I tested mask seal with tee shirt. It failed at high end of pressure. So I went back to just the Airtouch f20 memory foam cushion and side strap covers. I adjusted straps until leak stopped on mask fit. It is alittle tight but I can live with it. I know I cant wear it like demo shows. I leak to much. I wore a silicone mask at sleep study and it irritated my skin bad. I am sharing this info so maybe someone is experiencing the same symptoms and can use my trials to help them persevere.
A few thoughts. What kind of machine are you using and where are you getting that leak rate of 20? On the ResMed that is not real high, but if the leaks keep you awake then it certainly is a problem.
Have you considered a nasal pillow mask? My wife wife uses a F&P Brevida nasal pillow and runs a min max pressure of 13 to 14.4 cm. She also uses a 1" 3M Micropore tape strip across her mouth. She gets pretty good leak rates. See graph below for an example. I use a hybrid AirFit P10 mask with Swift FX headgear with mouth taping I can get under the leak redline pretty consistently too. I have an AirFit F20 and could not make it work because of leaks.
And on pressure have you thought about going to a fixed CPAP pressure. I struggled with pressures up to 15 cm in APAP mode and finally have had much better success with a fixed 11 cm. See this thread for some more info. I think a fixed pressure can be more beneficial to someone with mixed central and obstructive apnea, and that is what I seem to have. Is your AHI all obstructive and hypopnea or are you getting central apnea too? Centrals can be associated with AFib.
Air sense 10 autoset. I have been doing ok now with airtouch f20. I know it says not to wash. However if I wash it every few day it works for me. I tried cpap wipes and it didnt help. I wash with antibacterial soap hang up to dry. It works fine. I guess to each their own. Thanks for help. Btw my pressure is 8/14 auto ramp. It does good. Ave AHI >2
For me, the memory foam mask works the best but on all masks (except the pillows) I have pulled them much tighter than they told me to. They explained how the mask was supposed to work by wearing it lightly on your face so that the air would fill the inside of the mask creating a seal. I wonder just how many of the people who fit masks actually wear them?
I would question how many mask suppliers really care, especially when happily ever after is not really an option and a bad choice usually leads to another sale.
The whole industry seems to be facing insurmountable odds dealing with patients who have too many variations of attitude, aptitude and tolerance, including dramatic differences in face shapes, sleep habits and pressures, so that every aspect of the process is too individual and hence too problematic and just not cost effective.
It's likely that aiming for a higher success rate would be contrary to the overall financial goals within the current systems.
Even the few long term successes (CPAP endurance below 10%) are mostly made up of the really desperate (that's me) and the most obedient or disciplined, (definitely not me) and not the result of well guided equipment choices, effective training techniques and regularly revised therapy options and settings.
This comment was not meant to be a criticism of the financial aspects of the sleep industry, because it needs to be profitable, but what field of medicine can make good progress and maintain a healthy attitude when faced with such a colossal failure rate.
That can be said of a lot of medicine and medical fields. I also suffer with Restless Leg Syndrome. There are very few medications that help it and no therapies or treatment options other than medicine that isn't even made for RLS. Why? There are a lot of people who suffer with this but not much research and very little interest--unless you have it.
Great comments Biguglygremlin. I'm a newbie (26 days) but this Forum has confirmed my observations, suspicions, and deductions. It is what it is and I guess we'll continue to struggle.
Hey, Ruby. This may sound crazy, but put a bar of soap under your sheets when sleeping. It may "clean up" this issue. I have friends that it helped. This non-medical advice! Try it and let us know.
Someone in a Tai Chai class said keep a glass of pickle juice nearby and drink some when it occurs. Yuk! Have no friends trying that. But...