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chipmunk cheeks /other frustrations
chipmunk cheeks /other frustrations
I had been doing well.    I changed  from a full face mask (F20 airtouch) to a nasal mask (N20 airtouch)  last February.   I had to tape my mouth but I had few leaks, was sleeping better, and low AHIs.  I started with somnifix strips but then I had to add silicone tape, and eventually I'm just using  2 inch silicone tape.  However, the tape doesn't prevent mouth leaks all night, so...I have to get up and re-tape/   or take off mask /  sleep without CPAP/  until I wake up enough/ get smart enough/ to get up and re-tape mouth.    I have been having more morning headaches-  Imagine that!    Just a couple months ago, my sleep doctor said my sleep report was the best he had seen all morning.
I am having mouth leaks and chipmunk cheeks--are these related?   I can't find the things I have read on apnea board about chipmunk cheeks.  
Last night was my worst night--score-wise, and that doesn't count the time sleeping without my machine.  I will try to post the reports from last night and one from a few nights ago for comparison.   
Suggestions, anyone?

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RE: chipmunk cheeks /other frustrations
And I also seem to have some allergy challenges. We may still have smoke from wildfires somewhere.  I do not smell smoke.     I am using OTC measures--neti pot daily, cetirizine each evening,  nasal spray each evening, and sometimes sudafed PE and chlorpheniramine during the day.    We have an adjustable  bed.   Elevating head of bed seems to help some with nasal congestion and with the problem I had earlier with coughing and difficulty clearing my throat.
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RE: chipmunk cheeks /other frustrations
This is just a list of things to consider. It is not an indictment of you, your family, your home, your habits, your lifestyle...:

Bedding might be filled with mite carcasses and feces.  Dust mites and skin cells accumulate in the bedding, in the pillow, and in the mattress.  Even in rugs and towels.  You must change them, fumigate them, or sterilize them.  I'm not suggesting that this is so, only something to consider if you have never done so;

Mold/mildew.  It does happen in homes, especially if poorly ventilated/temperature controlled;

Food allergy, drug intolerance, late pollens.....any of these can cause your symptoms.

You might be sensitive to the adhesive used on your mouth tape.

As for tape, I have some suggestions:

Make sure your mouth is scrupulously clean and dry before you apply tape.  

Use tape at least one full inch wide.

Make sure your tape just covers the top lips, and that most of it covers the lower lip.  At least, that is how it works for my mouth's geometry.  Also, make sure it extends at least one CM beyond the corners of the mouth.  That location is a poor adhesion point.

Use 'water resistant' and 'easy to remove' tapes.  I use them, and they are still in place doing what I want them to do, when I awaken each morning.

Press the tape firmly over your mouth.  Hard presses with finger tips, all over the surface of the tape.  You will have to firm your lips for this.

3M seems to have recently discontinued the product I have been using for years.  It's their 'water resistant' NexCare white tape that comes in a white plastic spool. I don't even see it on their website, but I have started to use their 'strong hold, pain-free removal' tape, also an inch wide. It is a light blue colour. Catalog number: SST-1-CA.  It is much stickier, and is more difficult, or maybe 'slower', to remove is a better term.

The cheempunk cheeks are common to pretty much everyone who has a propensity to open their mouths and let their tongues sag.  The forced air enters the nose and will inflate the cheeks due to the pressure.  Believe it or not, I use it as a sign that I am beginning to cascade into sleep and at that point I turn onto my side and slip away.  I have gotten used to the sensation.  Try it.  Let your cheeks inflate when you are conscious and get used to the sensation.  Just like wearing a mask, with a dangly tangly hose, you will get used to the inflated cheeks.

Or, you could try to develop the knack of sucking your tongue up at the back of the throat, lifting it to cover the pathway.  This takes patience and perseverence, but eventually it becomes second nature.
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RE: chipmunk cheeks /other frustrations
Thank you, Mesenteria, for all the suggestions/ comments. I really appreciate your sharing all those things.
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RE: chipmunk cheeks /other frustrations
Another source of allergies that most people never think about is book mold. I used to keep books I was reading before nodding off, in the headboard of my bed. Usually older books. they sat on 2 shelves right above my head. I moved them and went digital, and some of my symptoms began going away.
Just a thought.
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