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How are Nasal Pillows Supposed to Fit?

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kekern +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

I am trying the mask with nasal pillows instead of the triangular shaped mask that fits over my entire nose. My new headset came with 3 sizes and they all feel awkward. I am not sure how it is supposed to fit. Do the nasal pillows stick all the way into my nostrils? How do I know if it is in the correct placement? I can't really tell from the directions that came in the box. Could anyone that has this type give me some advice? It is called an Airfit 10.

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Dennea +0 points · over 2 years ago

I am new to this world, in it about a month now and if it would assist you to hear, I would share an initial experience that was helpful to me. I have a ResMed Air sense 10. At the Medical supply store I was given the option of a full mask or the nasal pillows like yours probably. Of course in the store the pillows route was way more comfortable and less imposing so that was my choice. However at home I found that on my back the pillows were great but I prefer to sleep on my side and in that position I found the pillows would slip out of position. That caused a little leakage and enough discomfort to keep me from sleeping soundly, the whole point of this exercise. My friendly sleep equipment advisor offered a new type of pillow that snapped right into the tubing aparatus. I think were called "Dreamwear" that has a nasal bud for each nostril and found they fit snug and comfortable. Also happily, they don't slip out of place when in my favorite fetal position. It is still early, about a week with the new product, but my "event" numbers went from an average of 7-8 per hour to 3-4 and my sleep can be described as restful. So yee haw ... Maybe my experience is worth you giving this new pillow device a looksee. Note: I have seen similar after market products on Amazon ... Good luck my friend.

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jnk +1 point · over 2 years ago

The nasal pillows are NOT supposed to "stick all the way into" your nostrils. The pillows should gently touch the outside of your nostrils. Do NOT overtighten the mask to scrunch the pillows against your nose tightly. Experiment with where to place the straps (how far apart from each other) to get a gentle but effective fit. Think about nose sizes in the general population. If your nose is smaller than most, use the smallest pillows. If your nose is larger than most, use the larger, etc. But use what is comfortable and effective--by effective, I mean having the least problem with leaks waking you up. You have a great mask. I hope it works well for you. Please ask further questions if you have them.

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Dennea +0 points · over 2 years ago

The dreamwear and probably similar type pillows do not go inside your nostrils. I don't see where it was said "they stick all the way into your nostrils" ... : ). They sit on the outside of your nostrils but do form a gentle seal around the outside of the nostril, emphasis on gentle. The standard pillows I found leaked a little more than I would have liked. And yes, take care to get the right size for your nose. I am 6' 4" and 200lbs but the small size was best for me. The new version so far for me have done a significantly better job of staying in place especially when sleeping on my side. It's worth checking out ...

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jnk +0 points · over 2 years ago

I was quoting the OP's post. OP asked, "Do the nasal pillows stick all the way into my nostrils?"

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jnk +0 points · over 2 years ago
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golfgame +0 points · over 2 years ago

I as well have kind of run the gamut on pillows. I think I have had maybe four. All that I have tried except one have a part that more or less protrudes into the cavity a bit. The septum in my nose seems to be closer to one cavity than the other, because of that one side is always sore during the night so I would end up taking the mask off. The one I like the best is the Phillips Nuance as it has no protrusion into the nose at all but I have an issue there as well as I have a hard time getting a good seal. I find that the mask loses its seal when I am on my side but fine on my back. Even though my seal is not what it should be my events are low ( I generally have a red face on the machine when I look during the night or in the mornings). Has anyone got any suggestions?

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Dennea +0 points · over 2 years ago

To Jnk .. Sorry, I really did think you were replying to my post. I am disappointed to see it is not all about me! Ha ha. I was so impressed with my improvement after switching to the new product. So far my event numbers have been consistently cut in half and I am waking up way less. A good thing I wanted to share with kekern and others considering the nasal pillows. It was nice of you to take the time to provide your YouTube link for this forum, I learned a lot from the videos I saw there ...

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jnk +0 points · over 2 years ago

It is I who should apologize; my phrasing in my post was confusing. I am new to this forum, and I am not used to the format yet.

Thank you for the success story. l think all forums need more of those so that others can see that problems get solved and that the use of CPAP isn't just one problem after another--as it can sometimes seem when new ones statt looking at forum postings about CPAP.

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Dennea +0 points · over 2 years ago

JNK - I am new to this forum too, any forum actually and am learning how to interact. You and others here are very kind to make thoughtful efforts to help people improve their medical challenges which in turn improves their lives. Like all small acts of kindness, they initiate big ripple effects you will not get to see. That's no small thing. Thanks again for your help .... (And by the way, I am still learning which numbers are the important ones to monitor on my ResMed, all of them I am sure, but last night my sleep events dropped to below two an hour).

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kekern +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

Thanks everyone, for the tips. I found the video link very helpful and a few others that popped up after I watched it. I now know how it is supposed to work. when you are wearing the pillow mask, does it feel like you are breathing normal, or sort of like not as much air goes in on every breath? I keep thinking it is going to suffocate me and then I get my old triangle mask back out. I am not sure if I am just not used to it or if this style doesn't work for me. It took me a couple of weeks to get used to the first one, so maybe I just need to adjust to this new kind.

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Dennea +0 points · over 2 years ago

I have learned as JNK informed, that not over tightening the mask is an important tip. I try to keep the straps just tight enough to stay in place. For me, when the pillows are not jammed tight against the outside of my nostrils it is much easier to breathe comfortably, very comfortably actually feeling like "normal breathing" and improving the quality of sleep. These new to me type of pillows that have individual nostril buds for lack of a better description, do a much better job of staying in place when on my side where I prefer to sleep. Not perfectly, but much better. They do a very good job when on my back ...

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jnk +0 points · over 2 years ago

I find, as some others have found, that when using nasal pillows, there is less need for ramp and that it helps for minimum/start/treatment pressure to be a few cm higher than when using full-face or nasal masks in order to avoid that "starving for air" feeling. I have also found that nasal pillows last a long time with proper gentle care. I have used the same set of pillows well over a year.

As for tips on mask tightness, etc., I found most of my best tips in this publication from Philips/Respironics:

[https://www.usa.philips.com/c-dam/b2bhc/us/whitepapers/establishing-effective-OSA-treatment/1038370_NowWhatBrochure2011.pdf]

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Dennea +0 points · over 2 years ago

Once again, helpful JNK. Thank you ...

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