CPAP made no difference until I taped my mouth shut.

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Fstapleford9 +0 points · 5 months ago

I have severe obstructive sleep apnea (mixed in with the occasional central apneas, no kidding). I had the UP3 (look it up, impossible to pronounce) over 16 years ago. They say the benefit only lasts for ten years max, but I was lucky I guess. Mine lasted about 15. For the last year the severity of the apnea was increasing steadily. Last November I had a deviated septum undeviated and a pillar procedure at the same time. That lasted for about six months. From then until THIS WEEK, getting a quality nights sleep was a total crap shoot. Even with a full face CPAP, a chin strap and a nightly sinus clearing ritual, my AHI could be 10, 20 or over even 30. The irony behind all this that I had been out of work for six months so it didn't matter that I couldn't get out of bed until 10AM. So finding work was truly a two-edged sword, how was I going to wake up? Two weeks ago I found work and had to start getting up at 7AM, so I started going to bed at 8PM so I could attempt to get enough sleep. Trouble is when you have a night when your AHI is over 20, it takes 2 good nights sleep for me to recover. I didn't get one good night's sleep in a row so I was ___ out of luck as my stupor snowballed into an ever denser fog. A sleep walking zombie does not make a good impression his first days on the job. I was literally considering eating a bullet when my wife found that some people found success by taping their mouths shut while wearing the mask. I had trouble picturing which of those two options was worse so in the interest of life, I decided to try the tape. Monday night AHI: 1.98 Tuesday night AHI: 2.09 Wednesday night AHI: 0.73. !!!!!!! Thursday night AHI: 1.37 These are numbers I haven't seen, ever! I cannot remember the last time I got so many sleeps in a row! I feel about ten years younger and am actually excited to be working again. Doctors call this remedy 'irresponsible'. Maybe because a roll of hypo-alergenic tape costs .000001% of what ever the next magical treatment is. I'm not saying this will work for everyone but IT WORKS for me. I have a life again.

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snuffie3456 +0 points · 5 months ago

It's so great that you are getting such great sleep! Just curious though, why not just get a chin strap? Eventually even the hypoallergenic tape will catch up to you. Then you will lose having the option to tape altogether. Congratulations!

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SleepyMommy703 +0 points · 5 months ago

I used to have to tape my mouth closed just because even with the use of a chin strap air was still escaping and it would whistle or my lips would motorboat and both would wake me up. I guess the concern over the safety is what if your machine stops working during the night and you don't wake up. Considering how lightly I sleep and how everything wakes me up I tend to doubt that would happen to me but it made me slightly nervous.

I got a different chin strap this time that is much wider so the air escaping my mouth doesn't seem to be as bad. My AHI numbers were okay either way but my leakage rate is high so I'm not sure if that effects the accuracy. They just ordered a home study so I guess we will see. I considered trying the tape again and see if my leakage rate is better. At least then I could figure out where the leaks are happening.

I hope it continues to safely work for you.

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wiredgeorge +0 points · 5 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

Effective therapy isn't a one size fits all experience. I found my mouth dropped open, AHI shot up, because my jaw tends to go slack when I am in deep sleep and the leaks were causing me to draw up the straps on my full face mask to the point it was torture. I found that the correct sized mask cushion helped and then mask pads (cloth) kept the air out of my eyes and the leaks were tamed to where AHI was way down and all was good. Problem was, my jaw would still slack and the lower edge of the mask cushion would end in my mouth sometimes. I discovered that a boil and bite mouth guard kept my jaw in place and as a result, my mouth stays shut and I was able to go with a much more comfortable mask type; the Amara View. Still have to keep the bottom straps a bit tight so the mask seats under my lower lip but I seldom have ANY leaks and AHI is zero quite often these days. I also found I have to change mask cushions at least once every 3 months or so as they tend to soften over time and won't seal as well. I know it is time to change when I have mask leaks for a couple days in a row. I clean the cushion daily with mild hand soap and am gentle about it. My original mask had much more stout cushioning and those things lasted indefinitely.

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sleeptech +0 points · 5 months ago Sleep Commentator

I have a number of patients who tape their mouths shut. I've never know it to cause a problem. If the power goes off an you can't breathe you will wake up and take the tape off. Also, have a CPAP mask on doesn't mean that you can't breathe through your nose of the power goes out. I'm not sure what the concern is with mouth taping.

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snuffie3456 +0 points · 5 months ago

Just putting my PT hat on here. We use tape a lot as an adjunct to therapy, and it can cause really bad skin problems over time with daily use...Even with the hypoallergenic kind. I'm more concerned about skin integrity than anything else with this method.

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