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Question About Mouth Breathers
On the chart portion that you attached, I don't think I would label the leak rate as quite good. As Sleepster suggested, I also think that a good-looking leak rate would be a flat line, that is, zero (or perhaps a couple points above zero). It's hard to tell exactly on the scale of your attached chart which has the first marker (horizontal line) above zero at 30. Meanwhile, the maximum leak rate the machine is described as being able to compensate for is 24. So, changing the scale of the leak rate graph, I believe would show not very much time down near that zero point.
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As for the mouth breathing part, that is something Inhave pondered on as well. I think most people with apnea are mouth breathers prior to treatment. If one is gasping for air, the biggest opening would be the best choice. During my titration study, I was asked if I was a mouth breather. I was not completly sure, then asked if I snored. Again, Inwould suspect many snore pre-treatment. Anyhow, the texh gave me a full mask for the study. However, when I picked up a machine, i got both a full mask and a nasal mask, and also a chin strap. After a few nights full mask, I Switched to nasal. Three weeks in I am still using the chin strap, but not sure I need it. I have had a few naps without it, and seems to be okay. I will try sleeping without a mask soon; just want to make sure I am used to it all. So how do you know if you are a mouth breather?? Personal onservation would really be the only way. Dry mouth amd or lips could be a symptom, but not absolute. With my nasal mask on, i defiently know when I open my mouth. So again, observation may be the inly realy way to say conclusively.
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I agree that the leak rate does not look all that good. Is it acceptable? Probably. The scale of the Y axis makes it look a lot better than it is though.

A mouth gasper is not necessarily a mouth breather. A mouth breather is one who breathes normally through his/her mouth much of the time night and/or day. When you are out of breath you probably gasp for air through your mouth. I know that I do. but I breathe through my nose the rest of the time. It would seem perfectly normal to me for a person to gasp for air through their mouth after a prolonged obstructive apnea. That does not make that person a mouth breather. It makes them a typical obstructive apnea sufferer.

We have had members who are admitted mouth breathers and yet were able to adapt to a nasal pillows mask even without a chin strap most of the time. I think that whether or not a person is a mouth breather/leaker or not is a personal thing not a clinical thing.

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Thanks all for input.

I've been able to observe him sleeping with the mask a few more times and he isn't doing any mouth breathing. Of course that doesn't mean he might not be at other times, but at least when I've walked into the room, there's zero mouth breathing.

I think the leak rate is just mask fit. Last nights results show average leak rate below 10%. I suspect it's just a matter of getting used to therapy which can affect mask fit, improving mask fit, and/or choosing a different mask to get it lower.

He's doing outstanding. I can't believe the difference it's made after only a few days of partial therapy (he's still adjusting, averaging about 4 hours a night), it's shocking. He normally falls asleep all throughout the day anytime anywhere, now suddenly he's already stopped that. Amazing! YES, I've told him to wear it every minute, but he's still adjusting.
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