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Need Help With Full Face Mask [Dreamwear FFM]
#1
Some of you have helped me in the past and would know my background experience.  For those who do not, let me begin with a brief introduction.

I have been using CPAP since January 2017.   I have a Dreamstation APAP and for most of the last year I have used the Dreamwear cushions and then the gel cushions when they came out.  I tried the Resmed P10 but did not like the hose off of the nasal cushion.  Also, when using it, I get about the same results as the Dreamwear gel cushion anyway.  I also tried the Simplex FFM, but did not get as good of numbers with it and had more leaks, so I gave up on it.

Basically, results with the Dreamwear gel have been very good thanks to the guidance from folks on this weebsite.  My AHI is normally under 1.00 and my RDI is around 2.00 or less.  My best results come with a pressure range from 8.5 cm to 10.  I know it’s a narrow range, but it works best for me as I think pressure spikes may have been waking me sometimes, and a fixed pressure is not enough.  I only get these results because of wearing a chinstrap rather tightly and taping with Microspore 3M tape.  The only chinstrap that works for me is the Resperonics white one that looks somewhat like an Ace bandage.  I tried others but, either they can’t be tightened enough or they don’t work well with the Dreamwear frame at the top of my head.  I also tried a soft cervical collar but it didn’t work as well either.  I have been working with my ENT doc because of congestion and frequent flow limitations.  Recently, he gave a script for a steroid to add to a nasal rinse (Neilmed) twice a day.  He said that his group has been having great success with this approach, but its too early to tell if it will help me.  He believes I mouth breath because of nasal congestion.

I can’t say that I wake up many mornings feeling like I had a great night’s sleep, however I know that the therapy is making a big difference.  I’m almost 70 and work out heavily in the gym aerobically and with weights and resistance machines.  Prior to being diagnosed, I was struggling to maintain my workout levels and was often tired during the day, but after 6 months of dialing in my therapy, my energy levels and workout levels have skyrocketed and most days I am not tired.  I also had acid reflux which is now gone and I was up 4-5 times a night compared to 1-2 (sometimes 0) with CPAP.  I’ve also lost 15 pounds and have maintained that level.

When the new Dreamwear FFM came out, I was intrigued and decided to try it.  Basically I did so because of comfort.  The chinstrap and taping are often uncomfortable (the Resperonics chinstrap hardens after a couple of weeks whether I wash it or not and will feel very rough on my face) and I thought the FFM would free me from taping and wearing a chinstrap.  The Dreamwear FFM is very comfortable and I fall asleep easily.  However,  I wake up with a horrible “desert” mouth and have to get up and rinse to go back to sleep (the same as with the cushions if I don’t wear a tight chinstrap and tape).  The results have been mixed.  After increasing the pressure by 1 cm to a range of 9.5 cm to 11, I can get comparable results to the cushion, but only for a session or two a night (I haven’t slept through the night with the FFM).  The other sessions have high AHI’s with clusters of apneas (normally obstructive) and RERA’s as measured by the Dreamstation.  Flow limitations are generally lower and my tidal volume is in the 450 range compared to 350 with the gel cushion.

My question is this: what can I do to make the Dreamwear FFM work.  I would like to not have the dry mouth, but I could tolerate it with better results.  It is very comfortable and my perceptive sleep quality seems as if it would be acceptable.  I have posted a typical night with the gel cushion, chinstrap and taping and a typical night with the FFM.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions or perceptions.

Typical night with FFM (9.5 cm - 11 cm) / Typical night with Gel Cushions, chinstrap and taping (8.5 cm - 10 cm):


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#2
Hi RWhipkey. Re dry mouth. I'm probably not one to answer this since I've only been on APAP for 5 nights! The first two nights I tried the nasal pillows but realized I'm a mouth breather. Switched to ResMed AirFit F10 FFM and the dry mouth was intolerable the first 2 nights.
By last night it wasn't too bad. This is what I did.

1. Increased the humidity from 2 to 5
2. When dry mouth wakes me up I close my mouth and roll my tongue around to moisten. If that doesn't work:
3. I keep some Myntz (get at Trader Joe's) on my nightstand and slip one under the mask and chew it up (don't want to fall asleep and choke on it.

Also, I always have to get up once a night to go to the bathroom and take my thyroid pills - so I drink water and chew a mint then too.

Just hope it keeps working.

Good luck!
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#3
Hi RWhipkey,

I share many of your characteristics and questions. I wonder how you have been faring with the FFM or if your steroid therapy has allowed you to use the nasal mask more often?

I am fighting the same battle, and find the FFM to be a compromise in terms of leaks (which sometimes fail to awake me so that I can correct them) and dry mouth.

Hope you're doing better. Thanks.
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#4
Been on cpap 10 days using ResMed Airsense10 (built in humidifier on level 5) with a Respironics Dreamware ffm. I tend to breath through my mouth some at night and used to wake up w/ dry mouth regularly but no more issues since going on this particular set up.
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#5
Been on cpap 10 days using ResMed Airsense10 (built in humidifier on level 5) with a Respironics Dreamware ffm. I tend to breath through my mouth some at night and used to wake up w/ dry mouth regularly but no more issues since going on this particular set up.
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#6
(07-08-2018, 09:04 PM)edanny Wrote: Been on cpap 10 days using ResMed Airsense10 (built in humidifier on level 5) with a Respironics Dreamware ffm. I tend to breath through my mouth some at night and used to wake up w/ dry mouth regularly but no more issues since going on this particular set up.

Thanks for sharing. Victim of FFM dry mouth here. When you say "this particular set up" do you mean that you changed from another kind of mask, or you changed the humidity level from something else to 5?
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#7
Only been on cpap about 2 weeks and Dreamware ffm is only one used.  Started out level 4 on humidifier then increased to 5 which is currently good for me
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