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mask leaks when changing sleep positions

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sillysyl +0 points · about 2 years ago Original Poster

I have a full face mask and can sleep on my side without leaks, but when I change positions, moving onto my back while sleeping, the mask begins to leak loudly.

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wiredgeorge +0 points · about 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

I have a full face mask and can change position with no leaks. Guess it depends on the type of mask.

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Sierra +0 points · about 2 years ago Sleep Patron

It probably would be helpful if you gave a little more information about your issue. What brand and model of mask is it? How long have you been trying to get it to work? Do you have a provider that is obligated to help you out with the problem? What are the pressures that you are running the mask at?

Mask leaks are probably the most common and most annoying problem with using a CPAP. You can be sure that you have a lot of company with others that are struggling to get their mask to seal consistently. I was not successful in using two full face masks (Mirage Quattro, ResMed F20), but others certainly have been. It probably comes down to getting the mask tight enough but not too tight. That is a trial and error process. I also find your pillow type and how you use it makes a difference. My son uses the Mirage Quattro, and likes it. He tells me that when he side sleeps he sleeps with the mask off the side of the pillow so he does not disturb the position of it on his face. I have also tried a softer pillow like a down alternative and that seems to help a bit. The pillow does not push back on the mask as much. I also think using a satin pillow cover helps some too. It allows your head and mask headgear to slide around on the pillow more easily without disturbing the mask position.

If you provide some more detail, perhaps you will get some more suggestions. Each mask is a little different, and all masks do not suit all people. It can be a combination of finding the best suited mask to you, and then adjusting it properly.

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sillysyl +0 points · about 2 years ago Original Poster

Hi, thanks for the reply. I am new to cpap use, having had it for two weeks, during which my provider has been in a state of transition resulting in different people helping me. I first tried a nasal mask ResMedF20 which I like for the comfort and lack of bulk but my mouth opened quite a bit during my first trial with it, and I panicked every time it seemed to cut off all my air, and of course, leaked. I wasn't able to see another person at the provider for a week, so I left it off altogether. They fitted me with a full face mask of the same ResMed F20 and I tried it but ran into the problem with leaking when I turned back onto my back when I was sleeping. Not so much when on my side. All my so called dashboard reviews say great , but I'm not getting a hell of a lot of sleep. I got more when I didn't have a machine. I find my pillow needs changing, so maybe that will be some help. They left me with both masks last time and told me to keep trying both, but the nasal mask didn't give me a lot of sleep, although I did get some out of sheer exhaustion, I guess.

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Sierra +0 points · about 2 years ago Sleep Patron

It is good to hear that you are getting some help and some choices in masks. It is probably the most critical component of the CPAP treatment. Believe it or not, with all the masks and names, ResMed does have some logic to at least some of them. In general Full Face masks have a "F" in the name, Nasal mask a "N", and Nasal Pillow masks a "P". Not always but most. For that reason I suspect your nasal mask is likely the AirFit N20 not F20?. See link below:

AirFit N20

If so it looks like a well made mask with very good headgear. The issue with it, and the full face F20 is that while the headgear is substantial and should hold the mask in place, the mask itself sticks out quite a bit from the face and is still quite susceptible to being moved, and unsealed. I find that the AirFit P10 nasal pillow mask, see link below, to have a much lower profile on the face and is less susceptible to moving. You don't mention what your pressure is, but I have used it up to 14 cm or so, and it does not leak from pressure at that point. ResMed rates it as suitable up to 18 cm. The headgear on it is not the greatest, but it may work for you. I find wearing a chin strap helps keep it in place.

AirFit P10

SnuzyQ, a contributer here, has posted that she and her husband use the ResMed Swift FX mask. Despite the letters it is a nasal pillow mask, and quite similar to the P10. but with a more substantial headgear setup. It may have a slightly higher profile than the P10, so hard to say which may be better to address your stay in place issue.

My suggestion is to try and convince your provider to let you try both the P10 and Swift FX to see which one works the best. As for letting air out of your mouth, you can try a chin strap. What I have ended up doing is using both a chin strap and paper medical tape (3M millipore) over my mouth. It may seem surprising but I have found that using tape on my mouth to be the least invasive/annoying component of my CPAP setup.

One last thing is the setting in your CPAP for the different masks. You should be sure to ask your provider to set up your machine so you can select the correct mask type as you switch them around. Assuming it is a ResMed CPAP here is a link to a chart showing the correct setup for each machine and mask combination. Surprisingly the N20 mask should be set to pillows, not nasal.

ResMed Mask Setup

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snuzyQ +0 points · about 2 years ago Sleep Commentator

I had this problem too when I was using the full face mask. It was too bulky and interacted whenever I turned to my side with the side of my face on the bedpillow. I switched to a nasal pillows mask...the Resmed Swift FX, and have learned to sleep differently. When on my side and with my head turned slightly away from my bedpillow, my nasal pillows don't interract with the bedpillow and break the seal (which would otherwise wake me up). I do this unconsciously now each night and can sleep uninterrupted and with no leaks.

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sillysyl +0 points · about 2 years ago Original Poster

Thanks for your response. I will keep trying this.

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SleepDent +0 points · about 2 years ago Sleep Commentator

I am a dentist working in dental sleep medicine. There is another way to deal with this problem. Admittedly, it is fairly expensive, but if you are desperate for a solution and have the finances, you might consider it. It is the Tap-Pap CS. When you are wearing a mask with straps, it is inherently prone to leak because it is resting on your skin and skin is moveable and deformable. The Tap-Pap CS has nasal pillows that are held in place by an oral appliance that it supported by the teeth. The teeth are not moveable, hence no leaks no matter how you move around. If you need a full face mask, they have an intraoral mouth seal which prevents mouth breathing. See: www.tapintosleep.com. Arthur B. Luisi, Jr., D.M.D.. The Naples Center For Dental Sleep Medicine. Practice partner, dental sleep medicine, NCH Healthcare System. Practice partner, dental sleep medicine, The Millennium Physician Group.

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sillysyl +0 points · about 2 years ago Original Poster

Thanks, but I have very limited funds and the machine and mask(s) are about all I can handle. I am a pensioner. You are kind to offer this information, though.

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SleepDent +0 points · about 2 years ago Sleep Commentator

Understood. Hopefully someone else can use the information. Good luck to you. Dr. Luisi

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sleeptech +0 points · about 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

ResMed don't make the best full face masks at the moment (for most people any way). Have you considered a Fisher & Paykel Simplus or a Respironics Amara View?

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sillysyl +0 points · about 2 years ago Original Poster

I am in the 30 day test period to see how I make out with the whole cpap thing. I don't know if you are from Canada, but our government pays a certain amount towards our necessary equipment, and they aren't going to pay for an unlimited supply of masks . I have already been supplied with two different ones, the nasal and full face masks. And I can't afford to buy more than one myself, as I am a pensioner.

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Sierra +0 points · about 2 years ago Sleep Patron

If you are in a province that pays for the CPAP and masks you are very lucky. I am in Alberta and the government health care plan only pays for the sleep study, and a two week trial period. At the end of the trial period, you either have to have private insurance or pay out of your pocket to keep the machine and mask. The sleep clinic price for the CPAP kit is outrageous - $2400. So what many do is just return the trial machine setup, and buy the same thing at an on line store for about $900 or so depending on what is in the package deal. If you get into having to pay for a mask at your cost, you may want to check out the Canadian on line stores, like cpapoutlet.ca, and others.

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