* is a common problem for CPAP and bilevel therapy users.
* is commonly caused by chronic nasal disease
* is usually intermittent
* can be exacerbated by:
* causes high unidirectional airflow and prevents moist air from the lungs passing over the nasal mucosa. This results in mucosal drying, nasal congestion, and flu-like symptoms on awaking in the morning.
Is mouth leak a common problem for patients using CPAP therapy ?
Mouth leak is experienced by around 40% of CPAP users1,2,3
Is mouth leak a common problem for patients using bilevel therapy?
Mouth leak is experienced by almost all bilevel users1,2,3
Increased nasal symptoms can worsen OSA and lead to increased nasal airway resistance. This in turn leads to further mouth breathing, thus perpetuating the cycle.
The result is loss of therapy effectiveness, loss of comfort, and disrupted sleep4 – all of which can lead to loss of compliance, and ultimately loss of patients on therapy.
What makes a full face mask a good solution to mouth breathing and mouth leak?
A full face mask covers both the nose and mouth so that effective therapy can be delivered even in the presence of mouth breathing and leak.
This makes it different to a nasal mask.
Many people may need to use a full face mask all of the time. Others may find they only need it from time to time as an alternative to their nasal mask.
Full face masks are just one of a range of solutions that we offer to help you identify and manage mouth leak
What criteria should I consider before prescribing a full face mask for a patient?
Take a few minutes to ask all patients these questions:
1- Do you often wake up with a dry mouth and/or throat?
2- Do you tend to breathe through your mouth (rather than your nose)?
3- Do you suffer from allergies or hay fever?
4- Do you have a blocked nose/congestion at certain times of the year?
5- Have you ever had a broken nose?
6- Do you have a deviated septum?
7- Have you had previous nasal surgery?
8- Are you currently using any nasal therapy or medication?
In addition, for patients already using therapy with a nasal mask:
* Are you continuing to snore even when using therapy?
* Do you use a chin strap with therapy?
* Is leak indicated by your flow generator data?
Patients who answer YES to one or more questions may benefit from using a full face mask.
Prescribing a full face mask can prevent patients from suffering mouth leaks and loss of therapy. They are less likely to return with problems, and more likely to be satisfied and compliant with therapy.
1 Richards et al. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1996 Jul;154(1):182-186
2 Lojander et al. Acta Otolaryngol 1999;119(4):497-502
3 Meyer et al. Sleep 1999 Jul; 20(7):561-9
4 Teschler et al. Eur Respir J 1999 Dec; 14(6):1251-1257