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What is an acceptable leak rate?
#1
What is an acceptable leak rate?
I'm still learning and adjusting to CPAP, I'm about 2 months in now. I'm not feeling any better, but understand it can take time. I use a nasal mask with my ResMed 11, and am concerned I may be mouth breathing some that is skewing my numbers. What is an acceptable amount of leaks? I've attached a sample report for reference. Thanks!


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#2
RE: What is an acceptable leak rate?
Each mask has it's designated "acceptable leak rate". The rate for the N20 mask is 24. Anything below 24 it's considered as getting proper therapy. As for me, I consider any leak unacceptable, basically speaking. The more I eliminated leaks, the better I slept. And the more I trusted the results I saw on Oscar. And that helped me to adjust pressures as needed. I'm a sensitive sleeper with lung issues -- My thought was that the extreme pressure changes were disturbing to my sleep, so I've tried to eliminate leaks.
But do note that I use a different machine than you do.
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#3
RE: What is an acceptable leak rate?
Thank you! I believe you, but 24 sounds like a high number. I'm staying below that, but agree it makes sense to keep leaks at a minimum. Thanks for the reply!
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#4
RE: What is an acceptable leak rate?
Resmed has determined that the pneumatic block (blower) it uses in their devices can withstand a leak rate of up to 24 L/min and still provide the necessary pressure and volume of air to provide adequate therapy.

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#5
RE: What is an acceptable leak rate?
Even though you're below 24 L/min, I'm still concerned that you might be mouth-leaking enough for it to disturb your sleep. You can try a chin strap (available from your equipment supplier) or a soft cervical collar. These can be used to keep your mouth closed, and in many cases are only needed temporarily as a training device.

But the best solution is a full face mask. When I switched to a full face mask there was a huge improvement in the way I felt during the day.
Sleepster

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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#6
RE: What is an acceptable leak rate?
The most important parts of my “system “ are the pillow, my collar, and then my mask, in that order. The slightest leak will wake me up. I can’t eliminate leaks but I can come close.
CPAP is a journey like “The Wizard of Oz”. It’s a long slow journey. You will face many problems and pick up many friends along the way. Just because you reach the poppies, it doesn’t mean you are in Kansas. 
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#7
RE: What is an acceptable leak rate?
When I went for the titration study they were really good at explaining masks and letting me try different ones. I tried 4 while I was there. I was determined to do the smallest mask possible but was very surprised I didn't like the nasal pillow mask. So I was open minded when trying the full face but I couldn't take it ...I felt very claustrophobic. They said I didn't need a chin strap but prescribed one anyhow just in case. I think I'll go ahead and order one. Thanks
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#8
RE: What is an acceptable leak rate?
(07-09-2022, 02:58 PM)Mysti Wrote: When I went for the titration study they were really good at explaining masks and letting me try different ones. I tried 4 while I was there. I was determined to do the smallest mask possible but was very surprised I didn't like the nasal pillow mask. So I was open minded when trying the full face but I couldn't take it ...I felt very claustrophobic. They said I didn't need a chin strap but prescribed one anyhow just in case. I think I'll go ahead and order one. Thanks

After you've spent some time adapting you may find that you can tolerate a full face mask much better.
Sleepster

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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#9
RE: What is an acceptable leak rate?
Unacceptable leaks:
  • if it wakes you or bed partner up 
  • if it is sufficiently high to compromise therapy (determining pressures, apnea type, flow limitations, etc). This starts at 24 L/M on ResMeds, other devices will have a similar threshhold at which point theray and measurements start to become compromised, though I've never seen the their threshold published.
  • if it contributes to excessive humidifier water use
  • if it contributes to dry mouth (mouth leak)


Leak rate is simply not the same between patients and therefore a hard value can't be easily quantified.

For some, the simple presence of a leak on OSCAR, an unhappy face icon or a MyAir score less than 100 bothers them more then the actual leak does.

If none of the unacceptable list is occuring, don't worry about it.
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