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Recently Diagnosed - Mask fitting advice during a pandemic
#1
Recently Diagnosed - Mask fitting advice during a pandemic
Hi there!

I am glad to find a forum where everyone seems so caring for one another's health. It's very refreshing!

I've recently been diagnosed with mild obstructive sleep apnea. During the sleep study, my apneas/hour were 9, which I understand is very low. But I had a few which were upwards of 75 seconds. My oxygen only seemed to drop to about 92%. I've known about the problem for at least 8 years, but only got around to dealing with it now, as I have not had a doctor for about 13 years (am generally quite healthy, so haven't seemed to need one).

Anyway, the purpose of this post besides saying hello to everyone, is to ask for a bit of suggestions with mask fitting. After the results from my study, I have been prescribed a temporary CPAP machine to try for a month, and see how it helps. If it helps, I will be prescribed one permanently. Unfortunately, we are still in a pandemic, and the process here is a bit funny as some stores/services/etc.. are operating differently. I have a video call consultation with the CPAP equipment providers to figure out whats best for me. They will then mail it to me, or let me have a "curb-side pickup".

My concern is that it will be tough to find the correct mask simply through a video chat, as I won't be able to physically try any on before they send me the machine. I typically breathe through my nose when falling asleep, but also sometimes with my mouth. I am unsure which I breathe through when I'm actually asleep. I start off sleeping on my back, but usually end up rolling onto my side (and then switching sides repeatedly in the wee hours of the morning). I also have long hair.

I think that's all the relevant info I can think to give. Feel free to ask for more info! Any advice/suggestions for finding the best fit with this seemingly bizarre process of acquiring a machine would be truly appreciated.

Thanks for your time. Looking forward to receiving therapy and contributing to this forum.

Cheers,
Darren
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#2
RE: Recently Diagnosed - Mask fitting advice during a pandemic
The mask primer wiki in my signature links should get you started. When selecting a mask, your first decision is nasal therapy (nose only) or full face (mouth and nose coverage). We want you to try nasal therapy first because it is smaller, less obtrusive and easier to seal. The quietest and smallest interface is the Resmed Airfit P10 nasal pillows. You may need to cover your mouth and move to a full face mask if you can't control the leaks from your mouth, but trying nasal therapy, and using nasal pillows is a great start unless you're sure you can't tolerate nasal therapy. Even if you're chronically congested, the nasal pillows mask often opens the nasal passages and make breathing easier.
Sleeprider
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com

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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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#3
RE: Recently Diagnosed - Mask fitting advice during a pandemic
Make sure you have an SD card on hand, not larger than 32GB. This, when inserted overnight, will allow tremendous detain of what is happening, even on a breath by breath basis if necessary. This is achieved with OSCAR <-- (link)
Fred Bonjour - Project Manager and Lead Tester for OSCAR - Open Source CPAP Analysis Reporter

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#4
RE: Recently Diagnosed - Mask fitting advice during a pandemic
Thanks for the replies Sleeprider and bonjour!

I will inquire with the machine providers about nasal pillows, and am checking out the Mask Primer wiki right now. Thanks for the link. My nasal passages are sometimes iffy. I am awaiting a call to setup an appointment with an ENT specialist to likely have my adenoids and tonsils removed. Glad to hear the nasal pillows often open the passageways. I sometimes wake up very stuffy.

I do actually have an available SD card that is 32GB, so will make sure I have it on hand to use when I get the machine for trial. Thanks bonjour!
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#5
RE: Recently Diagnosed - Mask fitting advice during a pandemic
A big concern of mine is that due to a video call consultation, I will not have an opportunity to try any masks on before I receive the machine. This means that my month-long trial period could be hindered by the incorrect mask type/size. I don't know how quickly I'd be able to get a different mask/size due to not being able to get a fitting done in-person because of the pandemic. I've been reading through the mask fitting wiki and it seems to rely mostly on actually trying on the masks, which is not an option for me. 

From what Sleeprider has mentioned, the least obstructive mask is the nasal pillows, which would be the most comfortable option, but from anyones experience is there a mask type that is relatively foolproof and suited to a beginner?

I apologize if this is ridiculous, I just want to go into my video call mask-fitting consultation with the most knowledge possible to get the best fit.
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#6
RE: Recently Diagnosed - Mask fitting advice during a pandemic
It's not ridiculous at all. It will be hard to find the right fit through a video call, but unfortunately this is what we have to deal with.

What type of mask did you wear during your sleep study? Was it comfortable? Maybe you could start out with that. During your video consultation, be sure to ask if you can return it and try something else. You should know within a day or two if the mask fits well and doesn't leak.

I use the ResMed P10 nasal pillow mask, and it seems to work out well for me. But I know many folk can't tolerate nasal pillows. If you don't mouth breath, it may work out well.

Just to get an idea of the many mask styles, Supplier #1 is a good place to look, not necessarily to buy, but just to browse the pictures and descriptions.
OpalRose
Apnea Board Administrator
www.ApneaBoard.com

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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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#7
RE: Recently Diagnosed - Mask fitting advice during a pandemic
IMHO (I wrote the Mask Primer) Try the ResMed P10 Pillow mask. It may not be the best for you BUT it is most likely to fit. Ask for the "Fit Kit" which contains multiple size "pillows" which rest on the nares, the opening of the nose. Thet do NOT go in the nose and you usually need a size larger than you would think. Because of the minimalist aspect of it, there is very little area from which to leak and as such is most likely to at least fit.
Fred Bonjour - Project Manager and Lead Tester for OSCAR - Open Source CPAP Analysis Reporter

Download OSCAR
New to Apnea? Helpful tips to ensure success
Soft Cervical Collar
Mask Primer
Dealing with a DME
Organize Charts
Optimizing Therapy
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#8
RE: Recently Diagnosed - Mask fitting advice during a pandemic
Would you really want to try on masks that someone before you tried, in current pandemic?
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#9
RE: Recently Diagnosed - Mask fitting advice during a pandemic
@ardenum... Hah, yes you're right, I definitely wouldn't want to be trying masks on that someone may have used during this pandemic! I'm sure they'd sanitize the masks, but I was just concerned about how to fit a mask when not being able to do it in-person.

@Opalrose... Unfortunately my sleep study did not include a mask. Just all the monitoring equipment, electrodes, etc... I had some tubes stuck in my nose to measure breathing. And thanks for the tip, I clarified that if the mask they give me isn't fitting well, that I can return it for something more comfortable during the trial period.

@bonjour... The mask they're setting me up comes with a "Fit Kit" with a few different sizes, so I'm very thankful. Helps reassure me that I'll have something that fits. Also, god job on the mask primer! I appreciated all of the info in it.


Had the consultation today, if anyones interested or just wants to comment on their experiences with the mask/machine, they set me up with Philips Dreamwisp. I sleep on my back but tend to roll onto my sides, so it seemed like the tube connector being on the top of my head made sense. Also thanks to bonjours Mask Primer I discovered that nasal pillows may not stay sealed very well since I roll around a good bit when I sleep. They're also giving me an Airsense 10 Autoset "for Her". Which made me chuckle, and the technician said "Oh it's the same as the regular one, it just has flowers on it" to which I replied "Perfect, I garden professionally, I want flowers on my machine!".


Anyway, thanks for all of your comments, they really helped me out during the consultation today!
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