New CPAP user - mask/air leak/etc questions
So, I have a couple questions.....
A few weeks ago I finally got a doctor to prescribe a sleep study for me (I changed doctors just for this reason). Sleep study came back with an AHI of around 100. Yeah, definitely needed a sleep study, thank you old doctor for ignoring what I was trying to tell you (not).
Fortunately for me, I apparently have it lucky as far as adjusting to treatment and my response to it. AHI's under 1 are typical for me every morning, according to the AutoSet10. Wearing a mask to sleep isn't a big deal, etc., etc., etc.,
So, on to my question:
I'm still going through the whole find the right mask procedure.
I have a Large F&P SimPlus full face mask which actually works fairly well for me. The provider recommended that specific one apparently due to my nose shape which includes a fairly large bridge at the top. (If I understood her correctly). Like I said, it works really well, except that I apparently tend to drool in my sleep a bit more than I should - which on nights that this occurs, tends to accumulate in the full face mask, and besides being annoying also causes the mask to slip around and not stay put, creating major leaks. If it wasn't for this, I'd just stay with this mask and be happy. (I'm definitely keeping this mask for those times when a nasal mask isn't an option).
My provider also gave me the AirFit P10 Nasal Pillows to try. Evidently I have extra small nares. This was a disaster. First the machine was still set without proper relief (and we didn't have it on auto yet, so the therapy pressure was set constant at 15)...so I couldn't exhale (back to the other mask for that night). That got straightened out and I did sleep one night with them. By morning, the nasal pillows had chafed my exterior skin so much that I couldn't even bring myself to try them again. I'm not completely convinced that this wasn't something adjusted and/or set wrong with these (too much relief perhaps), but when you wake up with sores on the bottom of your nose, it's really hard to try again. I'm pretty sure what was happening was that my respiration was creating enough motion between the air pillows and my nose that the pillows were rubbing on my nose all night, causing this issue. Maybe a different type of nasal pillows wouldn't cause this, who knows?
So, after that I swapped the P10 for a F&P Eson Nasal CPAP mask. I slept a couple of nights with it, at which point I discovered I really needed a chin strap (night one wasn't a problem, night two, couldn't keep my mouth shut - it's amazing how much air comes out of your mouth when the machine ramps up to 12 and your mouth opens). So, I finally got a chin strap and slept with it last night.
I'll say this: I definitely like sleeping with the chin strap and a nasal mask much better than the full face mask. However, I'm not convinced this is the right nasal mask for me. The fit issues I'm seeing have to do with the 'pivot' that this mask seems to be doing on my face. Let me explain:
It seems that this mask has three options for me:
1) Sealed well on the bottom, but not on the top. (bad for the eyes)
2) Sealed well on the top, but not on the bottom. (better, but not good for low leakage).
3) overtightened and putting too much pressure on the cheekbones but sealing fairly well. I.E. I've collapsed much of the air cushion against my face to be able to get it sealed.
Even with various iterations of #3, the seal seems quite fragile and it takes a bit to get arranged. If I work at it I can find a good compromise which works, right up until I roll over or otherwise do something which causes the mask to shift, and then I can't get it back non-leaking without a lot of work (I know, some of this is just learning how to adjust a mask).
When it is non-leaking the mask is pretty well compressed in a lot of it's area.
So, I guess what I'm hoping for some input on is where I should go from here. If it wasn't for my excess saliva I'd just go back to the full face mask. I really liked the lightness of the nasal pillows- the nose damage not so much. The nasal mask is good, but may not be the right one for me.
I have some specific ideas of what looks interesting as far as masks go, but it's hard to find information about what things I should really consider in this process.
(This post was last modified: 05-11-2016 12:31 AM by forrestc.)