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Nasal pillow question
#1
For those of you who use a mask with nasal pillows, how do you know when it is time to replace the pillows with a new pair? I currently use the AirFit P10 mask. I bought several extra pair of pillows so I would always have a clean, dry pair available. Usually my AHI is below 3 but lately the numbers have been rising. Thanks for your comments and/or suggestions.
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#2
(03-31-2014, 05:59 PM)GrammaBear Wrote: Usually my AHI is below 3 but lately the numbers have been rising. Thanks for your comments and/or suggestions.
Does the leak number rising too and one more question, any dry mouth?

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#3
Nope, dry mouth not a problem - usually. Not saying it couldn't be, but don't think it is Smile
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#4
The things to look at when AHI starts to creep up is the leak rate and 95% pressure. If the leak is increasing, but it's slow rise vs big spikes, then there is a small leak somewhere like in the mask or hose that is getting larger. I've had that problem.

If the 95% pressure is increasing but not the leak, then your machine is trying to compensate for the increase in apnea events but, for whatever reason, isn't quite doing it yet. Perhaps you are on your back more or whatever.

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#5
With my Swift FX nasal pillows mask it's a combination of several things:

1) Sometimes the leaks start to increase. It's not a big dramatic jump in the leak rate, though. Rather it's an increase in the little annoying leaks at the beginning of the night when I'm settling down. As the pillows age, it's easier to knock the mask out of place when I'm moving around in bed.

2) More pillow shifting tends to make my nose hurt more. Sometimes it's a dry nose, but more often than not, it's just sore from the pillows not staying where I want them. When the move around, the tippy-tip sometimes hit the inside of the nasal membrane and that can make it sore.

3) More chapped lips. Caused by the little annoying leaks that don't always show up in the leak graph.

4) A growing tendency of the inner cone(s) to collapse AND an increasing amount of effort needed to get that inner cone pointing back upwards the way it is supposed to.

5) Old pillows feel "spongier" in some hard to describe fashion.

6) More restlessness with no identifiable cause.
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#6
Thanks to all for your input. I have learned a lot which proves to be helpful.
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#7
I use the Swift FX. I was told I could get a new mask every 6 months. As a newbie I assumed that to be the pillows too because when I initially received my mask, different sized pillows came packaged with the headgear. I wasn't aware for about 3 months that I could replace the pillows in between. I began noticing the ease of getting the pillows adjusted without leaks began to decline; my AHI began to creep up and I was getting increasingly tired during the day; and I developed a couple sore spots in my nose. I think the sores developed because I was constantly fidgeting with trying to get the pillows to seal and feel right. I was fretting about 3 more months being a long time before I could get a new mask. While researching what to put on my nose for the sores, I found a discussion that others were replacing their pillows once a month. I called my DME to see what was allowed by my insurance and was told I could have 2 pillows/month. Changing the pillows made a big difference. I can now feel when the pillows become more flimsy and not fitting and lining up well.

I am able to get by with changing once a month but I will continue to get my 2 allotted pillows per month from DME. When I retire in another year I am not certain how/if my insurance will change and think it is a good idea to get as many as I can now and save as many as I can for the future.
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#8
i change my pillows every four to six weeks. i use the breeze nasal pillow mask.
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#9
(04-01-2014, 11:03 AM)ImaSurvivor Wrote: I use the Swift FX. I was told I could get a new mask every 6 months. As a newbie I assumed that to be the pillows too because when I initially received my mask, different sized pillows came packaged with the headgear. I wasn't aware for about 3 months that I could replace the pillows in between. I began noticing the ease of getting the pillows adjusted without leaks began to decline; my AHI began to creep up and I was getting increasingly tired during the day; and I developed a couple sore spots in my nose. I think the sores developed because I was constantly fidgeting with trying to get the pillows to seal and feel right. I was fretting about 3 more months being a long time before I could get a new mask. While researching what to put on my nose for the sores, I found a discussion that others were replacing their pillows once a month. I called my DME to see what was allowed by my insurance and was told I could have 2 pillows/month. Changing the pillows made a big difference. I can now feel when the pillows become more flimsy and not fitting and lining up well.

I am able to get by with changing once a month but I will continue to get my 2 allotted pillows per month from DME. When I retire in another year I am not certain how/if my insurance will change and think it is a good idea to get as many as I can now and save as many as I can for the future.

Just a bit of advice for when you retire ~ If you will be on Medicare and a supplemental insurance plan ... choose your plans carefully. It is getting harder and harder, even when you have a good plan, to get the supplies that are covered by that plan. It is not unusual to experience delays, sometimes long delays, between the time of placing your supply order and actually receiving those supplies.

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#10
Thanks GrammaBear. I have a bank of unused sick leave I will be able to use toward my insurance for a while but I don't really know if it means I will keep same coverage I have now or if it will change. I have a family policy now but when I retire my husband can go back to a pool of money he had from his unused sick leave when he retired 2 years ago for insurance. We can keep our daughter on another 5 years until she turns 26. Not sure if I will keep her on with me or put her on with my husband. All something we need to research and talk over. I won't be eligible for medicare for quite a few more years. I am retiring early. My husband is a few years older and we want to be able to travel as we are becoming empty nesters in one month!
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