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Trying To Get My Nasal Mask To Work
#1
Trying To Get My Nasal Mask To Work
Are there any tips to getting used to nasal masks? I tried the P10 last night for a while and just and could not do it after many attempts. I finally had to switch back to my F20. I found that I kept wanting to open my mouth ever so slightly even though I taped my mouth. As soon as my mouth opened just a little, even being taped, the pressure just leaked out my mouth. Are you supposed to use lower pressures with nasal masks? I set my AirSense 11 to the pillow setting.

I am new to CPAP - been using it for 19 days now. My original mask is the F20 and I have had very good luck with it so far with minimal leaks, low AHI and I find it very easy to breath with it. I really don't have any issues breathing through my nose and read that the nasal masks are the way to go if you don't have any nasal breathing issues. Maybe I am just not made for a nasal mask? Any tips or advise?
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#2
RE: Trying To Get My Nasal Mask To Work
Hang in there! I use a nasal mask with min. pressure 11.2 and do ok. I still get leaks but probably from me tossing and turning. The hardest part of my journey was training myself to breath through the nose and keep my mouth shut. But now I’m at 100% closed mouth all night.
It sounds like your doing the right thing with the tape. Training the body and mind can be frustrating but eventually it will come.
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#3
RE: Trying To Get My Nasal Mask To Work
I find changing masks really difficult lately.

I used to go to my trusted DME supplier and ask if I could try what they recommend.
Along the way I've found that they don't check size carefully. Some of the trust is gone.

I've read reviews here. And other sites.

I hope this helps.

It's difficult.

Dave
DaveL
compliant for 35 years /// Still learning!



I'm just a cpap user like you. I don't give medical advice. Seek the advice of a physician before seeking treatment for medical conditions including sleep apnea. Sleep-well

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#4
RE: Trying To Get My Nasal Mask To Work
What I don't like about the N20 is the minor gap at the top portion of the mask. I really have no idea why it was designed that way. I easily get leaks from that area. If that were to change, I would take the N20 over the Wisp. The problem with the Wisp is that the structure gets flattened too easily. N20 has a more stiff mask structure to keep the mask positioned better for nasal air intake. The leak is the big problem preventing me from usage.

If you open your mouth even the slightest, I couldn't recommend nasal masks (unless tape can fix this). I can use nasal mask because I don't open my mouth.

The real issue is that my mouth can be pushed to be open at high enough pressure. At a high enough pressure, I get mouth leaks. Which means my lips arn't closed strongly enough. I can't go higher than 8.4-8.6. You may have a pressure threshold that will cause air to push out of your mouth.

This is one reason and another is why I can't use APAP mode. I have my machine set to flat pressure mode, or CPAP mode setting.

Pressure doesn't mean you are getting good air intake. Pressure is just a value on the machine for what it is set to. Air intake is the most important thing in therapy. There a bit of variables for air intake differences. The mask, filter, etc..
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#5
RE: Trying To Get My Nasal Mask To Work
I posted earlier....I didn't do a good job.

I wanted to have a back-up mask in case of problems. First try was a full face mask since I use a Knightsbridge Dual Band cap, or another t type of chin strap, and/or a pad under my jaw to keep it from dropping.

Now I have a mark on my nose. I *think* it's from the ResMed N20 mask I've used for a long while.

I found a good deal on a ResMed N30i mask. i haven't been able to get AHI below 5 until this week. First was 3.6. Next night was 0.6 using a home made soft cervical collar I made myself.

Hidden lesson---I needed to be persistent. (First trial with a borrowed mask....I put it on in the middle of the night. Put my apap on and slept for a few hours. I hadn't adjusted the velcro strap on the back of the mask. My AHI was 43! I did try that one again and again...first AHI was 14.2; second was 9.8....
DaveL
compliant for 35 years /// Still learning!



I'm just a cpap user like you. I don't give medical advice. Seek the advice of a physician before seeking treatment for medical conditions including sleep apnea. Sleep-well

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#6
RE: Trying To Get My Nasal Mask To Work
It took me over a year to be able to switch to using a nasal mask. I started with a full-face mask, or a hybrid one, the one with the mask under the nose and covering the mouth area. Over time, the stuffy nose went away, so did the sore feeling throat in the morning, the snoring and I started to breathe through the nose more as it became clear. It was actually really hard in the beginning. A couple of months ago I bought a nasal mask, just out of curiosity to try a different mask. Couldn't breathe with it. Then a couple of weeks ago I tried again, and this time it worked. I have been able to use it ever since without issues. I don't tape my mouth or use a collar. I consciously stick the tongue to the roof of the mouth. My mouth stays closed at night.
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#7
RE: Trying To Get My Nasal Mask To Work
You must use the back of your tongue to keep air out of your mouth and from inflating your cheeks. Lift the back of the tongue against the palate.

I can't manage to keep my lips and jaw shut all night, so I have to tape.  But as soon as I relax, my cheeks inflate.  This happens when I am asleep, so I don't care.  

I do get some leaking near the apex of the N20 nasal cushion, but a shift of the headgear takes care of that, or adjusting my head position on the pillow will.  Getting a bit of air flitting across my eyelashes will keep me awake, and annoyed, so I deal with it right away.  It works for me.


Experiment with pillow position, pillow type even (I use a down-filled pillow), wiggle the headgear around your head to get a better mask/cushion fit.

It may sound drastic, but you CAN get used to just about anything.  You must persist, learn to relax, learn to trust that some things are truly innocuous.   There are worse things than inflated cheeks.
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#8
RE: Trying To Get My Nasal Mask To Work
I think the issue is when we are in REM sleep our muscles relaxes, and cause leakage. Although I think the tongue position advice being the best there is, It doesn't work for me at a certain pressure level.

Even with tape, if air leaks to my mouth to cause puffy cheeks, I wake up. I have woken up multiple occasion per sleep session due to this, and I can't get quality REM sleep due to this.

My solution was to keep a fixed pressure that doesn't push air when my muscles relax. Not for everybody, but it works for me since I can get away with fixed lower pressures like 8-8.6

I seem to be sensitive to pressure fluctuations. Therefore, I cannot use auto set that oscillate pressure up and down. It causes multiple awakening throughout the night. This is something companies should look into and research to find solutions to help with quality sleep. Because CPAP comes with so many problems.

And also, it seems the machine isn't the best at recognizing what best constitutes as flow limitations. It's definitions are kinda sketchy. Therefore, I don't trust the auto set. I've gotten better sleep with fixed pressure settings than 1.5 year of miserable sleep with auto set.
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#9
RE: Trying To Get My Nasal Mask To Work
@CorruptAlligator

I've seen videos on youtube from 2 people that suggest the same thing. Varying pressures/osciallating pressure/flow limitations.

I'm grateful. I'm using the S10 autosense for her machine suggested to me here.
DaveL
compliant for 35 years /// Still learning!



I'm just a cpap user like you. I don't give medical advice. Seek the advice of a physician before seeking treatment for medical conditions including sleep apnea. Sleep-well

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#10
RE: Trying To Get My Nasal Mask To Work
I hope the Original Poster is getting help from these suggestions. I'll watch these to see if he responds.

OP my story isn't important. However, the people here have helped me far more than anyone else in the over 35 years I've been treated for severe sleep apnea.
DaveL
compliant for 35 years /// Still learning!



I'm just a cpap user like you. I don't give medical advice. Seek the advice of a physician before seeking treatment for medical conditions including sleep apnea. Sleep-well

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