Forum · Finding a mask that works

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[-] LOVE2Sleep -1 point · 10 months ago

I started using a cpap about 3 weeks ago and my nasal pillows - Respiron Nuance - only worked a few nights I tried them. (Same model had worked perfectly well at the sleep center.) Then the little "nozzle" parts that goes just bit inside your nostrils started collapsing. One night I looped the tube behind and over my headboard and that allowed air to come through for a bit. It started decreasing so I squirmed around till the air increased and stayed constant. I was uncomfortable and sllloowwwwlllllyyyy moved to a better position and lost the air. I turned the nasal pillows upside down and wore the mask that way and that actually helped, but not enough. I asked the RT if the fact that I have a pug nose might make a difference as I kept having the feeling the pillows were scooting upward - no nose overhang to stop them. He didn't know nor did he sound interested in considering it, though I persisted. So I tried the Dreamware nasal pillow with the single opening. I was happy the first night because I was getting more air and I fell asleep quickly. The second night, though, I was awake longer and the airflow gradually decreased. Again, it felt like it was scooting upward very slowly. I left it on anyway but kept waking up throughout the night. The whole thing is made out of such flexible silicon (or whatever the rubbery stuff is) which is thoroughly comfortable but shifts easily. Now that my insurance has paid for two I have to buy the next one. I'm anxious because I HAVE to get my memory and focus improved so I can function at better at work. If anyone has thoughts about my nose shape theory I would like to hear them. Also would like to hear suggestions on nasal masks, especially which one(s) have the best air seal. Finally, I've looked at reviews of different sleep masks/nasal pillows but haven't found a site with large enough numbers of respondents to make the ratings meaningful. Does anyone know of one? Thank you!

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[-] JudyBJ +0 points · 10 months ago

LOVE2Sleep, try the ResMed nasal pillows (not the ones with headgear that cannot be adjusted). I have used mine successfully for several months. If you really think your nose shape is a problem, use a full-face mask. When I did that, it was successful, but I just wanted to try the pillows. I am not surprised that your RT was of no help --- I think this is generally the case.
All the best!

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[-] DanM +0 points · 10 months ago Sleep Commentator

Hi LOVE2Sleep. Pillows can "collapse" if they are too tight, so I wonder if you are tightening the head gear enough to compress them. They should be snugly in the nose only to the point where the cushion flares out and seals outside the nostrils. If nasal pillows continue to be a problem, you might consider a nasal mask that fits over the nose. Whatever you choose, you or your insurance company is paying for the treatment, and the equipment provider is likely reaping the benefit of payment. I encourage you to contact them and meet with a therapist to discuss proper fit and see if they can help you troubleshoot the problem. Best wishes!

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[-] JudyBJ +0 points · 5 months ago

LOVE2Sleep, I hope you've found a solution to your problem with the nasal pillows. I just improved my breathing style by switching to a medium (rather than extra-small) size pillow. I don't know why I chose the XS size in the first place, since I don't have an extra-small nose! But the medium is so much better. Make sure that bad air-flow is not due to the angle of the hose from the CPAP. If it gets kinked, even somewhat, it may be affecting your air-flow.
All the best!

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