It is expensive, and it is frustrating, and until we have custom 3-D printed masks, it is something many of us have had to just deal with. You are not alone in it.
I recently read someone was selling some sort of salve for leaks and to help reduce sores. Since I think the mask interfaces are silicon and I am not a chemist, I imagine some ingredients would help degrade that material. Having said that, I wonder about a mix of beeswax and coconut oil -- a nice mix of tack and slide...
Also -- machines HAVE alarms in them that can be activated or not -- in my experience, many DMEs forget to ask you if you want it on or off, and default setting seems to be "off." This may not be true for some of the less-expensive models, but every respironics or ResMed machine I have had did have the alert.
Leaks: I recently learned that machines tolerate a certain range of air leaks and compensate for them in their operating algorithms (which are different at each company). So while the air feels like the wind is all going in your eyes (not good!) or just not in your trachea, it may still be within acceptable limits.
I'd mention it to the doc, but mostly be concerned about keeping it out of my eyes.
Also, as I mentioned elsewhere, some people do well with "mask liners," which you can make yourself or buy online. I tried once but it didn't help me. These liners supposedly are helpful with maintaining seals and reducing sore spots.
Persist. Think of a cloud of your "apnea colleagues" hovering with you on the nights you want to chuck it out the window... We're with you!
Particularly good DMEs will have a wide selection of masks for you to try in their office. But I have YET to have one suggest I lay flat to try it! The recliner in one office was a nice touch but it did not go back far enough. Insist on trying the mask with air blowing into it while you are in your normal sleeping position -- it boggles the mind that so many have wanted me to try a mask on while sitting up! Sheesh.
Also, try loosening the relevant strap just a tiny bit. Sometimes that is enough, sometimes it is not.
I do not understand why, in this age of 3-D printing, masks are not yet being custom-built for our unique faces! Soon, I hope. Til then, understand you have much company in your search for the mask that will let you go "ahhhh..." As you slip off to sleep.
My solution was an ENT who is doing internal nasal reconstruction and I can now use pillows -- massively huge improvement for me! After 6+ years...
Bhek, I envy your first post-PAP morning feeling better! It took me many months to begin to notice improvement in cognitive function and energy...at first I could barely make it to noon...then it was one o'clock...and so on.
Pressure sores -- often from sub-optimal strap fitting. Try slightly loosening -- and I mean slightly -- whichever strap is tightening that part of the mask. Be sure you have read the instructions: for example, the ResMed Quattro FX full face mask requires straps somewhat looser than others because of the particular engineering of that fit. I found it hugely helpful as the mask seals from the air pressure itself a great deal. Some people also benefit from the mask "liners" that one could make or else purchase online from somewhere like cpap.com (I always had good customer service there).
Hose management: I bought a bed with a curved headboard and sling the hose over that, so the hose travels smoothly along with my tossing about. Some have installed those swinging-arm plant-hangar thingies and rigged a smooth loop on it through which to pass the hose. That also moves with you when sleeping, but I figured I'd whack my head on it at some point, thus the headboard (concave, not convex curve).
I am utterly convinced that untreated sleep disorders are ONE cause of dementia -- anything is better than that. So I used to look like a fighter pilot and sound like Darth Vader with my full face mask -- at least I could think again. That doesn't mean I don't sometimes want to nuke the thing!
First and foremost, get your DME to be helpful about getting a properly-fit mask. IME, many are unhelpful and the good ones are worth their weight it...good sleep!
Second, your PAP most likely DOES have an alert that goes off -- your DME probably did not set up your machine properly. I have similar machine but not gender-specific and have it set to alert me. When you get hold next of your doc or DME, be sure to ASK them to tell you what all the possible settings are and have they been maximized for you! For example, there are mysterious settings for specific mask types. Is yours set properly for you?
Third, ResMed has very responsive folks on Twitter so if ALL else fails, you can tweet a question directly to Mick Farrell, the CEO, at @ResMedMick or just @ResMed.
I have learned we must ask the questions we don't know to ask -- almost an impossibility -- but unless you are one of the very lucky ones, you will need to be your own best advocate. Persist and don't be discouraged.
for any research on any issue.