I have been using the same mask for 5 years now and I have that problem (RUTS) and although that thread was written in a provocative or jocular style it was actually a serious question.
For me it was never obvious until I began cutting my hair very short but the straps certainly seem to have reshaped the skull.
It could be coincidental but I was not aware of those tracks before I had CPAP and what are the odds of them being exactly where the straps are?
Initially I thought it might be just tracks in the scalp but now I'm pretty sure it is in the skull itself.
Maybe I have a soft head?
Maybe the straps have to be in just the right areas in the first place?
Maybe it's exacerbated by a shrinking brain?
I cut my hair very short because the straps manage to slip off pretty much every night for one reason or another and longer hair just makes it worse.
One reason for the mask slipping around is that it's not very tight so it doesn't require tight straps to cause indents.
I'm not overly concerned myself but that's largely because these are the least of my problems and unless I buy a mask that has a totally different strap configuration there is not much I can do about it.
Could it be the airflow on the sides that is causing the pressure on the skull? One of the big advantages of the respironics dreamwear full face mask is that unlike others, the tube attaches to the top of the head rather than the front of the nose . This is helpful for me because , I turn quite a lot in my sleep and something in front of my face will cause a lot of mess. I wear my mask before I attach the tube , so when I wear it , it is quite comfortable without being too tight, but maybe when the pressure ramps up , it exerts extra pressure on the skull
I had a CT brain scan a few days ago and, yes, they found nothing. :O
Now, back to the subject, whatever that was ........
That scan. It clearly shows the "deformity" (I really don't like that word! :( )
Which leaves me with three possible conclusions:
1) The skull shape was already there but remained unnoticed for 55 years.
2) CPAP mask straps can compress or deform the shape of the skull.
3) I have an overactive imagination and none of it is real.
Should we take a vote on it? :)
This is a subject that I have been wondering about for some time now, not just because I have a permanent trench across my head from the mask strap that I have worn for 15,000 hours but I also have a CT scan that shows an obvious gully in the bone across the top exactly where the strap goes.
I was not aware of this for the first 50 years of my life, so I can blame it all on the CPAP right?
The following points might seem unconnected because they probably are unconnected.
Yesterday when I was young so many happy songs ........ Oops I digress.
It seems to me that when we were younger the flesh on our skulls was thicker and more resilient. Dents were easily formed in that soft flesh and just as easily faded.
Most of us had no particular need to map the topographical features of our skulls and a thick layer of pliable flesh and an even thicker forest of hair concealed most of the hills and gullies.
I think that as we age the flesh on our skulls becomes thinner and less resilient and the tracks of our mask straps become almost permanent.
So can I blame the CPAP for the dent in my skull?
Unfortunately not, because I think that as the hair and the scalp both got thinner, that gully, which is probably not uncommon amongst adults, became more obvious but, in all likelihood, it was there all along.
So my theory is that in most cases normal processes of ageing have revealed pre-existing anomalies in the skull shape and lack of resilience of the scalp has embedded the path of the straps, perhaps even in the same place, but these factors are most likely unconnected.
Ok…so I just did a search to see if anyone else had dent in their skull from cpap and found this. I too have a very noticeable “dent” exactly where my mask straps sit. But in a different place on my head to Biguglygremlin. For me it’s all the way around the back of my head, about from ear to ear, and then I also have a dent across the top as well. All EXACTLY where my mask straps sit. I can easily feel it’s not just a dent in the thin fleshy bit and way too deep for that anyway. My Dr tried to tell me it must have always been like that. There is no way that’s anything other than a bad guess. I’ve been wearing CPAP headgear for over 26000 hours in total. I have to use high pressure settings so mask needs to be tight to prevent leaks. At least I know now I’m not the only one.
Since I wrote my initial response to this about 3 years ago, I have also noticed that I have a horizontal dent in my skull which would correspond to my back strap. I use Swift FX headgear, but at fairly low pressure of 11 cm fixed. I think it is quite possible that the mask strap is causing the dent. I've used a mask for about 4 years now and almost all with this mask. Have not talked to my doctor about it....
Before I did all that waffling above I looked at Google images of peoples skulls and it seems to me that many humans have significant dents and trenches across their skulls that presumably follow the lines where the original skull plates were grown and welded together.
I think it is likely that the CPAP mask designers studied skull shapes to determine where best to place the straps to gain the most stability and by so doing they have accentuated the previously unnoticed topography.
As you are no doubt aware I would happily blame my CPAP for every know health issue and, of course, climate change as well, but I very much doubt that it could impact on the actual bone of an adult skull.
It's more likely that some of these 'deformities' were caused by undernourishment or prolonged dehydration at critical stages in the skull's early formation.