Forum · Mask Leaks vs AHI

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[-] wiredgeorge +0 points · over 1 year ago Sleep Enthusiast

I have my sleep monitored through my Resmed BIPAP machine. It sends the info in through wireless technology and I get a sleep score every day. It gives a score for MASK LEAKS PER HOUR and AHI (events per hour). Last night, I slept soundly for 6 hours which for me is great. I feel great today, btw...

I had 34 mask leaks per hour which they must feel is pretty bad. I had ZERO AHI events. I had 61 mask leaks per hour the previous night when I also slept great. Had ZERO AHI events. Seems there is little correlation between what is considered miserable mask seal and effective therapy.

I use a full face Simplus mask and mask pads. Leaking is not annoying as it is without the pads and I get no air in my eyes. I sleep much better using the pads.

Can anyone comment on the correlation between mask seal and effective therapy. Am I fooling myself on this issue but the mask leaks just don't seem important. COMMENTS?

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[-] DanM +1 point · over 1 year ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi @wiredgeorge. There is a certain amount of mask leak that is considered normal. This amount is determined by the manufacturer of the mask and is referred to as the "intentional link" value. The Simplus mask is made by Fisher & Paykel. First, ResMed's software is likely geared toward their masks and the intentional leak values associated with those masks. Second, many modern machines, including those made by ResMed, can compensate for some amount of mask leak. While your score for mask leak may be poor according to the software, and it is possible that your mask seal could be a little better, as long as your AHI is controlled and you are doing well, I wouldn't think you should be concerned. Many patients I have worked with have had mask leak values higher than what may be considered optimal, but their therapy was effective and controlling their sleep apnea. If you are comfortable with your mask, feeling better, sleeping well, and your AHI is controlled, congratulations!

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[-] wiredgeorge +0 points · over 1 year ago Sleep Enthusiast

Thanks Dan! Your thoughts on this were pretty much my subjective experience... just feel kind of guilty, I guess for have such miserable mask seal scores. At some point, I may try a different mask from Resmed but my mask isn't bad. Since the first I had was miserable and was a major source of disgusting noises from leaking, this Simplex mask works much better but I suspect if I tried several masks I would find one even more effective. I am not fussy as I can tolerate these things pretty well.

Wish more folks would share their opinions/perspectives rather than pop in with a single question and then disappear. There are not many sources for support and education that work as well as this forum.

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[-] InventiveYellowMoose2062 +0 points · over 1 year ago

What mask are you using? I was using mirrage quatro but switched to an airfit 10 and started having peobl Ms you describe si bad I went back to original mask and qm bow getting scores between 96-100!

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[-] DanM +1 point · over 1 year ago Sleep Enthusiast

My pleasure, George! Getting the right mask fit is half (or more) of the battle! It would be great to hear more experiences from other patients out there. Glad you like the Forum!

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[-] ImpartialVioletRhinoceros2234 +0 points · over 1 year ago

Can you tell me how you set up the technology you use to get sleep information every day. I am new at this and at a complete loss as to how to get started. My machine has a chip in the back, but my doctor (who I know longer use) led me to believe that only he can get the information from it.??? Thanks in advance for your hep.

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[-] DakotaGma +0 points · over 1 year ago

Hi, how you access your sleep data depends on what brand & type of cpap you have. If it is a ResMed brand, you sign up for an account at myAir.com. But the information is quite limited compared to what you can access directly by going into the Clinical Setting window of a ResMed device. I don't know what woks for other brands, but for my ResMed AirSense10 & my hubby''s AirCurve10, if you press and hold the round button and the Home button for about 5 seconds, whie you are on the Home screen, it will switch to Clinical, and then you scroll to Sleep Report. That gives a lot more information, including 30 day averages. (Just don't tell your RT you're doing this -- it really freaks them out :O). I am the type of person who does better with my compliance when I have more specific details. Hope this helps!

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[-] DakotaGma +0 points · over 1 year ago

@wiredgeorge It's my understanding that the ResMed Leak reports 'Liters' per minute, not 'leaks' per hour. If you click the 'Tour your Dashboard' and at bottom 'Learn more...', it gives info on all the categories. The theshold I saw for full face masks was 24 L / min. of expected expiration & incidental leaking. So your leakage scores are probably not as bad as you thought. But I have noticed like you, that AHI and amount of leakage do not necessarily correspond in tandem.

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[-] AmiableLilacAardvark1624 +0 points · about 1 year ago

my husband has a full face mask because of his beard and I had to move down the hall. I couldn't stand it. Its like listening to a 747 engine or a trumpet in bed. Just awful noise and vibrations and squealing. Couldn't get any sleep with it. He sleeps right through it all night. any suggestions. He has a gote type beard not all on his face

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[-] DanM +0 points · about 1 year ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi AmiableLilacAardvark1624. A squealing, vibrating mask is usually a pretty good indicator of leak and possibly poor mask fit. Mask liners may help with this, and you can do an internet search for CPAP mask liners to find some available options. Aside from mask liners or changing to a different mask, attempting to adjust the headgear can sometimes help.

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[-] wiredgeorge +1 point · about 1 year ago Sleep Enthusiast

When I first started therapy, I had a beard. Mask seal was bad, then changed masks and it was better but I had the straps pulled so tight on my full headgear it was very very uncomfortable and had mask marks on my face for hours in the morning! If I didn't have the mask cinched up tighter than a drum, I got air in my eyes and puffing out around my cheeks where it made disgusting noises and the air in the eyes was annoying. One point Dan didn't bring up was that folks that are saddled with high pressures from their machine fight mask leaks a lot more than folks with low pressures.... my high pressure is 25. I did a lot of investigating and learned that mask seal shouldn't rely on an over tight headgear but that was the only way I could minimize leaks until I found the mask liners. All the issues went away as far as leaks and I can now let my headgear be retained at a comfortable level... no more marks on my face! The added benefit is that I now have grown my full beard back and there are no noises from the mask. I did a search for mask liners and my specific mask and found the right ones which look like a piece of cotton cloth about 4x4" with a hole shaped like the open space in my mask. The liners were more or less the breakthrough that allowed me to use this equipment comfortably and quietly.

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