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[Treatment] Seeking Advice On Treating My Sleep Apnea
#1
Hi, I'm a man in his 20's who was diagnosed a few months ago with severe sleep apnea. Since then I've been getting CPAP treatment. I have tried a lot of different masks (they all have pros and cons) but couldn't fall asleep most of the time with any of them. Initially I thought it was because they were leaky, however once I learned how to effectively seal them and even wearing sleeping mask and googles I could still feel air moving over my right eye which really irritates it and keeps me awake. I believe now (although my ENT doctor isn't sure) that the air is moving inside into my right eye and not from outside leaks. I tried eye gels but those wear off pretty fast and I feel the irritation to my eye. Only nasal pillows seem not to irritate my eye. However those make my ears pop constantly and it becomes painful when my machine ramps up to higher pressures so I can't fall asleep with those. I tried full face masks as well and they seem not to irritate my eye, however the company that makes them only makes them in large and small, no medium, so neither of them fit my face well and always sprang large leaks. My ENT referred me for a second opinion to another doctor on getting surgery to try to fix the apnea. However it doesn't have a high success rate (at best 50%) and I would appreciate any advice on finding a sleep apnea treatment that works. I would rather not resort to surgery if I don't have to and if it doesn't work it is back to CPAP anyway. Any advice on dealing with my irritated eye, or with avoiding ear pops with my nasal pillows, or a different sort of full face mask, or any other advice is appreciated.
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#2
Hi ark345,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I just encourage you to stick with CPAP therapy.
Sometimes it takes MANY different masks 'til you find the one that's right for you, so don't give up on the therapy just yet.
I would avoid the surgery because, as you pointed out, more than likely, you would have to go back to CPAP therapy anyway, so it would be better if you could just get used to it now. Your PATIENCE is required, the mask can be the hardest part of this whole thing.
Best of luck and hang in there for more suggestions.
trish6hundred
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#3
ark345, I agree with Trish, I have never heard of anyone that has successully been treated by surgery. From what I have heard from people that have had it done is that is is a very painful operation and they have had to go back to CPAP after it anyway. It is was successful why won't all of us have it done? The masks situation is difficult because we all have different sized faces and no one mask fits all. I use a full face mask and two of my suggestions to new users are, use mask liners and have the hose coming from above your head not by your side. Unfortunately you just have to keep trying masks until you find one that suits you and stick with it, good luck with your journey.
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#4
Avoid the surgery. Instead of being referred to a ENT surgeon ask to be referred to a sleep doctor.

There are a variety of equipment suppliers (DME's) out there. If the one you're using now can't fit you with a mask that fits, find another one that will. Your insurance company can give you a list of DME's.

There's no reason why nasal pillows should make your ears pop more than a nasal mask. You might want to talk to your doctor about lowering your pressure for a while until you can adapt to the higher pressures.

Not sure which ResMed machine you have. The more detail you give us by listing it in your profile the better we'll be able to advise you.
Sleepster
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#5
(05-19-2013, 04:19 PM)ark345 Wrote: I have tried a lot of different masks (they all have pros and cons) but couldn't fall asleep most of the time with any of them. Initially I thought it was because they were leaky, however once I learned how to effectively seal them and even wearing sleeping mask and googles I could still feel air moving over my right eye which really irritates it and keeps me awake. I believe now (although my ENT doctor isn't sure) that the air is moving inside into my right eye and not from outside leaks.

Hi ark345, welcome to the forum!

I use a FFM and always have leaks near my eyes unless I use a mask liner (RemZzzs Large size for FFM, can be re-used for maybe a week) or a RedMed Gecko gel nose pad ($16 from Supplier #2, can be re-used for maybe 2 or 3 months; store it in original plastic container it came in).

I suggest trying these before you conclude the leak is internal rather than a mask leak.

Very important that mask straps be adjusted to have equal length on top two straps. (And bottom two straps should have same length as each other.)

Take care,
--- Vaughn
Membership in the Advisory Member group should not be understood as in any way implying medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment. The Advisory Member group provides advice and suggestions to Apnea Board administrators and staff on matters concerning Apnea Board operation and administrative policies - not on matters concerning treatment for Sleep Apnea. I think it is now too late to change the name of the group but I think Voting Member group would perhaps have been a more descriptive name for the group.
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#6
Hello, I appreciate the replies, I am digesting them and hope to have responses in a few days. For my equipment, I am using a Resmed S9-H5i. For masks, I have used probably around 10 so far, various types and sizes. I was diagnosed at 30 apnea events/hour and I'm being treated at 15 cm H20. I hope this information helps.
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#7
Which S9 do you use? It will tell you which one right by the on/off button.

Escape
Escape Auto
Autoset
Elite

H5i is the humidifier's name.

I think a lot of us go through a ton of masks before we find the right one. So we understand the frustration. Stick with it! That machine is useless without a mask you feel motivated to use.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.




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#8
(05-19-2013, 04:19 PM)ark345 Wrote: Hi, I'm a man in his 20's who was diagnosed a few months ago with severe sleep apnea. Since then I've been getting CPAP treatment. I have tried a lot of different masks (they all have pros and cons) but couldn't fall asleep most of the time with any of them. Initially I thought it was because they were leaky, however once I learned how to effectively seal them and even wearing sleeping mask and googles I could still feel air moving over my right eye which really irritates it and keeps me awake. I believe now (although my ENT doctor isn't sure) that the air is moving inside into my right eye and not from outside leaks. I tried eye gels but those wear off pretty fast and I feel the irritation to my eye. Only nasal pillows seem not to irritate my eye. However those make my ears pop constantly and it becomes painful when my machine ramps up to higher pressures so I can't fall asleep with those. I tried full face masks as well and they seem not to irritate my eye, however the company that makes them only makes them in large and small, no medium, so neither of them fit my face well and always sprang large leaks. My ENT referred me for a second opinion to another doctor on getting surgery to try to fix the apnea. However it doesn't have a high success rate (at best 50%) and I would appreciate any advice on finding a sleep apnea treatment that works. I would rather not resort to surgery if I don't have to and if it doesn't work it is back to CPAP anyway. Any advice on dealing with my irritated eye, or with avoiding ear pops with my nasal pillows, or a different sort of full face mask, or any other advice is appreciated.

Avoid the surgery if at all possible. Success rates are low, and surgeons define "success" differently from you. Side effects are high. Cost, pain, and effort is high. You often find you will still need CPAP later as you age. Some surgeons are "chop happy" and are way too willing to cut on you.

Ask your ENT if he thinks air is getting into your eye through the nasolacrimal duct.

Nasolacrimal leak problems can be eliminated with the right mask.

A total face mask that covers your eyes as well as the the nose and mouth. Since the pressure on your eyes is the same as that in your nose, air won't leak through the nasolacrimal duct. It's sort of big and ugly, but some people love theirs.

The Oracle oral mask goes into your mouth like a SCUBA mouthpiece. You need to train yourself to use it without nose plugs or nose clips. If you can do this, there will be no air pressure inside your nose, just in your mouth and throat. This will eliminate both nasolacrimal duct and it won't put pressure in your ears.

I found the Oracle mask uncomfortable to use. It dried out my throat too much, even with humidification. I found it disturbing to not breathe through my nose. I didn't have any problem adjusting to not breathing through my nose, however. You do need a humidifier if you use it.

You should absolutely try one of these masks before getting apnea surgery. If the mask doesn't work for you, you're out a few bucks. If the surgery doesn't work, you may suffer side effects for the rest of your life.

Look at Supplier #1 on the suppliers list at the top of the page for pictures and prices for these masks. Buy one out of pocket if necessary to avoid surgery.
Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
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#9
I have shared your eye irritation problem for all of the 10 years I have used a C-Pap. The only way I have been able to deal with it has been my own make-shift improvisation. Finding commercial eye masks too bulky,I cut a trapezoid shaped piece of thin nylon from an old undergarment. I place this over my eyes and hold it in place with the C-pap mask's straps. It's not perfect but it has been the only way I've been able to protect my eyes. I agree that the eye gels do not help much.
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#10
(05-25-2013, 05:09 PM)Thunderwoman Wrote: I cut a trapezoid shaped piece of thin nylon from an old undergarment. I place this over my eyes and hold it in place with the C-pap mask's straps.
I don,t get eyes irritation but use something similar to block lights
Take couple sheets of tissues paper, fold twice into strip and place the same way
Another strip place between my chin and chinstrap to keep cool



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