it shows Large Leaks in clusters. I've determined that they are generally when I change from one side to the other. Last night I noticed that when on my left side it leaked a lot. I discovered (as mentioned above) that I lay close the edge when on my left side that the metal strut that is attached to the mask and is used to attach the head piece is pushed up and causes a leak in mask. This didn't happen when on my right side because more of the pillow was beyond the strut and didn't push it up. Short story long, I make sure to have the edge of the pillow close to my ear and my face off the edge. Last night that reduced my Large Leaks significantly and I had an AHI of .3 with 11 leaks, 1 OA, 2 H, and 1 RE. Best night ever. I'm guessing that I've had leaks for the past 7 years but didn't know until OSCAR.
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#9
RE: Nasal OR Pillow Recommendations - - ASV User
Thanks sooo much, this is useful information.  I appreciate it.

OK I thank you for the information, I'm still tweaking everything but this is helpful.

Appreciate you taking the time to respond.  Very helpful and thanks!!!

Thank you for this information.  I may need to get back in touch with you.  I'm trying everything to get my CPAP set up right.
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