I have never used a chin strap and I have never been able to get a full mask to work without significant leaking but I am beginning to wake with a dry mouth so I have very reluctantly added a chin strap and tape to my shopping list.
I'm still not sure if I will actually use it but I guess it's a smart move to have it on hand anyway.
I would try the tape only first. My wife gets away with only the tape and no chin strap.
I used the tape for a long time, but pretty much hated it. Came up with the idea of using a small cervical collar. It works great.
Generally a cervical collar is most helpful in resolving clusters of obstructive apnea events which occur due to a "contorted" neck position. The collar tends to correct that. I'm not sure how it would prevent mouth leaks though.
Ok Sierra thanks I just might try that.
Maybe I should get that pink CPAP with the pink headgear. It seems like your wife and I have a lot in common, well at least as far as CPAP is concerned. :)
Back to the subject on hand. Yes mouth taping might be a good idea! :O
Sierra, I held off for a long time using mouth taping as it seemed a bit extreme, but after reading your link and trying it out, it seems to work well. I'm also a mouth breather who found the nasal pillow mask the most comfortable to use. My original AHI from an in-house VA study was 15. I got it down to 2-4 using a chin strap, but couldn't get it lower because the corner of my mouth was still opening slightly. Now that I am using both the chin strap and mouth taping my AHI is usually less than 1. Thanks for the tip.
Sorry Bigly gremlin, didn't mean to steal your thread. Just wanted to 2nd Sierra on the advantages of mouth taping.
I can see how that might be the case. (The tape working better for women)
It's been a long time since I shaved regularly and the last time I shaved of an evening there were dinosaurs frolicking around outside.
So I was wondering if this tape might work better for me?
Super Stick Permanent Mouth Tape
It would resolve the stubble issues and help me lose weight too and it is kind of pinkish :)
Seriously. Don't try this at home! (Elastoplast)
Check out this video by a doctor. Just skip to the 2:40 mark. I think that is a little over the top...
New guy here. So is this tape just masking tape you tape over your mouth or some special tape for sleep apnea?
The tape I use is the one recommended by the dentist in the video. It is a 1" wide 3M Nexcare Gentle Paper tape. I buy it at Walmart for about $2.50 a roll in Canada.
I tried 1 1/2" plain masking tape last night as a test thinking it might stick better. I found it did not. The glue on the tape seems to soften with moisture and it lost the grip on my face. I wish I could find the Nexcare Gentle Paper tape in a wider size, but for now it seems to work the best of what I have tried.
I have been using 2" wide blue masking tape. It works very well and it is easy to remove. I used Johnson & Johnson paper tape for several years and found it to be much stickier than the blue masking tape. With both tapes it is important to wash with soap around your mouth to get the oil off so the tape will stick better.
My sleep apnea tech almost had a fit when I told her I was using tape because she said if you get sick and vomit, you could choke to death. I make sure I fold on end over about 1/8" for a "handle" to get it off easier.
I tried 1 1/2" plain masking tape last night as a test thinking it might stick better. I found it did not for me. The glue on the tape seems to soften with moisture and it lost the grip on my face. I wish I could find the Nexcare Gentle Paper tape in a wider size, but for now it seems to work the best of what I have tried. Have never tried the blue making tape, and perhaps it has better glue. I have never like the green painters masking tape, even for painting. It never seems to have enough stick to stay on.
Many consider taping to be dangerous and I have found it is both controversial and effective. The concept is to seal the lips to prevent air from escaping. It is not to keep the mouth closed. The tape I recommend is any tape intended for application to human skin. Why? because those tapes are the least likely to cause skin irritation. I am personally an advocate of taping.
Other solutions Mouth Breathing is when you open your mouth and the air pressure from your PAP is venting out your mouth typically showing on your charts as a large leak which can substantially negate the effectiveness of your therapy. It is generally not good. The solution varies depending on the person
With SleepyHead look at your Leak Rate graph where it is shaded (large leak/ LL), flat tops on this graph suggest mouth breathing. In SleepyHead right click on the left header of the Leak Rate graph and click on Dotted Lines then select "Leak Rate Upper Threshold" to get a line across the graph for ResMed. Manually set the value for Philips Respironics. Severity depends on how much over this threshold and for how long it is in the Large Leak territory.
How to manage Mouth Breathing, not in any particular order.
Tongue Trick. Place the tongue on the roof of the mouth, Practice during the daytime. The idea is to train the tongue that this is a good place to be, not overnight, but it works for some.
Cervical Collar. A "soft" Cervical Collar. This helps support and align the neck and keeps the jaw/mouth from dropping. This is becoming a very popular option. Rarely used prior to mid 2016. Users are posting a high success rate with this device. When OA tends to occur in clusters at different times of night. It's an indication that an obstruction may have occurred when the chin tucks towards the chest. It's common, and the solution is either an ergonomic pillow or soft cervical collar that prevents the neck and head from being out of alignment and cutting off the airway, but they can be comfortable, prevent leaks and prevent an airway from closing up due to tucking your chin to chest and other issues.
Fit: You are looking for a comfortable fit 2-inches larger than the circumference of your neck and just tall enough to support the jaw when your head falls out of alignment (measure your neck from collarbone to jaw and subtract 1". It's a very small investment that has worked very well for some people. More pressure may solve the obstruction, or it might go away with positional therapy.
Chin Strap. A chin strap is to manage mouth leaks from a variety of causes. Most result from the jaw dropping or opening either partially or wider. The chin strap is to gently keep the jaw closed. If you have to crank it shut to make it work this is not the correct solution. Note that your jaw is strong enough to open if it wants to. There is one chinstrap that is notably different than others, the Ultimate Chinstrap, Search for it if you desire.
Ergonomic Pillow or CPAP Pillow, The purpose being to maintain a proper head and neck alignment while allowing for the mask maintaing the seal in multiple positions.
Mouth Guard The concept here is a closed mouth guard to keep the air from leaking out.
Taping. Definitely the most controversial. The purpose of taping is to seal the lips and prevent mouth leaks / mouth breathing. It is not to stop the mouth from opening. I make sure that I can easily open my mouth, when taped, if I need to.
FFM – Full Face Mask or Hybrid Mask. This is a very traditional solution and it is generally effective.
Dry mouth is a symptom mouth breathing that is uncomfortable. It can and does occur with some users of a Full Face Mask.
Many users use a product called Biotene to get relief from this symptom.
My current efforts are to get away from using a chinstrap. I dislike it, and I suspect I would equally dislike a cervical collar. I managed to locate a source of the 3M Micropore 2" wide tape locally for a good price of $2.67 for a 10 yard roll. Plan to try that next to see if lets me get away without needing a chin strap. Of all the CPAP tricks I find mouth taping to be the least objectionable. It is much more comfortable than using a full face mask for me. The risk of vomiting with mouth tape seems much lower than filling a full face mask with vomit in my opinion.
Try the tongue trick. It took me months but it is what I use every day.
Place the tongue on the roof of the mouth. Practice during the daytime. The idea is to train the tongue that this is a good place to be, not overnight, but it works for some.
I practice the tongue trick every night when I go to bed. Works perfectly until I go to sleep. My brain doesn't listen to reason when I am sleeping and kind of does its own thing! My wife tried to tell me to suck it up and quit complaining and that a woman could easily learn to keep their mouth closed so a man should too! Well with the help of SleepyHead graphs showing leaks, my complaining about the noise of her mouth leaks, and admitting she was waking up with a sore throat she finally admitted she had a mouth leak problem. The dentist video was the final straw. She uses a TMJ appliance and the video dentist said some things that matched with what her own dentist was saying. After that she become a mouth taping convert...
Good information bonjour
Do you have a link to the ultimate chinstrap?
Google comes up with too many options.
search Sleep Apnea Solutions Ultimate Chin Strap
I don't know this forums link policy so the above search parameters
I'll add that I do feel that chin straps are good to use because they pull back on the jaw and have the potential to cause "positional" apneas and/or TMJ. They are one of the traditional solutions for mouth breathing.
Thank you for your post. As an advocate of the work of MyApnea.org and as The Sleep Ambassador®, www.thesleepambassador.com, I am on a quest to help people sleep better and to raise awareness and foster a call to action for those at risk for sleep apnea (as well as other sleep disorders). As for mouth taping, thank you to Dr. Burhenne for conveying the importance of nasal breathing and how/why mouth taping can help. I mouth tape, along with wearing my oral appliance for mild sleep apnea. I initially used paper tape (for me, 3M's "Nexcare Sensitive Skin" was the most gentle) as in Dr. Burhenne's video. That said, I was happy to learn that there are alternatives to using paper tape, strips actually designed for the express purpose of mouth taping. I find them superior to paper tape and very effective. The ones I use are called SomniFix. Full disclosure, I consult to the company. And if mouth taping sounds unappealing to you for whatever reason, try paper tape or the strips first during the day or evening to get used to them and, as Dr. Burhenne suggests, to see if you can breathe through your nose and are comfortable. There is also a small "vent" on the Somnifix strips which can help adapt to mouth taping, although ultimately you do not want to breathe through your mouth. For my lip structure, I need to curl my lips in ever so slightly to alleviate the SomniFix vent from allowing air flow through my mouth when I am using the strips for sleep. Here's to a great night's sleep and nasal breathing. And here is an article I wrote about proper breathing: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/are-you-breathing-properly-are-your-children/ Sweet dreams, Nancy
I hate to be a discordant note here but I think you've all missed the primary benefit of this radical approach.
You fetch out that neatly tagged roll of tape every night right?
And use that designer tag to remove it at first light right?
WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!
That lame ineffective method was all the fashion for a brief moment in time but there have been dramatic advances in the science of taping since those dark old days.
The latest tapes are all slow release. They take more time to be really effective.
Researchers have concluded that if you REALLY want the maximum benefit from that $3 roll of tape you MUST apply it no later than half way through your evening meal and you must NOT remove it until at least midday the following day!
I am assured that if you use this new improved advanced latest revised refined upgraded method you will eventually eliminate the need of taping altogether!
Just trying to be helpful folks!
There's no need to be like that! :P
Just as an update I tried the 3M 2" Micropore tape for two nights now. The first night I used it with my BreatheWear Chin Strap. I got very low leakage. Last night I tried it without the chin strap, and it wasn't so good. It was 2.7% over the leak redline, which isn't a disaster, but not great either. Much of the night was spend just under the leak redline. I am not going to give up on using it alone yet, but it is looking like a chin strap may still be in my future. In any case the 2" tape is better than the 1" I was getting at Walmart, and is nearly the same price. As a mouth tape I recommend it. It does not seem to be available at Walmart or the other larger drug stores, but we found a medical supply place locally that has it by the boxes.
I could never figure why anyone would go for 25mm tape in the first place.
I ordered 60mm tape online from a chemist warehouse because I figured it would need to be wide enough to get traction on the stubble without deliberately attaching it to the lips.
I do have one major complaint though apart from the trivial stuff like feeling terrible and keeping me awake and scaring the neighbors etc.
The really big problem is that it is so inconvenient when it comes to raiding the fridge at 4:00am!
Did I say fridge? No no that was just a typo. I meant taking vital medications in the wee early hours of the morning!
I found myself thinking about grinding my melatonin tablet to dust and snorting it last night. :O
Chin straps are a non-starter for me. Simply unbearable.
I used to be a frustrated mouth taper. Now I use Mefix Surgical Tape. Honestly, I could effuse about this stuff! What once seemed impossible is now easy peasy. For me (your experience may vary) it has made taping simple, dependable and highly effective against mouth leaks. I buy 10cm x 10m rolls (other sizes are available) and pay about $13 Canadian with tax at a nearby surgical supply store. Too cheap imo.
I would like to get away from using a chin strap too, but have not found a tape that is up to the job without the chin strap also. Thanks for the tip. I will look into that type. With it being 10 cm (4") wide I take it you cut narrow strips off the roll and tape vertically rather than horizontal?
Hey Sierra. No, I cut off about 6cm and apply it 10cm horizontally x 6cm vertically starting just under my nose down to the bottom of my chin and completely across my mouth. (I'm a tough case so full coverage is required!) I need to be clean shaven (razor or electric shaver) or reasonably so is alright. Full face shave not required, just that area. I wash my face before applying and press firmly to eliminate any sneaky leaks. Lately I've been marking and cutting a small slit so that I can sip water through a straw or take a pill during the night. This is easily done: I just cut a piece from the roll, as usual, hold it to my face (paper backing still on) mark and cut a tiny vertical slit, put that piece aside until I'm actually falling asleep then peel off the paper and apply it. Such a joy!
I am assuming it is this one?
It looks like it is sold by the same place I got my 2" 3M Micropore tape. For $4 it seems to be worth a try.
That's the 2.5 cm width. Thin strips do not work for me. I get the 10cm width from Starkmans but I think it’s widely available. Here's the manufacturer's website:
I tried the Mefix 10 cm tape last night. The adhesive on it is certainly much stronger than on the 3M Micropore. I went with a piece 10 cm x 6 cm as you suggested and did not wear a chin strap. It was not quite as good as I was getting with my P10-FX hybrid mask using the chin strap, but good enough. I suspect the mask without the chin strap over it is moving around a bit more on my face and that is the cause of the leaks. Don't think they are mouth leaks, and the Mefix seemed to have worked. Thank you very much for the tip. Do you fold over part of it to help get it off in the morning?
P10-FX Hybrid mask, 3M Micropore tape, and BreatheWear chin strap:
P10-FX Hybrid mask, Mefix 10 cm tape, and no chin strap:
I don't fold over part of the tape. I suppose because I'm confident that, in an urgency or emergency, clawing wildly at the tape would save me. I do my best clawing when confused and panicked anyway.
Mefix adheres very well. It is thin and it flexes and conforms to facial features. It breathes too, which is nice. How firmly one presses down while applying seems to determine how firmly it holds - a necessary step for me with my rough face but not for everyone. I briefly hold a hot face cloth to the tape each morning to ease removal but then again I've removed it "cold" countless times too. I like that it leaves little or no residue and that it has no strong acrylic odour as most tapes do.
There's so much I could say about masks! Flimsy headgear is useless for restless sleepers and nasal pillows can't handle higher pressures without leaking. Well, that has been my experience, not everyone will agree.
I will try going without shaving tonight to see if I can get away with a little stubble. I think I will also fold over a corner as I had a little trouble getting it off this AM. My experience with nasal pillows is that they leak less than full face at least up to 15 cm. But the leaks are different. Full face masks don't seem to leak large volumes and exceed the leak redline. Instead they have small annoying leaks that make rude noises and blow air into your eyes. I just can't sleep with them. Nasal pillow masks tend to leak quite a bit if you deflect them off your nose. But if you can keep them on your nose, I like them the best.
Hey Sierra. Let me try to restate that more convincingly: Flimsy headgear + nasal pillows + high pressure = Leaks.
My very first mask was a Swift FX. It seemed alright to a newbie waiting for my first Titration Study, after which my prescribed pressure was bumped up from 5 to 15. The limitations of this mask (on my admittedly unusual face, not on yours) became glaringly obvious. It was unusable at this higher pressure. I must add that I could not describe the Swift FX headgear as sturdy by any stretch (pun intended).
I'm concerned that if you're still getting significant leak rates with your mouth taped firmly shut (yet to be determined, yes?) and you need to radically modify your headgear and rely on a chin strap to hold everything in place...well, perhaps you are working with the wrong mask/headgear combo.
Going without shaving did not work last night. I had a tape blowout at about 4:00 AM. Will try shaving again tonight. I don't think one know what flimsy headgear is until one tries the AirFit P10. In comparison the Swift FX headgear is excellent. Yes, the back strap tends to slip upwards a bit, but it is quite tolerable. I have another mod in mind, if this becomes an issue. The FX headgear is adjustable in two dimensions. The P10 is not adjustable in any direction by any other way than by cutting it and sewing it up again, which I did.
The big issue with the Swift FX is the terrible design of the air vent. It is simply ridiculous, while the P10 is almost perfect. That is the big attraction of the P10 - the air vent design.
I am on mask #7 now, and this hybrid is the closest thing to being perfect for me. For sure the mouth opening issue is my issue not that of the mask. It remains to be seen whether or not I can get away without a chin strap. I have zero interest in using a full face mask. I have an F20 sitting the in closet and I would have to be pretty desperate to use it.
I thought this was a particularly succinct article.
Stress, what does this word mean to you?
A quick read with lots of good advice.
I liked the part about the "box breathing". My wife does what she calls "yoga breathing" when she wakes up in the night and has trouble getting back to sleep. I sure hope it works to get her back to sleep, because I know one thing for sure from reviewing her SleepyHead charts. It blows her AHI score right out of the water (navy seal style!). She gets an OA event for every time she holds her breath.
hello, I can't use nasal pillows due to allergies and nasal congestion but I really
wish I could as the full face mask makes me claustrophobic! however, I'm not sure
how people can breathe out through their nose while they have the nasal pillows?
I'm hoping to learn a lot from this forum as I basically have untreated sleep apnea and life has been miserable due to lack of sleep :( jim
I find the nasal pillows keep my nose clear during the night. I suffer from ongoing nasal congestion, but if I can get my nose clear before I put my mask on, it stays that way overnight. I occasionally use Otrivin to get clear, but try to avoid it. Some use a corticosteroid nasal spray like Nasacort on a more ongoing basis. I tried it and it didn't help me.
txmnjim: Try an Amara View mask. it is a Hybrid mask that sits under the nose and around the mouth designed so nasal breathing enters the mask. you could easily wear even very bulky glasses with this one.
That said I used to say that every pap user should have a full face mask for the very reasons you just cited. Can you normally breathe out thru your nose with your mouth shut? If so you should be able to use the nasal pillow mask. What happens when I am badly congested is I initially do a lot of mouth breathing just trying to breathe thru my nose, after a few minutes, rarely 10 the CPAP pressure is just too much for the congestion to hold back and there is a breakthrough. From that point on I have no problem until I wake up and I ask myself, "How the H*** did I use this thing thru the night. It has never failed me, but getting to that breakthrough is not easy, is if hard.
thank you sir, i will check into the Amara mask. i can breathe out my nose with my mouth shut (if i'm not too stopped up) but i'm not sure i can with the CPAP pressure blowing in constantly? i will clean it up and try it asap. gosh, i'm glad i found this forum! jim
The Flonase is good in the long run with regular usage but if you have serious congestion and want a dramatic short term effect it might be worth talking to your pharmacist about a decongestant spray.
Jim, first you have to realize that CPAP pressures are very low, allow me to have you demonstrate. I want you to get a tall glass of water and a straw. Now into that 8 inches of water, I want you to blow thru the straw. THAT is if highest pressure a CPAP can generate. Breathe thru your nose with your full face mask on. That would be, pressure wise the same as with a Pillow or Nasal mask. Any pressure wants to go somewhere, that is what will work thru the congestion, you just have to let it, and you already are using that pressure, just to both your mouth and nose.
Just as an update, I think I have finally found the mouth taping solution to keeping my mouth closed without using a chin strap. I tried using the 10 cm x 6 cm Mefix tape and it was not enough. I found it lost adhesion during the night due to saliva from my mouth. It does not seem to have as much moisture resistance as the 3M Micropore tape has. So, what I did is put a small strip of 1" 3M Micropore tape horizontally over my lips to keep my mouth sealed, and then covered that over with the 10 cm x 6 cm Mefix tape. The Mefix tape has stronger adhesion as long as it is not wet, and is much more flexible. The combination of the two tapes makes it stay on pretty much perfectly during the night with no leaks. Net result is I have stopped wearing a chin strap, which is a welcome change!
I tried, but didn't like taping mouth. It left a "clammy feeling" in my mouth in AM. I'm trying a Dreamwear Full Face with hose attached at top of head frame starting tonight.
Mouth taping is not for everyone. My thoughts are that keeping your mouth wet is much better than getting dried out from opening your mouth. That was one objection I had to a full face mask. It seemed to encourage me to breathe through my mouth and I would wake up with a sore throat and dry mouth even though I have a heated ClimateLine hose and a humidifier.
I don't think I could do it.
I initially tried it and rejected it too. Then when I tried all the other alternatives, I came back to it, as the best choice for me. My wife was the same. She thought it was ridiculous, until she tried it for a few nights.