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New, question on pillows vs. face mask
#1
Hi! I'm Deirdre. I'm new to this site, but I've been using a CPAP for about 7 years. Joined because yesterday I found some awesome info here about using CPAP when I have a cold. Thank you!!
I wondered what you guys think: I've used both a full-face mask and nasal pillows. The pillows have made it much easier to use the CPAP. But I was hesitant to use the pillows when I had a cold last winter (the cold developed into pneumonia and I didn't know whether to blame pillow use, or non-use when mouth-breathing). My question is: When I have a cold, is it worth finding my old full mask, cleaning it and getting new silicone for it, or do I stick with the pillows?
My current cold is going away bc I took Mucinex DM at night and used my pillows with humidity at the usual setting.
Thanks for being such a great forum! Sleep-well
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#2
There's no right answer to that question. Some like to stay with pillows as they feel they can breath better. Others feel they breath better with a full face mask. Best answer I can give you is try both and go with the one you feel better with.
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#3
I find it hard to cough when in a FFM, and coughing has a tendency to dislodge the mask. This might be an important consideration in mask selection and flu season.
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#4
Most colds require no change. However, I think it's smart to have a full-face mask available if you find you are unable to breathe at all through your nose. This happened to me last winter. To be honest, I would never have started cpap if I had had to use a full-face mask, but now that I'm accustomed to the machine, a week of a full-face mask wasn't a problem. I'm just glad I had one on hand and ready to go (seller included it when I bought used machine).

FWIW, I also have a circadian nasal mask for when I get sinus problems because the other masks hurt when the sinus cavity swells. I couldn't afford to regularly replace the Circadian one, but it does work well.

As to pneumonia, I had several bouts of it before I got a cpap. Some people are just more prone to it than others and if you keep your machine clean at least monthly, you are at no bigger risk than if you weren't using the cpap.
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#5
My last flu was just totally horrible with the nasal mask (and just by itself also, flu is always horrible anyway... Tongue).
I now use a full face anyway so problem solved.
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#6
For many years I felt that everyone should have a FFM as a backup for when they are sick.  I found that my pillows or nasal mask work fine when I'm conjested.  I still have a FFM as a backup.
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#7
Hi Deirdre66,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Good luck with CPAP therapy.
Hang in there for more responses to your post.
trish6hundred
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