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Problems with mask
#1
Problems with mask
Hello. I was a member of this forum previously, but it's been a few years. I have returned because I am hoping for some advice regarding a nasty problem. 

A little background.  I was diagnosed about 35 years ago, and during that time I made several failed attempts to use BiPAP. I've tried different masks, but always pulled them off while sleeping.  I seemed to get by, and eventually was able to sleep pretty well with good positioning. 

But six years ago, I underwent chemotherapy and experienced a number of side effects, including a significant worsening of my apnea. I still had the old problem of pulling my mask off while I slept. But there were other complications. After I didn't respond to treatment, I had a sleep doctor suggest that I go to the Mayo Clinic. That wasn't possible, so I started working with a doctor who was associated with a large teaching hospital.  

This doctor did quite a lot for me. He found that my blood levels (particularly my thyroid levels) were off. He did tests that showed that my pulmonary function dropped to 50% when laying down. He got me on meds for restless legs syndrome. He had a neurologist test me for Myasthenia gravis.  (Negative, thankfully.)

But the problem with the mask remains.  I tried going to a full-face mask, thinking that I would be deterred from pulling it off because it was so hard to get off. I pulled the mask so hard that I broke it. While sleeping. 

Now, since I had the broken mask replaced with another one that's harder to get off, I have been waking up in the middle of a full-blown panic attack. I can't get the mask off quick enough, and then it takes me 2 or 3 hours to calm down.  My doctor would like to try me with a different machine. But there's no point in doing that unless I can tolerate the mask. 

Does anyone have any ideas?
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#2
RE: Problems with mask
I would try the P10 mask. This pillow mask is the smallest most unobtrusive masks out there. You will need some form of hose management so search for "tube management clip" I use these around the CPAP hose and either clip to your pillow or collar to prevent the weight of the hose from moving things around.
Fred Bonjour - Project Manager and Lead Tester for OSCAR - Open Source CPAP Analysis Reporter 
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#3
RE: Problems with mask
Thanks. But I've tried that one. I take it off while sleeping.
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#4
RE: Problems with mask
what are the make and model of your machine? what are your pressure settings? what's the epr setting if resmed, flex if philips?

too little air (like a cpap/apap min at 4) can make you feel air starved. too much air can be tough to exhale against. it's possible one or both of these are why you are removing the mask in your sleep.

another thing to check is whether you have the mask type properly set for the mask you're using.

in addition, leaks could be an issue. post some oscar charts so others' can respond to more info.
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#5
RE: Problems with mask
Have you tried the DreamWear or N30i?

The CPAP hose attaches at the top of the frame, not in front of your nose and they are both pretty unobtrusive.

The other to consider would be the Bleep Dreamport. That attaches with adhesive to your nose. I haven’t tried that one but it is also very minimalistic.

You could discuss some of these masks with your durable medica equipment provider to see if they have them for you to try. Or, some of the online suppliers may allow you to return within 30 days if the mask doesn’t work out for you.

I’ve tried at least 10 masks, and the first 2 I mentioned work for me. But, everyone is different so you may have to try a bunch of masks before you find what works best for you.
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#6
RE: Problems with mask
In the last 35 years, I have worked with 7 different doctors and more masks than I can count. 

I will say that I have the same reaction with anything that is fastened to my body. I have done a few nocturnal pulse oximeter tests, and just having the bleeding thing taped to my finger all night is an incredible ordeal. 

It's not the type of machine or the settings. I've tried taping the mask onto my face. I've tried wearing mittens. I either take them off in my sleep or have a major anxiety reaction.

I've talked to the doctor about the Inspire device, but my apnea is too severe. I asked about surgery, and I'm not a good candidate. My doctor wants to try the Trelegy (sp?) device, but we agreed it's pointless to try it unless I can find a mask that I can tolerate.
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#7
RE: Problems with mask
I think that what I need is some desensitization. Has anyone tried such a thing?
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#8
RE: Problems with mask
The only thing I've seen recommended is to wear the mask while awake to get used to it. This may not work in your case.
Download OSCAR

Organize Charts
Attaching Charts

Mask Primer
Soft Cervical Collar

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.

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#9
RE: Problems with mask
RE: Problems with mask
I think that what I need is some desensitization. Has anyone tried such a thing?

If you are sure you arent suffering air starvation, have you thought about meditation ?  but seek out a qualified teacher and discuss the problem with them first.
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#10
RE: Problems with mask
Not sure what desensitization would consist of, in regards to getting accustomed to a CPAP mask, other than putting it on and forcing one's self to adapt to it. 

I've ridden m/c's most of my life, and almost always used a full face helmet while riding on the street. In the military, we had to wear a gas mask for several hours straight as part of our training. 

Not sure if any of that helped me when I started SA therapy. But, I do know that from the very 1st night of wearing a CPAP mask, I slept the whole night thru w/o issue. I'm now approaching one year and it's still not an issue.
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