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[Product Review] The Half-Size ResMed AirFit F20
#1
The Half-Size ResMed AirFit F20
Review of The Half-Size ResMed AirFit F20 is not about a half-size AirFit F20 FFM, but of me being half-way between sizes. This is sort of part F20 review and part my-journey and success in finding the most effective and comfortable mask.

Early in my PAP journey:  Bigwink
I have been working on my PAP journey for 11 months. Always on the hunt for the perfect combination of mask, mask fit, headgear tightness, and machine settings. I had 6 titration studies over 9 months to get to my pot-of-gold ResMed AirCurve 10 ASV machine. Now I have 11 months of fiddling with PAP hardware and settings under my belt. Now I recall that early on in my titration studies I had tried a Large F20 mask for one night. It was a terrible fit as I recall; hence, the one night stand. Then I went back to the Medium size. I tried six different masks in total, and the AirFit F20 was the lesser of all evils.

Chasing problems:  Dancing
Over several months, I constantly wrestled with my mask and head gear in search of the right balance. I had problems with the top being too loose causing air to leak around the upper sides of the mask, rewarding my efforts with a shot of cold air blasting into an eyeball. If the top was tight enough to prevent the arctic eyeball blast, then the bottom was too loose. I would then get leakage around the corners of my mouth accompanied by a chorus of farty noises that would wake me and my wife.

Problems go from bad to worse:  Thumbs-down-1
So, getting the top and bottom headgear tightness in balance to prevent both problems above seemed to be an ever elusive ritual. The tightness of both to obtain a good overall seal had a significant problem in another area of comfort, or lack thereof. The headgear had to be so tight to stop all the leakage that it dug into my cheek bones to the point of almost unbearable pain. The secondary problem was that the mask would smash down the upper lateral cartilage front of the nasal bone and close off my nasal passages. That would severely restrict my ability to breathe through my nose. So, another delicate balance ensued. Shove the mask up higher so I could breathe through my nose versus not enough mask down low to cover my lower lip. This also put so much pressure on my front teeth of my lower jaw that I feared my teeth would start to shift inward. Oh joy! My best-fit mask was from HE-Double-Hockey-Sticks.

Something’s got to change.  Oh-jeez

A glimmer of hope:   Bouncy
I remembered ResMed had a little sizing template you could hold up over your nose to see which mask size is best for the user. So I dug one out and much to my dismay I landed squarely in-between Medium and Large. Great, now I’m cursed to never get a good fit on an F20.

Get-em all, the shotgun approach:   Grouphug3
So, in desperation, I ordered a Large AirFit F20 and a Medium and Large AirTouch F20. I first tried the Medium AirTouch F20. I already felt that the Medium AirFit F20 was a bit small as I had to pucker up whenever I put the mask on. That was the only way to get the corners of my lips into the mask and to get the best seal. The Medium AirTouch F20 felt even smaller. The foam edges rolled inward instead of just compressing whenever I put it on. That experiment in terror lasted only 3 days. In the back of my mind I was thinking that since the foam edge rolled inward, then maybe the Large AirTouch F20 would do the same and land somewhere between a Medium and Large AirFit. 

Pleasantly surprised:   Way-to-happy
I cracked open the Large AirFit F20 next - figured I would relive the bad experience of my PAP titration childhood and be done with this mask test rather quickly. I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, it was a bit bigger than perfect. But I had ample room for my mouth. And surprisingly so, I didn’t have even a hint of my nasal passages getting pinched closed. And lastly, my cheek boned weren’t getting crushed. So now I am, about a month into my test on the Large AirFit F20 and the Large AirTouch F20 hasn’t even had a chance to see the light of day. Or, uh night I suppose.

That’s a wrap:  Too-happy-2
Now I have what seems to be the perfect full face mask for my ugly mug. Amazingly good balance of fit, seal, comfort, headgear tightness and overall effectiveness in treatment. The other design features I really like about the F20 product line are the magnetic headgear fasteners and quick-disconnect (pinch to disconnect) on the new style elbow connection to the frame. Convenience and simplicity blended with durability and the ability to keep everything clean.

So, if you are having a frustrating time with your existing mask fit, don’t give up your search. It took me 10 months to find my best mask. The ApneaBoard members may help immensely with getting machines dialed-in and provide recommendations on equipment and PAP techniques and tricks. But it’s up to you to push your sleep doctor for masks to test. Or, like me (no insurance coverage), just bite the bullet and buy something new to test. I look forward to many restful nights and energy-filled days.

Wave
RayBee

  
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#2
RE: The Half-Size ResMed AirFit F20
Going by your avatar, I'm surprised you got any CPAP mask to fit.

Coffee

PS good info there about the mask. If the mask fit ain't right, nothing else works.
Dave

OSCAR
Standard OSCAR Chart Order
Mask Primer
Dealing With A DME
Soft Cervical Collar Wiki
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#3
RE: The Half-Size ResMed AirFit F20
(08-03-2019, 09:36 PM)SarcasticDave94 Wrote: Going by your avatar, I'm surprised you got any CPAP mask to fit.

Coffee

PS good info there about the mask. If the mask fit ain't right, nothing else works.
Woof woof. like

Yup. The machines, no mater how sophisticated they are, just can't compensate for a poorly fitted full muzzle mask. Grrrrr.  Rolling laugh
RayBee

  
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#4
RE: The Half-Size ResMed AirFit F20
Important thing is you eventually got a working combo. Congrats on the win.

Coffee
Dave

OSCAR
Standard OSCAR Chart Order
Mask Primer
Dealing With A DME
Soft Cervical Collar Wiki
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#5
RE: The Half-Size ResMed AirFit F20
(08-04-2019, 10:54 AM)SarcasticDave94 Wrote: Important thing is you eventually got a working combo. Congrats on the win.

Coffee

As is the case with anybody finding the perfect fit.  Lolabove

But... Unfortunately, for me, as time goes on, I seemed to experience more and more problems Oh-jeez  with the AirFit F20 large cushion.

I thought the search was over. But like I said, I'm a medium-and-a-half size. I measure exactly in the middle between medium and large. That being the case, the top of the cushion started digging into my face right between my eyes. Bug-eyed  So much so, that it was very painful and close to cutting into me. It seemed that since my face wasn't big enough for the large mask that I would constantly be adjusting the cushion to ride lower on my face to prevent the top from digging in. That would create leakage problems everywhere as well as cause the lower cushion area to ride up onto my chin instead of the indentation between my chin and lower lip.  Annoyed-and-disappointed

Aaarrrggg!!!  Hammer

So now I decided to abandon the AirFit F20 (all flavors thereof) and try the AirFit F30. So far I am very pleased with the F30 and will be posting a comprehensive review soon.

Knowing what I know now, I would still give the AirFit F20 4 because it is a very good system, easy to clean, simple to operate in the dark and very quiet. It looses one star because it is fairly pricy and doesn't have an adjustment on the top strap of the headgear. 

The fact that it doesn't fit my face isn't the fault of the product. Just a squarish peg and roundish hole problem. For those who's face fits the one of the cushions, the F20 is a great mask and worthy of a try. Some of the CPAP Suppliers offer a trial period with a refund option. Call/email and check before you buy.
RayBee

  
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