(this review was originally posted in July of 2005)
Description: A few months ago, ResMed introduced the 2.5-ounce Mirage Swift nasal pillows system, which rests lightly on the face with the pillows positioned at the entrance of the nostrils. The Mirage Swift air tube can be used in an up, down, left, or right position. The innovative design, combined with the soft and secure headgear, enhances seal and stability and eliminates the need to over-tighten. Once adjusted, the Mirage Swift can be fitted quickly and easily, without clips or Velcro. In addition, each Mirage Swift ships with three sizes of pillows, eliminating the need for fitting templates. Each product comes with its own carry bag, including an educational CD with video, quick-fit guide, and user instructions.
Intitial Thoughts: When the mask arrived from my DME, I was surprised at the quality of the carry bag that it came with. It was built extremely well and even had slots for additional nasal pillows and the instruction manual, along with an air-flow mesh to allow the mask to dry out during storage. The actual mask looked flimsy to me at first, but I believe this is only because I'm used to a big hulking standard nasal mask made of heavy duty plastic.
Trying it on: I recommend viewing the video that comes with the mask prior to trying the mask on. You'll be glad you did; it's a standard CD-ROM that will work in any computer (not a DVD). You must first choose one of the 3 supplied "nasal pillows" (small, medium, large). I suggest trying out the medium first. I did this, but went to the large pillow, which seemed to provide a better seal for my "big nose-holes" For an "average" size head, I would recommend that you adjust the straps so that you have about an inch of loose strap on each of the 4 adjustment points. This will give you a very loose initial fit and you can easily draw down the straps to tighten as needed. Remember that you don't want to over tighten this mask; it doesn't take much to make a good seal. To put the mask on, you'll want to first put the straps in place, then gently place the nasal pillows onto your nostrils (make sure you don't put them in upside-down, which is possible). To take the mask off, simply lift the pillows off your nose (away from your face and slightly upward), then lift the straps off next.
My first night: Well, it went pretty good, actually. I've tried several masks and this one is the best so far. My last mask was the Resmed Ultra Mirage nasal mask. I always had some degree of leaking with the Ultra Mirage, and the airflow would sometimes cause my eyes to dry out and be red in the morning. Not a problem with the Mirage Swift, because if any air does leak, it simply "hisses" out of your nostrils, away from your eyes. You will need some time to make adjustments with this mask. You can twist the pillows up and down to make a better seal, you can adjust the attached tubing to go on the left or right side easily, or you can attach the tubing to your head strap for a more secure feel. But once you make the adjustments to fit your head and nose, I think you'll be happy with this mask, unless you have overly sensitive nostrils.
My first week: It's been about a week since I started using the mask. I really like the ability to watch TV or read a book before I fall asleep. I couldn't do that with any other mask I'd tried. I still have very minor air leaks from time to time, which are quickly resolved by making a small adjustment or moving my head slightly, but no leaks as bad as I had with other masks. But as I'm getting more used to how to adjust it, it's getting better and better.
Final Thoughts: I would rate this mask a 4 out of 5 stars. It ain't perfect, but it's the best I've had yet and least heavy. The nice thing was that my health insurance (Aetna) paid for 90 percent of the cost (retails for $120 - $150). Resmed has details about this mask on their homepage.
Apnea Board Administrator