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The truth about leaks...
#1
Hi Everyone,
I am struggling a little with leaks and over the short time I have been on CPAP (less than a month) I have found this to be the greatest problem.
But, am I chasing the impossible? I am thinking that I should be able to get the leaks down to zero but is that possible? Can that be done?
I know that Sleepyhead gives you an acceptable level of leaks but do you believe that something over that level is ok?
Now for the main reason for the new thread. Can you all list every trick you have ever tried to reduce leaks. I, for one, would find that invaluable.
I have tried liners for two nights but that has been a bit of a disaster. I will not stop trying but look forward to your "tricks of the trade".
Thanks,
Don
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Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
Thomas A. Edison



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#2
I am also interested in this topic - especially how worried one should be about smallish leaks as shown in Sleepyhead. Sometimes I drive myself crazy when i hear or feel a small hiss in the middle of the night, and am wondering if that is counterproductive.
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#3
Small leaks shouldn't be a problem. The machine will compensate and maintain the correct pressure. For me the problem is that small leaks tended to become large leaks as more time passed. Or the small leak would wake me up. Nasal pillows (and now a dreamwear mask) were my best solution.
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#4
I used the Simplus for several months. My first reaction to leaks was to tighten the straps and this turned out to be exactly the wrong thing to do. Most if not all FFM are meant to "float" on the silicon seal, it will inflate to conform to your face.

I put the straps on fairly loose, just tight enough to keep the mask from sliding off my face. I then turn on the air flow and slowly pull the mask away from my face letting the silicon gasket expand and fill the gap. This is like 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch. I then let go and it "floats" on the thin flap of silicon.

If the leak was at the top I would then pull the mask towards my chin.

I have since changed to the Amara View because with the Simplus I always had trouble getting a good seal around the top of my nose and the pressure there made me feel congested.

One trick I have found is that you have to make very small adjustments. You don't just undo the Velcro and yank. The sweet spot for me takes 1/8" adjustment and over tightening is NOT your friend.

I also leave the straps alone and just reseat the mask a lot, I can now tell when it is right (zero resistance to breathing) and when it's wrong (anything else)

This is not a painters mask or dust mask, it is under pressure and you have to practice and learn what works
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#5
Leaks can drive you crazy at times, but I wouldn’t worry about minor leaks unless they are blowing into your eyes, whistling or you have the good old face farts that you can get with a full face mask.

What you want to do is keep the leaks low. No one has ZERO leaks. The lowest I got was a max leak rate of 2 lpm. But you do want to keep them below 24 lpm after that the machine has a hard time picking up on events and you will not get a true reading. Leaks could also cause your APAP to also have runaway pressure.

The point is to control the leaks so the treatment is working for you.
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#6
(10-28-2015, 07:22 AM)DonC Wrote: Hi Everyone,
I am struggling a little with leaks and over the short time I have been on CPAP (less than a month) I have found this to be the greatest problem.
But, am I chasing the impossible? I am thinking that I should be able to get the leaks down to zero but is that possible? Can that be done?
I know that Sleepyhead gives you an acceptable level of leaks but do you believe that something over that level is ok?
Now for the main reason for the new thread. Can you all list every trick you have ever tried to reduce leaks. I, for one, would find that invaluable.
I have tried liners for two nights but that has been a bit of a disaster. I will not stop trying but look forward to your "tricks of the trade".
Thanks,
Don

Are the leaks that you are battling leaks that you can sense or leaks that show up only on Sleepyhead or ResScan?

Best Regards,

PaytonA
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#7
(10-28-2015, 07:22 AM)DonC Wrote: Can you all list every trick you have ever tried to reduce leaks. I, for one, would find that invaluable.

That sounds like an idea for the WIKI. Hmm.. let's see, whom do we have as a WIKI editor?
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#8

Are the leaks that you are battling leaks that you can sense or leaks that show up only on Sleepyhead or ResScan?

Best Regards,

PaytonA
[/quote]

Thanks Crappy & WOIL - I feel that I am getting a better handle on what is acceptable and what is not. But, everybody, please keep the ideas for preventing leaks coming as they will definitely be useful to somebody.

PeytonA - Last night a vast majority of the leaks only showed up on Sleeepyhead but there were two occasions when they created enough noise to wake me up. Unfortunately my wife says that the whole night was pretty noisy. She is really supporting me through this.

PoolQ - I have to admit that on other nights I have been a little frustrated and my adjustments might have been a bit over the top. Great post I will remember your advice.

DonC

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
Thomas A. Edison



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#9
Also with leaks don't forget head position on the pillow. When I sleep on my side I am always at the sides of the pillow with the mask hanging over the edge to keep it from being pushed sideways

And a hose hanger is a great idea if you don't already have one, they are at all the usual places on the web. I use one that gets pinched between the top and bottom mattress with a thin pole that extends up with a crook at the top. There is a beaded loop that the hose goes through.
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#10
I will tell you that what you see on the leak chart are not always leaks. I have no actual proof of this but what I can glean of Resmed's method for determining unintentional leaks and what I see on my charts make me quite sure this is true.

Whenever the chart shows a leak that spikes quickly, I look at the flow rate chart and 80%-90% of the time there is a spike there too. Another telling observation is that the leak rate statistics in Sleepyhead are almost always higher than in ResScan. I feel quite certain that Resmed has seen this anomaly and has instituted a filter that throws out what it detects as fliers.

As far as fixing leaks that you can feel, I will get to that later. as far as fixing leaks that you see in the data but do not feel, my experience has been that it always has to do with my mouth. The last experience was recently. I use a ffm that kept my leaks quite low for a long while. Then all of a sudden my leaks got worse. Not real bad just worse. I tried undoing any changes that I had made. Didn't work. I tried a number of other things. No joy. I finally purchased a chin strap to wear with my ffm and presto amazo leaks are back down to insignificant for the most part.

Ta for now.

Best Regards,

PaytonA
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