Okay, let's focus on just the facial equipment and see if that doesn't help.
I too felt that there were more leaks with the full mask, and plus, I had a nose or eyeball to scratch. Also, after 4-5 days of nasal pillows, I found that I would get minor, but distracting, skin irritations which were unhelpful in getting a full night's sleep. In the end, the nasal mask seemed to be the best choice.
I really thought that I was in fact keeping my mouth closed all night, with my tongue forward, and it seemed that I was on my way. But that was in the beginning of the night, and apparently things changed later on during the night. The chin straps were ineffective because I would simply part my lips even with my teeth closed.
Now, even though I find it easy to lock my mouth when the night begins, and I lock a pillow between jaw and my neck, I apparently can't make it through the night without something changing. (I even "trained" myself to not pee 4-6 times a night, and I was quite pleased with that major accomplishment.)
I must however unfortunately confess that recently I've been kind of obsessed with cooling down and controlling the air temp and circulation in our house at night by using the new whole house fan and opening various upstairs/downstairs windows throughout the night, rather using than the much more expensive AC. But since we will often see 80⁰+ temps outside as late as 1 or 2 AM, you can probably imagine the ridiculous hopping around, in and out of bed, and mask removal requirements, that might occur in dealing with that stupid issue. (No comments necessary)
So starting tonight - strictly AC.
Also, it is not unusual that I (and my wife) would be awoken by my "fluttering" (something going on in my mouth - tongue, cheeks, who knows?), but whenever this occurs, or if my mask gets pulled off, or if it's time to check the house fan, or whatever I'm programed to "need" to do, I never know where I am, or what's going on, when I actually do wake up. It's like suddenly coming out of a very deep sleep. In fact I sometimes wake up wondering what's on my face, or why I have on a mask (with no hose - because I fell asleep before I re-attached it), or why I seem to have a plastic nose.
So anyway, aside from the possible comedic value and effect of these problems, I will drop all of these otherwise unnecessary distractions, and see if I can't simply sleep through the night and gather some good data in the process.
Boy, this really is not easy!
(07-10-2013 05:12 PM)RonWessels Wrote: As a general rule, full face masks tend to be more problematic with leaks (because of the bigger seal requirement). Again, as a rule, people tend to prefer nasal masks, or better yet nasal pillows, and work to keep their mouth closed. There are many options to help in that regard. I find it often sufficient to have my tongue fully forward so it touches by upper teeth and is firmly against the roof of my mouth. If you are a side sleeper, you could also jam some of your pillow between your lower jaw and your neck to provide a little extra support. There are also chin straps available for sale that hold your jaw closed at night.
In terms of being able to yawn, yes it can be done, but you have to train yourself to do it. Think about blowing up a balloon; to do that, you have to seal the airway going to your nose, otherwise the pressure would escape there rather than going into the balloon. With a little bit of practice, you can control that at will and be able to yawn without the weird feeling of the airflow going from your nose out your mouth. Now, that will register on the CPAP device as a breathing interruption, so at the very least, it may show up as an apnea event in the data log, depending on its duration.
In terms of events, the ones to pay attention to are the Apnea events (both obstructed and clear airway) and the hypopnea events. Those are what contribute to your AHI reading. The snore readings are a possible indication that your pressure might be too low, but can otherwise be ignored. Unless you get _lots_ of periodic breathing events, you can safely ignore those as well. With an auto-CPAP device, a flow rate event is the device sensing, based on the shape of the flow rate curve, that an apnea event might be forthcoming. Totally and completely ignore anything that happens in periods that you know you are awake.
Keep researching, and you'll soon get up to speed with this stuff. Believe it or not, two months ago, I had no idea what a hypopnea event was and had never even heard of SleepyHead.