Forum · Singer performer suffering with dry mouth and throat

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[-] DiligentChocolateSparrow1989 +3 points · over 1 year ago

Hi Everyone ~ I have been on my machine (APAP, I think?) for about 7 months. It was all going well until about 2 months ago when I started getting dry and it has progressively worsened. I'm dry all day now. My tongue and throat and mucous membranes all feel dried up. My ResMed app tells me that I'm not having mask leaks and I always get high scores (95 or more). The biggest problem is that I'm a singer and sing about 5 hours a week. Sometimes my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth! My sleep study scores were 5 episodes per hour during light sleep and 12 during REM sleep. I was really only prescribed the machine because my oxygen drops to 81%. My pressure is set to auto and it usually rests right around 10. I sleep with my mouth closed - I'm sure of it... but maybe I don't? My nose is always stuffy, so maybe not. But I feel SO MUCH BETTER being on the machine except for the dryness. I use a heated line and humidity. When the dryness got irritating I raised the humidity one point. I'm on a full face mask.... and have had no problems until this. I bought the Biotene rinse and tabs and am just trying those out. I'm not sure where to go with this. Any advice?

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[-] barbz +0 points · over 1 year ago

I use a BIPAP with a humidifier as well as the Fisher Paykel HC 150 external humidifier. I also use the Hybernite (?) heated hose attached to the separate unit. While I started using this setup when I was using the Oracle oral mask. Kept using it when I switched to an Activa Lt nasal mask. I have Biotene, but don't really need it. Hope you can find something that works. I have found that some Cpappers work to acquire the knack of keeping the tongue on the roof of the mouth as it helps to prevent breathing through the mouth. My tongue found its way there nicely.

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[-] DiligentChocolateSparrow1989 +0 points · over 1 year ago

Thank you!

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

Hi @DiligentChocolateSprarrow1989. Have you tried setting your humidifier to an even higher level? You can turn it up until you find the right level that helps prevent dryness. If you experience too much moisture in the mask or tubing, you may have to go back down on the setting. I have rarely encountered a patient who believes he or she sleeps with their mouth open, but it is actually fairly common. I have known patients who have used a room humidifier in addition to the PAP device humidifier to help alleviate dryness. Finally, you may want to have your humidifier checked to make sure it is functioning properly if continued adjustment does not provide additional moisture. Hope this helps!

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[-] DiligentChocolateSparrow1989 +0 points · over 1 year ago

Thank you, Dan. When I wrote my post my humidifier was set to 6 (out of 8) and had been for several months. My tube temperature is set to 82 degrees. I like warm air. It feels good. I made 4 changes: I read somewhere and can't remember where to turn my humidity down a notch, which sounded very counterproductive but I tried it for one night. It excessive dryness was definitely not worse and maybe just slight better. Second, I tried suctioning my tongue to the roof of my mouth. Third, I drank a ton of water each day. Fourth, I rinse with the Biotene morning and evening now and use a lozenge during the day at times. Each day my dryness has gotten progressively better and today is not distracting me like crazy. I'm the type of person that would normally try one thing at a time to find the actual solution but I was desperate and so tried everything at once. I "think" the position of my tongue and drinking tons of fluids probably helped the most. Turning down the humidifier is just weird, but I left it at 5. And I'm sure the humidifier works properly as the water is near gone in the morning.... OH, NOW I GET IT.... okay, so before I turned the humidifier down I was noticing that I was almost out of water each morning. I'm wondering if the water tank capacity actually can't hold enough water to moisturize the hose air for several hours in an already dry room? If the tank runs almost out then maybe I was getting humid air with a blast of dry air near the end of my sleep? Probably a good idea to humidify the room itself too. I was doing that over the winter but not this summer. Thanks!!

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

Excellent news! I'm glad to hear you are experiencing some improvement in your symptoms. And you may be correct about your tank running out of water and experiencing a blast of dry air. Keep us posted!

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

You wrote: "My sleep study scores were 5 episodes per hour during light sleep and 12 during REM sleep. I was really only prescribed the machine because my oxygen drops to 81%." *This is the stuff that drives me nuts. * YES you needed the machine because of the O2 desaturations down to 81%, but you ALSO NEEDED IT because of the numbers! It is NOT only the number of apneas/hypopneas that causes trouble, and the desaturations they can cause in some but not all people, but ALSO the *sleep fragmentation! * ANYthing that rouses you out of the normal sleep "architecture", that cycle of light/deeper/deep sleep we do, can become a problem if it happens frequently enough for long enough. I don't know who suggested you really only needed the machine because of the desaturations. The AHI numbers are a moving target, the machines and the scoring are variable, and you need to protect your sleep regardless of the numbers. If they tell you AHI of 5 is normal -- here's a pound of salt for you. IF they tell you under AHI of 15 is acceptable -- here's a ton of salt for you, and in my own imperfect but long-experienced opinion, get yourself a second opinion. It's YOUR brain, it's YOUR life, and a lot of what I am learning about AHI and guidelines etc is politics. By the way, I loved the suggestion of trying to keep tongue on the roof of the mouth -- I will have to try that one, now, too. And Dan's suggestions about the humidifier etc were (of course) great, and I only ever wake up with such dryness and/or sinus headache when I have, despite my best efforts, slept on my back with my mouth open OR if the humidifier ran out of water. Good luck!

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[-] DiligentChocolateSparrow1989 +0 points · over 1 year ago

Thank you, BrainsNeedSleep!

Yes, the sleep study folks said that my numbers were low enough they didn't think I'd get put on a machine. My neurologist ordered oxygen for me right away while I waited to get to the sleep lab again. My pressure score was 16 but I was suspicious because the stupid mask leaked all night at the lab and I told them that. It was a nightmare. I got my machine programmed to 16 with a ramp feature but I thought I was going to die. It just didn't feel right. I couldn't sleep at all because I kept swallowing a ton of air and burping after each breath. I was persistent in asking for help and my neuro doc had my machine set to auto-titrate (between 8-16) and sure enough, my number usually sits around 10 on average.

I don't think I want to live without my machine. I slept fine until I had children #4, 5, and 6. About 20 years ago I began waking up a lot at night (with 3 kids under 3 I had to!) but once the kids started sleeping I was still waking. I thought I would get back into a good sleep pattern but never did. A couple years ago I was waking up 12-15 times a night and thought it was normal! I reported this to my primary doc and after asking me if I snored (I don't) he just gave me the normal advice for better sleep habits... which I tried to no avail.

So, after gaining weight... having my BP go up slightly... being exhausted every.single.day... I also began having muscle spasms.. and then occasional headaches. One got so bad I thought I was going to die so ended up in the ER. I kept almost passing out and my MRI showed those white spots in my deep white matter... so off to neurologist I go. I gave him all my symptoms and he carefully listened and said "I'm pretty sure you have sleep apnea." I was floored! He told me every single one of my symptoms pointed toward the apnea. We'd already ruled all other causes out. I encourage everyone to get checked form sleep apnea now. Wow... it can do some serious damage.

I recently began riding my mountain bike 5 days a week and I'm into week 4 now. I am building muscle and hopefully losing some weight. I have a TON of energy during the day compared to what I used to have and I can actually THINK clearly now. It no longer takes me an hour to fall asleep. I am asleep in less than 5 minutes. I no longer have to stay in bed for 10 hours to feel somewhat rested... I'm ready to hit the floor running after 7 hours! My machine is giving me my life back.... and if I can keep my tongue from drying up I'll keep singing too!!

Thanks and check out my reply to Dan up above... it explains the 4 things I've tried for this dry mouth...

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

I suffer from extreme dry mouth; bipap set on 25/20 with a full face mask and my mouth is clamped shut all night. I can't set the humidity higher than 5 on my machine as it will run dry in just over 4 hours. I sleep GREAT and wake up rested and have almost no AHI on most nights and my O2 level doesn't drop below 95 when checked (I have an O2 meter to monitor effectiveness of therapy). I purchased Biotene tooth past, the mouth rinse, the pump spray and the candy drops. The candy drops were a waste of time. NO effect. The pump spray bottle was stolen my one of my pups and eaten so I can't comment much on it but it seemed to have no more than a momentary effect. I have found that I still wake with a dry mouth (can't even speak immediately) but the tooth paste and rinse get my mouth back to normal during the day quickly. I have found that sucking on sours (sugar free candy in a round plastic container) helps more than anything if my mouth is dry; much more than the Biotene products (pump or candy drops). Altoids mints also help but not quite as well as the sours.

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[-] DecisiveRubyCat2109 +1 point · about 1 year ago

I use a full face mask and still have a problem with dry mouth I started using something called XyliMelts and it solved my dry mouth problem. Put two tablets in the bottom of your mouth and let them dissolve overnight. The two tablets last all night and no more dry mouth

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

I looked into dry mouth products when buying the batch of Biotene products to try. There were a couple website that had ratings for this type product and I didn't see anything on XyliMelts at all. Will have to give them a try as soon as I can. Many thanks for the tip!

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