01-19-2016, 05:09 PM
(This post was last modified: 01-19-2016, 05:24 PM by usertc.)
So I've been using my CPAP since the end of October and it's going fairly well now. I've gotten over the feelings of claustrophobia, thank god! My AHI has dropped from 50/hr to 0.8 to 2/ hour. I've gradually been able to keep it on longer and longer and manage 6 or 7 hours a few nights per week, but still have several nights between 4 and 5 hrs per week, usually due to mask issues. And I still wake up several times a night to find it on the floor, regardless of which mask I use.
So first, I'm a side sleeper and I use a ton of pillows, including body pillows. After having a couple of back surgeries and a knee surgery, sleeping on my back just isn't going to happen. Keeping a good seal while sleeping on my side has been a real challenge.
I've tried several masks now including the amara view, dreamwear nasal pillow, pico, mirage fx and the F&P Eson. I couldn't get used to the amara view, especially since I couldn't yawn in it, which caused major feelings of claustrophobia. I tried the dreamwear nasal pillows and couldn't get a decent seal. Its very comfortable, but definitely not for side sleepers. I get the best results with the pico with a good seal, but often wake up with it on the floor, and I wake up with a big red line across the bridge of my nose that takes a couple of hours to go away. I love the frame on the mirage FX, which solves the red line on the nose problem, but the air vents drive me nuts because they blow right in my eyes, and the straps keep slipping out of the frame. I don't know why they made the strap holders so flimsy on it. The F&P just doesn't fit at all and I can't get a good seal no matter how tight I strap it on.
I really wish I could use the nasal part of the pico (air vents point away) on the frame of the Mirage, but they're not interchangeable.
Any suggestions? Should I keep trying masks, or just stick with the pico and suffer the dreaded red line on my nose?
Try a pillow such as the PAPillow. In addition to the different shape of the perimeter, pillows like this have a small footprint, but are thick. Good for letting your mouth and nose hang off the edge.
Also, try going back to some of those masks that previously didn't work for you. I found that as I adapted I was able to tolerate masks later that I couldn't earlier. For example, I started on a nasal mask but switched to nasal pillows because I couldn't get a good seal. I had to constantly clean off the oils from my skin. Now I tolerate a full face mask with no issues. As time passes things improve. It's gradual but it accumulates and adds up to a big difference.
Stop sleeping without the mask. It hinders the process, makes it harder to adapt, and increases the time it takes to adapt. Some people have to attach the straps with bobby pins. Also, the machine has an alarm feature that you can turn on so that an alarms sounds when the mask is removed.
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