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Mask too tight for comfort but leaks if not tight

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wandafeb02 +0 points · 4 months ago Original Poster

My mask needs to be extremely tight. If I loosen it for comfort, it leaks.

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Sleepea +1 point · 4 months ago

Perhaps a different type of mask, what mask are you using? If the mask has duel straps you might need to adjust only the lower or only the upper straps.

How bad are the leaks? I have mask leakage but my therapy is still positive, the sleep center said the machine will adjust for some leaks.

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wandafeb02 +0 points · 4 months ago Original Poster

I use a AirFit F30. It leaks to the point that my husband wakes me because it's so loud. If I loosen the straps, it leaks even more. I'll keep trying to adjust it. Thanks for your reply.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 4 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi wandafeb02

As Sleepea implies most masks leak to some extent much of the time especially if you require high air pressure.

Extremely tight could be as much a cause as a solution. Masks are not generally intended or required to be extremely tight.

If you have the opportunity to safely try out some different masks you might find a better solution but it will often come down to a compromise.

Sometimes the strap adjustments can be about shifting the leak to a point where it is less uncomfortable rather than entirely eliminating it and then there is the issue of the straps shifting around on the head.

I use a chin strap and although I do need it nowadays to help prevent mouth leaks I consider it's primary benefit to be that it prevents the mask straps from sliding around and causing excessive leaks or the loss of the mask altogether during the night.

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wandafeb02 +0 points · 4 months ago Original Poster

Thank you so much for replying. I might try a chin strap.

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SleepDent -1 point · 4 months ago Sleep Commentator

I am a dentist working in dental sleep medicine. As I said repeatedly on this forum, masks that strap to the head for seal are inherently subject to leakage. Skin is deformable and the movement can cause loss of seal. A better approach is to use masks that are supported by the teeth. Case in point is AirWay Management's MyTapPap product. See:www.Tapintosleep.com. I am working on a version that can also seal the mouth internally to avoid leakage. My efforts have been somewhat sidelined by Covid. Arthur B. Luisi, Jr., D.M.D. The Naples Center For Dental Sleep Medicine.

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wandafeb02 +0 points · 4 months ago Original Poster

Thank you. That's interesting.

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Sherry +0 points · about 2 months ago Sleep Commentator

I use TapPap. I am still getting adjusted to it and just received the internal mouthpiece from Dr. Luisi. The additional insert is helping as I am a mouth breather naturally but have been working to change that.

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Helsal +0 points · 13 days ago

Hi, Sherry:

I'm considering ordering a TapPap, but I'm worried I'll get a swoosh of air through my mouth. I'm not a mouth breather during the day, but with the regular nasal pillows, my jaw drops open at night and I end up taking the mask off. Do you recommend the TapPap for my situation? Thanks!

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Sierra +0 points · 4 months ago Sleep Patron

What pressure is the machine going up to at night? You may want to look at using a mask liner like RemZzzzs. Or some people make them at home out of cotton t-shirt material.

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wandafeb02 +0 points · 3 months ago Original Poster

It goes up to 16. Would you recommend it be lower?

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Sierra +0 points · 3 months ago Sleep Patron

It is not a good idea to arbitrarily change the pressure. It is best to get sleep clinic advice. But the higher the pressure the harder it is to get a good seal.

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wandafeb02 +0 points · 3 months ago Original Poster

Could it be that the mask isn't fitting properly? I have put on a few pounds due to being shut in.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 3 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hello again wandafeb02,

I think many of us have added a few kilos recently. It seems to be a symptom of life in pandemic mode, or at least that's what I keep telling myself.

I suspect that you would have more issues with leaks if you lost weight because filled out the cheeks would probably give the mask a smoother surface to seal against but that's just an unfounded theory of mine as applied to oldies like myself. It might not apply to feb02.

It's possible that you are tightening the wrong straps and the top strap is sliding forward on your head while you are moving around on the pillow. Have you considered adjusting it in front of the bathroom mirror or getting your husband to adjust it for you.

You could ask your sleep clinic if it would be advisable to reduce the pressure a little and check what the maximum setting is on the machine because they sometimes seem to max out for no apparent reason and leaks are likely to make that worse.

The mask liners that Sierra mentions might be worth a try too and another suggestion that seems to help is a slippery pillowslip like the satin ones or, if you have the funds, a real silk one. They help prevent drag on the straps as you move your head around in your sleep.

Yet another potential issue is the hose itself which can pull the mask sideways and cause leaks. Some like to tuck it under the blankets somehow but I prefer mine fed through a hose stand that suspends it above my head. There may be other options that work too.

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