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Self generated moisture blocking mask
#1
At home I have been using the P10, my first mask, the only one I've tried. I like it, it suits me quite well.  

However this past weekend I've been away camping under canvas in our camper trailer & problems arose, so much so that in almost 6 weeks of using a mask every night, the weekend has been the first time I discarded the mask & reverted to sleeping without a machine.

The weather was fairly cold at night with a light frost in the early mornings & the problem was condensation in the mask blocking the fine mesh of the exhalation ports. At home I use humidification on setting 1 & at camp tried both this & no humidification. Higher levels of humidification at home have resulted in similar rainout issues, & are not sustainable on the battery when camping.

I should add that in the not too distant future my wife & I plan to commence a long term adventure lifestyle travelling with our camper trailer for a few years, & although we intend to follow the warm weather, there are going to be times when we are camped out in the cold. I am thus keen to resolve this problem in a manner that we can sustain on a day to day basis utilising the solar battery set up we have at our disposal.

Using the mask with no humidification turned on & no water in the humidifier chamber, it became clear that it was my breath condensing inside the mask, & it took very little of this to sufficiently block the fine mesh - which significantly is on the lower side of the mask - making exhalation increasingly difficult & within a short space of time resulting in insufficient oxygen, as I was rebreathing my exhaled breath.

On several occasions I pulled off the mask & dabbed the surfaces of the mesh dry with a tissue & the immediate result was 'back to normal' breathing until the mesh blocked again.

I also experienced cold water running down my face & wetting my pillow several times.

Among my friends with whom I was camping there were several other CPAP users. Those in heated motorhomes of course had no problem, those without heating reported that they too had experienced condensation problems each night. Of the latter group none had been using a P10 & none had had the difficulty in breathing. For them the condensation had been a minor irritant which had not prevented mask use. Having examined their masks (both Phillips Respironics, one a Nuance & one a Dreamwear) & I was interested to see that neither of these masks use mesh for the exhalation ports (until then I wrongly assumed that all masks used mesh), but instead had a pattern of small holes, & importantly I suspect, the holes were positioned so that when the condensation occurred they were unlikely to become covered by it, let alone blocked.

I don't know if this is a known issue with the P10's or any other mask with mesh exhalation ports but I now think I'll need to purchase a different mask for cold weather use, & if that fails may have to consider the not inexpensive option of fitting a diesel heater into our camper.

Has anyone else grappled with this issue & found a particular nasal pillow mask better for use in similar circumstances?

Camper Trailer (Aussie style)
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#2
You are not alone. Check this link out.

http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-...nt-blocked

Hope it helps, car54
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#3
Cuppa,

My wife liked the Brevida nasal pillow mask best, as it was the quietest. It has a removable fabric cover over the exhaust port holes, which according to her make me much quieter.

In your case, the cover might need to be removed, and that might open up a different issue (stream of air out the exhaust holes).

I found the P10 an OK mask, but the Brevida was superior in comfort for me. I like the adjustable Head straps and the fit style of the Brevida better, and the wife liked the quiet.

Enjoy your camping.
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#4
Thanks Car & Snoopy.
I should have read more before I posted, it is clear that the P10 has issues in dealing with moisture. However unlike some other's reports where it is suggested that the *only* way to remove the moisture blockage is time/evaporation, I found that dabbing both sides of the mesh with a tissue was effective, albeit short lived due to the high rate of breath condensation in the cold.

I purchased another mask from the US via ebay yesterday, a Respironics Nuance. Missed your recommendation by a day Snoopy, but will bear it in mind if the Nuance doesn't suit for some reason. Whilst under no illusion that a different mask will change the condensation from occurring in similar cold circumstances I am hopeful that the different venting arrangement will not block & prevent me from breathing.  

I looked at the data from the two nights I struggled with the blocked vents which unsurprisingly showed a tidal volume double my normal rate until I woke & removed the mask. 

It will be interesting to try a different mask to make a comparison in regard to noise level & air flow out of the mask's ports. I expect both will be higher than the P10.  In my opinion the P10 could be improved with a repositioning of the vents toward the upper side of the mask as this would make it less likely for moisture to block the vents. Might create an issue of air directed toward the eyes though?
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#5
Cuppa,

You might also want to look at the Resmed Swift FX mask. The pillows themselves are very similar to those of the P10, but the exhaust vent is a traditional vent rather than a mesh one.
Questions about SleepyHead?
See my Guide to SleepyHead
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#6
Thanks robysue,
I did consider the Swift FX, but reading here I gained the impression that it might be a bit noisier as some referred to the exhaust port as a 'jet stream'.  I won't discount it as a future possibility if the Nuance doesn't work for me though.

I did wonder if I might have trouble with the Swift FX headgear. Pictures show a 'plastic' strap with adjustment which looks similar to a cable tie & potentially a 'hair trap'..... I have long/fine hair.
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