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Taking mask off without knowing

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MidnightRider +0 points · 4 months ago Original Poster

Hi all, hope someone can advise.

I've been using apap for a few weeks now and have got my AHI down as low as 5.1 with 7/8 hours of therapy. It was >50 initially. Good news!

Unfortunately this is only every other day. 1 day in 2 I remove my facial mask while asleep without realising until I wake up. This usually happens after either 2 hours or 4 hours. So far the impact has been minimal - I'm no longer having naps during the day - but I'm not waking up with that 'take on the world' vigour that I feel that I would if I could only keep the mask on.

As I said I am unaware that I'm taking it off. I'm sure that others have experienced this. I'm not sure if this is relevant, but my teeth usually feel very cold as the air moves over them, while my face feels hot in the mask.

Any advice would be most welcome.

Thanks in anticipation.

MR

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Sierra +0 points · 4 months ago Sleep Patron

Yes, some people have this issue initially but usually get over it. What APAP machine do you have, and which brand and model of mask are you using? Some masks come off easier than others, and perhaps your machine is not ideally set up for comfort. One common setup issue is having the minimum pressure too low. When the pressure starts out too low, or goes low during the night, it can feel like air flow is kind of restricted or suffocating. That might prompt you to pull the mask off to get more air. Do you know what your minimum and maximum pressure is?

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Sierra +0 points · 4 months ago Sleep Patron

I checked your profile and your previous posts. It seems you have a DreamStation Auto and it is now set to 7 cm and 15 cm? That 7 cm minimum should be enough. What specific brand and model of a mask do you have?

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MidnightRider +0 points · 3 months ago Original Poster

Sorry about the time to get back. Life got in the way.

The mask is called an Easefit FMI. I'm currently on min/max settings of 10 and 20. 90% of 16/17. I've played around with pre-heating and humidity to get them as best as I can, but not sure at all if I've optimised this.

Last night's figures were: Therapy time 7.0 hours AHI 13.2 90% 15.5 Mask fit 55% I slept flat on my back with no pillows.

Sleeping on my side gives a lower AHI but lower therapy time as the mask inevitably comes off.

If there is no Goldilocks solution, I think I'm asking: is 7 hours at 13/15 AHI better than 4 hours at 5 AHI and 3 at 50 AHI? Should I just sleep on my back and take the improvement even if sub optimal?

As an aside, the therapy is working. I'm no longer falling asleep during the day; I'm less irritable and irritating; I've got a bit of colour in my skin again; I have cut down on the booze; and generally don't feel as wretched as I did. I've even started to exercise a little! I'm surprised that things have changed so quickly.

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Sierra +0 points · 3 months ago Sleep Patron

The basic objective is to get AHI under 5. I generally sleep on my side and have not noticed much difference. You are using a fairly high pressure though, so that could be a difference. I tried to find that mask and could not find much. Is it like this one? It looks a lot like the ResMed Quattro. I have tried the Quattro and could not make it seal. If you can get it to seal then that is a good start. The headgear looks quite substantial and it would seem it should stay on. Perhaps it is just a matter of time until you get used to it. One of the solutions to my mask coming off has been to use a satin pillow cover. It has a zipper to make it fit tight and secure on the pillow. The satin is very smooth and does not seem to grip the straps from the mask. The best pillow type I have found is called a down alternative. It is soft and gives like down but is a synthetic material. It does not push back on the mask.

On your AHI readings have you considered downloading OSCAR? With a PC or Mac and a SD card reader you can view the detailed data on your SD card. It may give you some idea what is going on before your mask comes off. It also could uncover some opportunities to optimize your pressure. On a DreamStation there often can be a benefit in increasing the minimum pressure.

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Sherry +0 points · 3 months ago Sleep Commentator

I have been a Sleep Apnea Patient for decades and still struggle with keeping a mask on all night. I have tried many different masks and dental devices. Whatever it is, it's not on me when I wake. MyAir numbers vary daily due to this issue. I am also tracking with Oscar. I recently had a Dr. acquaintance who suggested that I may need C-PAP plus medication or CPAP plus Positional Therapy or oral appliance plus medication. I need to visit with my provider about those options. There is something that is causing my body to pull off the mask or oral appliance during the night. Maybe I don't get into a deep enough sleep? I will say that moving my settings to automatic has helped significantly.

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RebeccaR +0 points · 3 months ago Support Team

Hello, There have been some wonderful responses already! I just wanted to share these old threads on this same topic in case reading about the experiences of others is helpful (or even just provides comfort)! Evidently this is a common problem...

https://myapnea.org/forum/taking-mask-off-without-knowing

https://myapnea.org/forum/removing-cpap-mask-in-the-middle-of-the-night/

https://myapnea.org/forum/how-do-you-avoid-taking-your-cpap-off-at-night/

https://myapnea.org/forum/remove-cpap-mask-while-sleeping/

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