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Question about exhaling

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Oggi +0 points · 8 months ago Original Poster

Hi, I'm not very used to this so I'll keep this brief. I'm about a week into my CPAP therapy right now and the first two days were amazing. Weird but amazing. I woke with such energy that I hurt myself exercising.

But now it has changed. I cannot breathe when I have my nasal pillow mask on. I cannot exhale. There feels like there is 0 air exiting the vent holes in the front. Even when I remove the hose from the machine and just wear the pillows I cannot get rid of my carbon dioxide exhale and get good air in, I begin to suffocate. When I'm trying to do my therapy it feels like my sinuses are ballooning, and my heart rate soars and so I cannot sleep. First day, solid eight hours. Next day four and five. Next day less than four. And worse as time has gone on. I am thinking of consulting my doctor but in this time of trouble I'd like to avoid bothering her if its something silly I'm overlooking.

I have a very basic Dreamstation which has a ramp up feature but nothing else. Even on 6 I cannot breathe and my setting is at 14. If more info is needed I'll keep an eye here. I just really want to go back to that first night.

The only things I can imagine is the vent holes have a fault. They are not allowing the right amount of exhalation to be released. Again this isnt about pressure even with the hose taken off I cannot breathe properly. Thank you for any help.

Oggi

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 8 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi Oggi,

Yes please keep an eye here because although I might not have much helpful advice others most likely will.

You probably need to let them know what mask you are using.

I think in general that all this gear is totally unnatural and we all respond differently but most find it acutely uncomfortable once they get past the initial days of desperation at least for a while.

If you can't find any hardware or settings to adjust it is most likely that you will need to adapt and adjust your viewpoint and expectations.

Essentially learn to accept and ignore.

In my personal experience nasal pillows are brilliant when they are working properly but they don't work properly if they are not adjusted and aligned and directed properly and that is not always easy to do even if the nasal passages are relatively clear.

My suggestion to you would be to experiment with the strap tensions and positioning and the alignment of the actual pillows until you sense a clear flow of air.

You might also consider experimenting with antihistamines and/or nasal sprays.

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Oggi +0 points · 8 months ago Original Poster

Thank you very much for replying so swiftly! I've done a lot of reading and I know it takes time and dedication to get used to the changes in pressure, breathing habits, and the feeling of a mask. I readily admit I dont know what I'm doing at all.

But in my reading I've seen a lot of people talk about how the exhaled breath from the vents sometimes bothers them, or can gust across their skin and such. No air escapes my vents. Not a single whiff. And should I not be able to breathe at least mainly normally when it isnt even attached? Again I dont know. In a perfect world I would be in contact with my doctor more but again, I'm sure she has her hands full right now.

A singular question really. If I exhale into my nasal pillow mask, should I feel air escaping the vents, or even without pressure should I feel like I am backed up?

Oh! Sorry again I'm not used to all this the mask is an AirFit P10 Nasal Pillow System.

I do hope it's as simple as I'm not wearing the mask properly...or that I'm missing some crucial step or issue. I will endeavor to see if fit or adjustment can get me any air flow. Thank you again.

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Sierra +0 points · 8 months ago Sleep Patron

The P10 mask controls the air flow out the vent very well and it is sometimes hard to feel it coming out. That said there should be air flow through the mesh vent. If you disconnect the mask from the machine and breath in and out does that feel OK? If you cannot breathe freely you may have the mask too tight and you are collapsing the cone shaped piece that fits inside your nasal passages. It is usually best to fit the mask as loose as it can be without it leaking. Then lift the mask away from your nose to let the nasal part inflate, then release it.

The next step would be with the mask disconnected from the machine, hold you hand over the end of the tube. You should still be a ble to breathe in and out fairly freely, but with some restriction. Air should flow in and out of the mesh vent.

Let us know what you find.

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Oggi +0 points · 8 months ago Original Poster

Hello! Thank you for responding to my question. I have read some more, taken more steps, and am waiting for a call back from my doctor. Let me tell you where I am now.

I read up on cleaning and maintenance of the P10 andthought perhaps somehow it was just clogged. So I soaked it and scrubbed it. It is SLIGHTLY better but still very very little air passes through the vents. This is with or without the nasal pillows. Even after removing the nasal pillows and creating a seal over the hard plastic vent piece with my mouth and placing my hand over the pipe air does not travel through the mesh in any appreciable quantity. I may have a defective mesh I am uncertain.

I cleaned it again and set everything back up. Put everything together. Turned it on, full pressure and then experimented with ramping. Not a single chance of me being able to breathe. I tried to adjust the strapping, how the nasal pillows were situated, and changed to different size pillows. The only thing I can come to is the vent. Can anyone recommend a different but similar mask? I do not mind noise (I sleep alone) or venting air. I've slept on downtown streets for two years I can sleep through a little airflow.

Thank you so much for your time and knowledge!

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Sierra +0 points · 8 months ago Sleep Patron

I just checked my P10 mask. With the hose disconnected from the CPAP hose I find it very easy to breath through the hose. If I put my hand over the hose to force air flow through the vents, it does feel a little constricting when I breathe in, and out, but I can still breathe in and out reasonably comfortably, but not as easy as when my hand is not blocking my hose.

My mask is over two years old and I clean it every few weeks using vinegar and then soap and water. If you think the vent mesh is blocked, I would suggest using a tooth brush and pure vinegar. Follow that with dish soap and water. That is all I have ever done.

All of the masks will have a controlled flow through the vents. If they flow is too high out the vent, the CPAP will not be able to produce pressure to control your apnea. So, I am not so sure a new mask is the solution. It is possible to buy a replacement part for the mask, but it is almost as expensive as a new mask. I would spend some try trying to clean it with a toothbrush and vinegar first. But here is a link to the part if you want to replace it.

P10 Mask Part

Other options for masks would be the Swift FX, but I can't recommend it as it has a really high velocity air exhaust. There is also the F&P Brevida but I can't really recommend it as it has kind of flimsy exhaust diffuser. It is easier and cheaper to replace though. I have had both, and I adapted the Swift headgear only to my P10. My wife uses the Brevida and likes it.

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KennyAZ +0 points · 8 months ago

Hi. Sierra is the guru around here so she should be able to help you I sure. Since I use the same mask I thought I would add on. I definitely feel air flowing thru the vents when the machine is on. Especially at your max setting of 14. I got all of my things from a medical supply place thru my insurance. If your mask is that new I would guess you can exchange it for a new one for free. At least I would hope that’s how it works for what sounds like defective equipment.

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Sierra +0 points · 8 months ago Sleep Patron

One more issue may be the size of the mask. If you are using a nasal cushion insert that is too small, it can collapse and not allow you to exhale. The inserts come in small, medium, and large sizes. The first mask is usually sold as a "fit pack". It comes with all three insert sizes, and you try each to determine what size is correct for you.

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