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What type of mask?
Hi everyone. I am new to the world of CPAP machines and have just discovered this forum. It seems full of useful information. Perhaps someone can help me.
I am currently trialling various machines with a view to buying one. I have been using one brand of auto CPAP with a nasal mask. I have also been using a chin strap because my mouth drops open during sleep.
A couple of days ago my clinician made three changes to my equipment. She gave me (to try) a Resmed S9 with a slighter larger nasal mask and increased the pressure from 9 to 10. Last night, in spite of increasing the chin strap pressure, my mouth dropped open thereby reducing the effectiveness of treatment - as well as making it rather noisy for my wife.
As it is now the Christmas break, I can't get in touch with my clinician for some days, so I have reduced the pressure from 10 back to 9, in case this was contributing to the problem - but I was wondering if I need to go down the full face mask route. Does this make any sense? I have never seen a full face mask, but the idea does not appeal because it is nice to have the freedom to talk and/or cough if need be. I would appreciate any comments.
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(12-22-2012, 01:40 AM)Lazybiro Wrote: Hi everyone. I am new to the world of CPAP machines and have just discovered this forum. It seems full of useful information. Perhaps someone can help me.

Hello Lazybiro
WELCOME! to the forum.!

I use a full face mask but it is because I need to due to having chronic severe nasal congestion.
Makes me a mouth breather.

You are right about a full face mask being more cumbersome & impedes your view but it is very quiet & you do get used to it.

I have not had to deal with a chin strap so there may be members here that could shed some light on your situation.

Hang in there is hard at first I think you will end up with alot of great advise

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Does your mouth stay open throughout the night? If not, it may be worthwhile to stick with the chinstrap or try a different one. My mouth used to open for 30-45 minutes at a time, once or twice per night, according to the leak data from my machine. The ResMed chinstrap didn't work for me, so I switched to a PureSom Ruby chinstrap, which has a strap over the top of the head and another in back of the head.

The chinstrap is really a training aid to remind you to keep your mouth closed, not something designed to physically hold your mouth closed. After using one for about three months I wanted to try two new masks but I was unable to use a chinstrap with them due to the design of the masks. I found that I no longer needed the chinstrap.
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Thank you dcgrafix and big_dave. I should clarify a point. My long-suffering wife has corrected me. It is not that my mouth drops open - it is rather that I get the lip-flutters. I guess the chin-strap can't fix this - so it will either be a full face mask - or duct tape!
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I use Activa LT nasal mask and Seatec chinstrap and find this combo works for me
everyone is different. not necessary works for someone else

some manage train their tongue stay pressed to top of the mouth so it form a seal and prevent air escaping thru the mouth

are you checking the data on the machine? .. AHI and leak

your profile listing not sure about humidifier ... use it, if you have it
adding moisture would help with mouth not drying out

Edit: just noticed location ... Australia
FYI: US on-line prices are much cheaper than our local rip-off prices
if you wanted to save $$$ run to Supplier #2 also check #10 (see suppliers list)
order masks and spare cushions and hoses so you save on shipping costs
machine are multi-voltage, you need power plug adapter or get an S8 power cord from cpap australia (Supplier #13)
which you can use with the S9 Autoset power brick

supplier list
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I am new to this business. My GP sent me to a sleep specialist who arranged an overnight sleep study in hospital. I believe my AHI was 41. The specialist said I would benefit from a CPAP machine and sent me to a local technician to be fitted up with all the right gear. For a flat fee, she works with me over a 6 week period (lending me CPAP machines, masks, etc.) to determine the appropriate equipment for my needs. At the end of this time, it is up to me to either continue to rent or to buy. At this point I feel obliged to buy from her, but in the future when I know a bit more about it all, I will be free to buy on line - perhaps after reference to the knowledge on this forum.

I understand my medical insurance will cover nearly all the cost - of the initial setup anyway. Judging by the posts on this forum it is much better than the American system which appears to pay a flat fee direct to the provider - resulting in the provider recommending the cheapest machine.

It seems the machines have cut the events back to a very acceptable number, but more fining tuning is in order. Mask leaks have never been a problem and yes, I am using a humidifier. At around the 3rd or 4th week I was feeling much better for it. I think the AHI was about 6. But this is the fifth week and, with a new machine, new mask and pressure raised from 9 to 10, I think I might be going backwards. I am feeling tired and suffering from the lip flutters last night. Last night I think the AHI was about 8. Hence the reason for my original question about going to a full face mask.
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(12-22-2012, 02:49 AM)Lazybiro Wrote: It is not that my mouth drops open - it is rather that I get the lip-flutters. I guess the chin-strap can't fix this - so it will either be a full face mask - or duct tape!

Duct tape is not recommended!

Please understand that these problems such as lip fluttering often resolve themselves with a bit of time. It's amazing how our bodies and minds are able to adjust and adapt to things like CPAP therapy. Give it some time.

Make sure your chinstrap is not slipping off. If it is there are other types designed to remedy this particular problem.

If you do have to go to a full face mask, an alternative is hybrid masks.

Just be patient and allow yourself some time to adjust to CPAP therapy. You're lucky to be doing so well. Many of us had lots of problems when we started.

Another thing you should do is make sure you have a good data-capable CPAP machine. Let us know the make and model number. Without the ability to collect AHI and leak data there's no way to determine the effectiveness of your therapy.
Apnea Board Moderator

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I have the nose issue as well. Not enough airflow and the mouth gets used for breathing.
So, I just went right into the full face mask bit.
It has been hard to find one that is comfortable and also does not leak!
The Zzz-mask holds pressure well but is NOT nice to wear.
The Devilbis is nice and comfy but pops leaks if your mouth opens any great amount.
Now I'm on the Respironics FullLife. Seals well and runs quietly.
It needs to be squeeky clean though or it starts doing zerberts on your cheeks.
(wash daily!)
Except for it pressing into the bridge of my nose its quite comfortable.
I can just add some bandaids to the sore spots and that should do it.

You mileage, of course, may vary.

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Hi Lazybiro and WELCOME! to the forum.!
The mask is the hardest part of CPAP therapy. It can take LOTS of PATIENCE.
Best of luck on finding just the right mask that works for you.
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(12-22-2012, 08:44 AM)Shastzi Wrote: Except for it pressing into the bridge of my nose its quite comfortable.
I can just add some bandaids to the sore spots and that should do it.

Hi Lazybiro, welcome to the forum!

My nose does not allow free breathing, so I am forced to be a nose breather. Had an operation to "reduce nasal turbinates" which helped maybe a little but not enough.

I like that the Mirage Quattro full face mask gives me a great dial for fine adjustment for how much pressure is on the bridge of my nose. I find I need to adjust for minimal pressure on the bridge of my nose, which would allow bothersome leaks around the eyes if I did not use the Gecko soft gel nasal pad.

Hi Shastzi,
I highly recommend the ResMed Gecko nasal pad, which is a super protector for the bridge of the nose and seals leaks around the eyes and nose, allowing leak-free fit without the mask being adjusted so tight that mask hurts bridge of nose.

Some insurances cover a new nasal pad monthly, but I can get 6 months use out of one Gecko. It is a soft gel pad which is easy to stretch into whatever shape I need. Can be washed with mild soap. To keep it clean when not in use, I save the clear plastic container it comes in and put it back in there each morning after washing and rinsing well.

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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