I found the FitLife Total Face Mask by Respironics after I was having problems with FFMs digging into the bridge of my nose (still have the scar). From the template it looked as though I would wear a small (comes in small and large), but in reality I needed a large with the small headgear. I find the headgear tends to move around some- the bottom strap in the back rides down on my neck, but the simple addition of a knit cap over just the crown of my head keeps everything in place. The mask looks large and unwieldy, but I find it extremely comfortable. It retails for just under $200, has no replaceable parts. Is easy to clean, I use unscented wipes. I would recommend this mask to any mouthbreather with a sensitive nose bridge. I normally get 0.0 leaks, sometimes an 0.05. Since this is a Respironics product sometimes it can be found used, or new on the auction.
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Respironics FItLife Total Face Mask [copied from old forum]
02-17-2012, 11:28 PM
01-06-2014, 08:31 AM
(09-25-2013, 06:57 PM)me50 Wrote:this mask looke like my PRFitLife maskthe head gear is a little diffenent i think but cant compare mine to it right now my mask is at home.(09-25-2013, 04:00 PM)PollCat Wrote: Found this on a website while looking to help prikkelpitt with his data issues:
any way i love this mask, although i have only had it for two days my eyes do not dry out with it and the leaks i have had are simple to fix just a slight movement of the head or a brush with the hand. i have not had to fight it like i did with my HC431full face.
01-06-2014, 08:44 AM
(02-17-2012, 11:28 PM)SuperSleeper Wrote:zimlich Wrote:
i just got this mask two days ago and i love itlove itlove it
the fit gauge shows two sizes small and large mine is a large the book that came with mine indicates it also comes in x-large i might try this one.
my eyes have not been dry when i woke up with this one like it had with my " half mask" type of full face mask the HC431 it kept blowing into my eyes. i do not feel any air on my face with this mask and the leaks i have had with it are at the edge of my fase where i am not very sensitive. and a slight movement of the head or a brush of the hand like one might brush a hair off your face is all i have had to do.
my facial hair does not cause leaks, and i where it loose just a little bit tighter than the minimum pressure to hold it on my head with out the head gear.
01-07-2014, 04:14 PM
I bought one of these out of pocket from the DME. It is spendier. The one I bought cost $207 and does not have a replaceable cushion. You buy a whole new mask 4 times a year. It is a Fitlife. I did get a different headgear with it than shown. I cannot remember if I bought it separately but it is available is the point, it has the top adjustable strap that improves the stability of the mask.
I was not able to use it on my Respironics Bipap ASV because it is in an ongoing algorithm search mode that prevents proper operation and has functionally ended my central sleep apnea treatment completely. The DME has tested the machine and says it is fine.
I am looking forward to trying the total face mask on my new resmed S9 Auto Adapt when I get it bought. In fact I need to question whether it will be compatible thank you for inspiring that necessary question.
01-08-2014, 05:34 AM
The mask could last up to a year. That is what I was told by my sleep unit in the UK so you wont need to change every three months.
06-21-2014, 08:12 PM
I have used my Fitlife mask often in the past. My eyes never dried out and if it wasn't for a whistling noise, I would still be using it. It is very comfortable and obviouslythere is no problem with soreness on the bridge of your nose- a common problem with FFMs.
I called the manufacturer and was told they had not had that complaint before. They didn't offer to replace it though and maybe I should have pressed the issue.
To err is human, but to really mess things up, you need a computer.
06-28-2014, 09:48 PM
Ok....I've had a chance to try the FitLife now. Just started my trial, so this is only initial impressions...
1) it isn't much louder than the Quattro Air I have been using. Airstream, no whistle here.
2) it will need some anti-fog compound if you want to read with it on
3) the seal is very akin to what you get with an SCBA...actually pretty robust and quite comfortable, though very different than a conventional cpap ffm
4) if you do nudge it too much when you side sleep, it will blow you some big raspberries to let you know
5) the elbow (AAV and swivel) do stick out a fair bit...tummy sleeping is a little more of a challenge.
6) with the right pillow, 4 and 5 are not a big deal
7) no strap marks on the cheeks and the seal marks are actually fairly minimal
8) larger dead air space and larger facial area means that it can be warm and moist....I tweaked my humidity and temperature settings and it quickly made it more comfortable and less like a sauna. Related is that if you're on a lower therapy pressure, you may need to be bumped up a hair to help clear the additional volume a bit better.
I'll post a full on review after I have some more time on it, but right now it seems a like a decent, though unconventional, mask.
07-02-2014, 01:15 PM
Minor update....once the mask is warmed up, no more issues with fogging. Also, been 5 days...only two have left me with an AHI reading at all (and the max of those was 0.16!). Perhaps it is because I use full face respirators and SCBA/SABA at work, but so far I've been quite surprised by how well it has done for me.
I may want to try the XL (seems like the L may be a hair small chin to eyebrows for me, but it isn't posing a problem for the seal), but so far, so good. More to come at the end of the trial.
07-05-2014, 10:45 PM
Ok...it's been a full 7 days and now I can write a more in depth report...
Respironics FitLife Total Face Mask
- sizing (there is no medium), adjustment time
- sealing, comfort, sleeping positions
I'm going to preface this with some info about me. I don't have very bad apnea numbers to start with (AHI=6)...I'm not a full on obstructive sleep apnea patient. However, I do have some severe sleep disruption when I am not on CPAP because of Upper Airway Resistive Syndrome (UARS). Think of UARS is mini-apneas....my body catches the apneas early enough to not have "big" events, but it still results in my being aroused / woken up from sleep to breathe just the same as regular sleep apnea...which lead to a sleep disruptive index of 49 (i.e. 49 mini-apneas an hour, which is pretty severe).
Ok...in my previous search for a ffm, I did try a few Respironics products and they simply didn't work for me...I wasn't sure what to expect here, but wanted to try this mask for a couple reasons. My line of work puts me in total face masks on occasion for some long periods of time...overall and especially for pressurized work (i.e. SCBA situations where, like CPAP, you are breathing slightly higher pressure air than what's surrounding you) I have found a total face mask to be more comfortable. I wanted to see if that held true there. I also am trying to find "the one" mask that gives me my ultimate treatment....low AHI and leak rate, minimal mask marks and feeling good in the morning.
Ok, lets start with the obvious...this is a total face mask (or what those of us who work with respirators and SCBA / SABA systems will call a "real" full face mask). It covers not only the mouth and nose, but also the eyes. The seal is on the outer edges of the face, above the eyebrows, outside the eyes and down to the "usual" spot on the chin. It has a clear faceplate and, once warmed up so it doesn't steam up, it allows you to read and watch TV just fine.
As for the usual questions: Unless there was a substantial leak somewhere, I did not find any appreciable feel of air movement across my face and no, my eyes did not dry out. Conversely, though, it does have a higher "dead air space" volume....this means I had to turn down the humidity and temperature a bit to feel comfortable (it was a bit hotter and kept the air a bit moister than most ffm's...my original settings for a "normal" ffm made it a bit of a sauna). If you are running a lower therapy pressure, I can see it having a bit more of a feeling of not getting quite enough air or feeling that it isn't "clearing" it quite quick enough.
Sealing was remarkably good. It has a wide seal all along the perimeter and it is very robust. if the mask isn't on "just right" the seal swells / puffs out a fair bit to make it work. I understand that Respironics recently "tweaked" the seal a little to address some leak concerns and it seems to have worked. I found it to be both a comfortable seal and one that was not prone to leak all that easily.
Because it is so much wider, a little push on one side tended not to get it bent out of sorts and it held its seal very well. You'd think it would "lever" the other side more, but with the headgear connections at the edges, it gives the headgear extra "oomph" to resist being dislodged. If you "overdo it" it will usually give you raspberries to let you know. Of course, with where the seal is, there was no issues with the bridge of the nose....in face, the mask has a "well" near the nose and mouth that even my large schnozz couldn't get contact with.
It is not a lightweight mask...especially by today's standards, but the sealing is worth the extra weight if this mask works for you. I tend to sleep in a variety of positions and like a "memory foam" pillow of some sort. With my conventionally shaped pillow, I was able to back and side sleep with this mask without problems and with minimal "bumps" causing leaks. I was very pleasantly surprised to find it tummy sleeps well too, depending on arm positions.
For me, I found the mask took a day or two to get used to....it is a big departure from the "conventional" masks out there and is a heck of a lot more mask to deal with than a nasal mask or pillows. Still, the the better seal and pretty comfortable overall nature of the mask actually improved my numbers for the week. Overall, compared to the "new generation" ffm I usually use, my AHI dropped by a little over 1/2 and my unintentional leak rake dropped to essentially zero. I felt even better waking up, which I didn't think was possible.
There is an on-line video review of this mask where the reviewer considers it a "mask of last resort." I would strongly disagree with that assessment of the FitLife mask.
In today's world, where lots of RT's subscribe to the "less is more" view....lowest possible pressure to get under an AHI of 5 and the smallest interface possible (probably to try to get the best compliance)...I can see why this mask wouldn't be a top choice by a DME or RT. In practicality, though, it is a comfortable mask that, although it can take a couple days to get used to, can provide some exceptional therapy for the patient who can tolerate the larger form factor. Although it is larger, I strongly suspect the FitLife will become my "go to" mask in the future.
Be open minded and you may be pleasantly surprised on this one, folks
07-05-2014, 11:34 PM
Thanks for the excellent review, Mike!
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