To accommodate different sleep positions, various styles of "sleep apnea" specific pillows have been designed. When I started therapy with a full face mask, the mask would get bumped if I slept on my side as I had for many years. I started sleeping flat on my back. I have some old football related back problems and found this caused INTENSE pain after only an hour or two and found it could be relieved by propping up just bit with a wedge shaped tv pillow and my regular pillow over it. I am only up about 10"... no more pain.
What I am trying to say is, since there are different style masks intended to allow sleeping in different positions, get the one that seems most suited to your father's favorite sleep position. My current DME had a number of styles and I think it would be great to adapt a pillow to your father's sleep favored sleep position rather than do like I did and adapt my sleep position to a mask. Talk with the DME or read the write up carefully to see which sleep position the specific pillow adapts for.
I picked up one of the Buckwheat pillows, this was a little odd at first. It seems though that within my first week of using it, It has become my go to pillow that I now take with me wherever I go! it is a slightly heavier pillow but will conform to many positions and stays in that shape until I settle it into a new shape. The one I got comes with extra filling and has some added foam to the buckwheat so was very customizable. They are available on Amazon.
Hi, Tenaciousbt -- I have tried all kinds of pillows, from expensive down, to down-and-feather combos, to polyfiberfill of different densities, to a special CPAP pillow with side cutouts, etc (which was miserable for me). I settled happily on a foam rubber pillow, medium-soft, that is thick/high enough to support my head with my spine pretty straight, and since I sleep with a full-face mask and have to sleep on my side, I just sleep with my face toward the edge of the pillow. My head's weight is fully supported, and the curve-off of the end of the pillow causes little pressure on the mask, and I sleep much, much better. I have heard some people love buckwheat-hull, as a poster says above, or even flax-seed pillows, and some make their own pillows, but a regular foam-rubber one works so well for me I actually travel with my own pillow now. I would start with assessing how the person sleeps and what their doctor recommends about positional changes, and then experiment from there.
I purchased a CPAP pillow and have been using it for a week. I have been on CPAP for less than a month , and the pillow did the trick for me ! I am a side sleeper , and my mask was irrating my nose to the point that I developed a bump on my nose , I wear the full mask because it helps stop me from mouth breathing. I did switch styles a bit more flexible around the face , that helped , but the pillow did the trick ! I highly reccomend it.
I'm curious. As a mouth breather also, how did you keep from breathing through your mouth while using a nasal pillow mask? Did you use a chin strap with it? That is what I had to do when using a nasal pillow mask. Others use surgical tape to keep their mouth closed, while using a nasal or nasal pillow mask. They usually recommend a full face mask for a mouth breather, but I also found it difficult.
The person you replied to uses a full face mask per his post. I am of the opinion that most PAP therapy patients breathe through their mouth. The jaw slackens as it relaxes and bingo, the mouth is open for most patients. A full face mask may help some whose mouths are open but it didn't help me as the mask lower edge would slip into my mouth and all of a sudden there was no seal OR positive air pressure. I chose to use a boil n bit mouth gaurd which has proved effective now for several years. Others use the bands and some the tape. Having a beard makes the tape option kind of useless for me and I don't like the thought of tape over my mouth. Ever had acid reflux? The tape would really be problematic in that case.
I wear my mask right below my mouth. After a few episodes of waking up to swollowing air , I moved it under my lips. That somehow worked and I keep my mouth shut. I do not have a chin strap , and I use the AirFit F20 full face mask. No nasal pillow mask. I have been sleeping very well , have been using about 3 weeks.