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Help, exhausted and at end of tether

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GaryW +0 points · 10 months ago Original Poster

Hi, I have just started using CPAP last night, and I got about an hour's sleep. Machine is working fine - ResMed AirSense 10 - no issue there. It is all on me, I know this. I have a Fisher and Paykel Simplus mask. Machine ramps up fine, but I move, even a cm, and it feels like my cheeks are being blown off my face. Machine is is set for 11cm, prescribed by my specialist, so no issue there. But no matter how I move my mask, or how I adjust my position in bed, it was like a poorly aimed ventilation outlet in your car. It feels like air is going everywhere but where it needs. I got maybe two hours sleep. I am exhausted, angry, frustrated, and terrified, because if I don't fix this in the next eight hours, it will be sleep time again, and I cannot go through another night like that. When I did the test in hospital, it worked a charm, hadn't slept that well in ages. Please, someone, can you help me, because I am going off the deep end with stress and worry. Thanks Gary

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Sierra +0 points · 10 months ago Sleep Patron

Getting a mask that seals well and is comfortable is the most difficult part of using a CPAP. I think I am at about mask #6. I could not get a full face mask to work for me. Either the straps were so tight that it was uncomfortable or when they were looser then it leaked and blew air in my eyes. I have found the real basic ResMed AirFit P10 nasal pillow works best for me. I also use a fixed pressure of 11 cm. Some nights I get some excess leakage, but the large majority of nights I am under the leak red line all night. With a nasal pillow mask you do have to keep your mouth closed, and I can't do that. I went through all kinds of chin straps but could not find anything comfortable that worked. I finally resorted to mouth taping. Some can't accept doing that, but it works fine for me.

This all said the first few nights of CPAP is probably not going to be all that comfortable. There is nothing natural about wearing that mask and having the hose in your way. Then when the mask leaks it is worse still. Another nasal pillow mask that my wife uses and likes is the F&P Brevida. About all I can say is to try some other masks to find what works for you.

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GaryW +0 points · 10 months ago Original Poster

Thanks Sierra, appreciate the response. Unfortunately, the Simplus is the mask I need, but tested a couple to get to that point, it is actually reasonably comfortable, and not the issue, at this stage. My frustration is this the exact same set up I tried in hospital, worked brilliantly, but now I am at home, and I cannot get it right. Best of all, being a Sunday, there is no shop to take it to, and I am dreading another bad night, I write this with eyes filled with the grit of no sleep, and knowing I have a huge day of work ahead of me...stressing me massively. As I said, best description I can give is like a badly directed air vent, but nothing seems to fix it, and half the time I felt like I had chipmunk cheeks from pressurised air just blowing straight onto them... Machine reckons there were no leaks, and I couldn't find any around the mask, but I could not get the air to go to where it was needed, and I am hoping someone recognises the symptoms and can offer advice. Thanks again Gary

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Sierra +0 points · 10 months ago Sleep Patron

I am not quite clear what the issue is. Are your cheeks puffing up from air pressure inside your mouth? Or is the mask leaking and blowing on your cheeks from around the seal? Or, is the vent on the mask blowing on your cheeks? There is not much you can do about the vent air as that is necessary to exhale and to keep your mask purged with fresh air. One of the things you can do to get used to a CPAP is wear it during the day while watching TV or reading. Part of it is simply getting used to that "octopus" clinging to your face! Also when fully awake you are more aware of what is going on and what is causing the issue.

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raysmith45 +0 points · 10 months ago

Contact your Dr. and get your pressure setting changed (lowered), sounds like you are getting way too much flow. Download Sleepyhead or Oscar software on your PC to get a good analysis of what is going on. I have an AirSense 10 and I had to adjust the pressure/airflow because I was getting too much air and having a lot of blow-by (cheeks puffing up and air being blown out of my mouth). The Pressure setting is an Rx and we are not suppose to change this setting therefore I cannot recommend that you do this. I changed my air setting and achieved great results and good air flow. Good luck.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 10 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi GaryW

I understand where you are at with the frustration and anger but I don't understand the compulsion.

If you survived without it until recently can't you survive without it for another night or two until you are able to go and get help?

Whoever supplied the equipment has some obligation to make sure it is working for you.

As to the actual cause I am not familiar with full face masks but if I want to check that my machine is working I activate a mechanism, like a valve of some kind, in the back of my mouth that allows the air pressure in the throat to flow back through the mouth and puff out the cheeks. Otherwise that valve is always held shut by the pressure of air coming through the nostrils. Not a good explanation sorry but something to think about perhaps?

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