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Mask leakage
Mask leakage
I've been using my Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset for over a year with AHI down to 2, from 33 before cpap.  But for the past month or so mask leakage has increased dramatically.  I've used both AirFit F20 and AirTouch F20 cushions with the same problem occurring.    My flow range is set 6.4 to 20 cmH20.  But actual flow runs around 9 to 10, sometimes up to 12 during apneas.  It never gets near 20, so I don't think high flow is causing the leakage.  I finally went to my RT and he switched me to an F&P Vitera mask which I've had about ten days now.  I work with it during the day to get just the right strap positions for a great seal.  When I go to bed it feels great with a solid seal.  But within an hour it starts with small momentary leaks, then develops into large noisy leaks than wake up me and my wife every half hour or so.  If I shut off the cpap and remove the mask for a few minutes, it's fine again but soon the whole leak scenario repeats.  After several nights of this I feel sleep-deprived, and my AHI is also creeping back up between 5 and 7.  I tried using a cloth mask liner but it made the leakage much worse. Suggestions are welcome!  Oh btw I am a side sleeper.
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RE: Mask leakage

Here are a few options for you...

1-The pillow

He, my girlfriend is using a travel pillow instead of a conventional one. That way, there is nothing touching the mask or pushing against it sideways. Also, she can turn from one side to the other without a problem. Sometimes, she puts it flat on the bed and some other, she snaps it around her neck. I suggest you try both.

With a regular pillow, she had to put her head at the edge of the pillow for the mask to be over empty space. The problem was when turning to the other side. Either the mask ended in the pillow and pushed aside or she had to move much more to reach the opposite edge.

2-Initial seal

She likes to have a strong pression from the instant she puts her mask on. But there is another benefit to that : she seals her mask at an already high pressure. As such, when therapy starts, there is not a significant increase in pression. If you go from 4 to 12, that is a 300% figure. You say you are mostly around 9 - 10, so you could adjust your ramp at 9 and your minimum at 9.4 (per your profile).

3-Mask cleaning

You did not mentioned anything about that, but it can be a problem. Be sure to clean the mask often. It will help a lot with the seal.

Good luck with any (all?) of them.
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RE: Mask leakage
Thanks, Heracles.  Your reply reminded me that I had not updated my profile to current settings.
Pillow - I will try sleeping on the edge of pillow or getting a travel pillow.
Pressure - Great thought.  It's going back to 9 for start pressure.
Cleaning - Yes, the cushion gets a thorough cleaning every morning.  Which brings up another question - cleaning the tubing.  I've been reluctant to clean the tubing as recommended because I don't know how to get it dry inside after having water in it.
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RE: Mask leakage

Trying to follow what you said.

You been using cpap for a year, with AirFit F20 and AirTouch F20, started getting leakage.

RT switched to F&P Vitera mask that is having leaks.

If you were ok initially and eventually started getting leaks, maybe the masks needed replacing and not a different type of mask.

I agree with Heracles on the higher pressure.

When you are testing your mask during the day are you laying down.

Do you think you open your mouth and maybe this break the cushion seal?
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RE: Mask leakage

My insurance provides new cushion every month, complete mask every 3 months, and headgear and tubing every 6 months.  I replace them when provided, so nothing gets old or worn out.  Also the cushion gets a thorough cleaning daily.

When testing and adjusting during the day, I try it in all positions, standing, sitting, twisting and lying down.  But not lying down long enough for the leaks to start as they do every night.

While lying awake, I am able to open my mouth, even talk, without breaking the seal.
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RE: Mask leakage
I had an Air Sense 10 with P10 for the past 7 years and just received an Air Sense 11. I discovered OSCAR around a month ago and noticed that I have had a lot of leaks for quite awhile. So, I started logging what time I awake and what side I'm on. I also started to pay attention to position of mask and pillow when I'd hear leaking. The P10 has a metal strut that projects out the sides and are attached to head gear. I found that I had been laying on the pillow with edge near my ear and the strut was not supported. So, I've conscientiously made sure that the edge of the pillow is close to where the mask and strut join. This has dramatically reduced me leaks. Strangely I see a cluster of leaks around two hours after I fall asleep and often wake up shortly after. So, something is going on, but my AHI is averaging around 1.

Best wishes
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RE: Mask leakage
Hi, dkemp234  I only clean my hose every two or three weeks.  I try to do that early in the day, swing the ends to get out some of the water, and hang it up to dry.  There will still be some drops of water inside when I reconnect it for use that night, but it will be completely dry by morning as a result of the hours of pressurized air rushing through.   Smile
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RE: Mask leakage
The headgear stretches over time and can be moved around axially on the head during sleep, particularly with relaxing sags or turning over. I use a different mask, the N20, but I have to continually adjust the 'fit' every few weeks from the time I first use the mask.  Eventually, the material resists elasticity and the fit becomes more permanent.
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RE: Mask leakage
Thanks withtao!
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RE: Mask leakage
Thanks lucid.  I'm using your tubing cleaning method starting today.

Thanks mesenteria.  I had suspicions about the headgear stretching.  It's frustrating when a great fit deteriorates into a leakage problem.
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