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  #1  
Old 25th November 2007, 15:46
highpeaks highpeaks is offline
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Default Mask blowing on eyes

Hi

I'm posting here on behalf of my mother who is a new CPAP machine user.

She has sleep apnea and has tried machines in the past, under the instruction of hospital doctors. They didn't work because she felt claustrophobic with the mask on. They tried a standard mask (don't know details, sorry) and one where she had to "bite" onto something.

She went into hospital last week for a few days observation, while they monitored her oxygen level and fitted her with a new machine and mask. She's determined to give this one a go but the mask simply doesn't fit. It blows onto her eyes, making her very uncomfortable and making sleeping hard.

Can anybody give advice here? I assume that the technicians at the hospital have given her the best fit of mask and also set the best levels of pressure. She's tried tightening the mask but it hurts her cheeks.

Her machine is a Remstar Bipap Auto. She thinks her mask is a medium because it has a large M on it.
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  #2  
Old 25th November 2007, 17:56
chelseauk chelseauk is offline
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Hi you and welcome.. I'm sure you will get some sage advice here. First thing i would say is don't assume anything !

The mask fit is a bit of a difficult one and my hospital couldn't decide on a large or a medium - they went with large and i needed a medium ! So don't assume they got it right - the mask may have a sizing guide with it - mine was on the plastic bag it came in - if so you can check - if not there are sizing guides on the mask suppliers websites - i'd check - just in case.

What type of mask is it ? - i assume it's a respironics (seeing the cpap machine is) - if so then I stuck up some links to the respironics clinicians fitting guide - as mine wasn't really fitted properly by the Hospital.

If your not sure www.cpap-europe.com sell them - so you can do a visual compare.

See :http://forums.cpap.co.uk/showthread.php?t=141 - The clinicians fitting guide was much better than the user ones - stepping through them - with someone helping (making sure the fixing staps are even etc).

Also wiping your face with something like Simple facial wipes (I use the ones in the green pack) - seems to help as it removes some of the skin grease and reduce leakage.

Finally - side sleepers have more issues - as the mask is pushed into the face by the pillow - the CPAP pillow (see the accessories threads) - helps - but you have to get it from the USA via ebay and it's about 50.
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  #3  
Old 25th November 2007, 18:17
highpeaks highpeaks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chelseauk View Post
Hi you and welcome.. I'm sure you will get some sage advice here. First thing i would say is don't assume anything !

The mask fit is a bit of a difficult one and my hospital couldn't decide on a large or a medium - they went with large and i needed a medium ! So don't assume they got it right - the mask may have a sizing guide with it - mine was on the plastic bag it came in - if so you can check - if not there are sizing guides on the mask suppliers websites - i'd check - just in case.

What type of mask is it ? - i assume it's a respironics (seeing the cpap machine is) - if so then I stuck up some links to the respironics clinicians fitting guide - as mine wasn't really fitted properly by the Hospital.

If your not sure www.cpap-europe.com sell them - so you can do a visual compare.

See :http://forums.cpap.co.uk/showthread.php?t=141 - The clinicians fitting guide was much better than the user ones - stepping through them - with someone helping (making sure the fixing staps are even etc).

Also wiping your face with something like Simple facial wipes (I use the ones in the green pack) - seems to help as it removes some of the skin grease and reduce leakage.

Finally - side sleepers have more issues - as the mask is pushed into the face by the pillow - the CPAP pillow (see the accessories threads) - helps - but you have to get it from the USA via ebay and it's about 50.
Hi Chelsea

Yes, she's a side sleeper Because of a disability she can't sleep on her back.

On the link to the pillow site, I notice that there are a variety of masks available. Does she have to use the mask they gave her (a full face mask) or can she choose one of those?

In fact, I remember when we first looked into CPAP a few years ago that people said that a "deluxe" mask was available, and that it was worth the money, because the standard masks aren't too good. Do you know anything about this?

Many thanks
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  #4  
Old 25th November 2007, 19:29
chelseauk chelseauk is offline
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There are loooads of masks available - but you'll have to buy one if the hospital doesn't have it (and they seem to carry one face and one nasal).

There's at least 5 CPAP manufactures and each of these do at least 2 or 3 full face masks and the same number of nasal ones. If she's a mouth breather she'll need a full face mask.

Respironics are pretty good though and i'd say there isn't probably a bad mask out there - but getting them to work right isn't always straight forward - it took me at least a week to get mine working okay - and to be honest i still have good and bad nights.

What setting is she on - the higher it is the more likely it is to leak !

I really would check the sizing and work through the clinicians fitting guides.

To see if the pillow would help - get her to lie on the very edge of the pillow with the mask over hanging it (so the mask isn't being pushed on by the pillow - you can't avoid the forehead bit catching) - if it stops leaking - then the pillow would probably help - as the whole point is to reduce the pressure on the mask.

But first port of call is checking the fitting (Really please don't assume the hospital set it up right).

Last edited by chelseauk : 25th November 2007 at 19:36.
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  #5  
Old 25th November 2007, 19:33
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puffin puffin is offline
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Hi welcome to the forum.
When I got a machine from the NHS, they let me have two masks to try out. In the end I tried 5 masks before I found one that nearly suits me. I still get the odd "puff in" the eye. I tend to roll from my back to left then right and back again. GP gave me some eye cream which helps with dry eyes.

If you mother is having problems talk to her provider, ask if she can try another mask. I know its hard to get the professionals to do what you want, remember it's her quality of life that important so persist until they get it right. There are many types available, is your mother a nose or mouth breather. It may be that she is a nose breather. If so then there are nose only masks which are less claustrophobic. Check out the links from this site to see what available.

Buying is an option, but at 100 plus a go, it worth trying the provider route first.

Good Luck and let us know how she gets on or better still let her tell us herself.
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Old 25th November 2007, 22:28
Joe McManus Joe McManus is offline
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Hi and welcome! Some good advice in here already! It would indeed be a great start to know for certain whether she breathes through her mouth or nose. For either way are some claustrophobes-friendly options. Also let us know the exact mask name and model she uses. That will help determine suitability too as well as finding the right manuals.

Knowing those things will enable to us to share some detailed advice though cealseauk and puffin have hit the nail on the head already with most things.
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Old 26th November 2007, 12:57
highpeaks highpeaks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPAP.co.uk Admin View Post
Hi and welcome! Some good advice in here already! It would indeed be a great start to know for certain whether she breathes through her mouth or nose. For either way are some claustrophobes-friendly options. Also let us know the exact mask name and model she uses. That will help determine suitability too as well as finding the right manuals.

Knowing those things will enable to us to share some detailed advice though cealseauk and puffin have hit the nail on the head already with most things.
Thanks everybody for your replies so far.

She breathes through her mouth. Is a nose mask still possible in that case?

Also, are there any shops around the NW/Derbyshire area that sells masks, and where she can go and either get advice and/or try a range of masks on?
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Old 26th November 2007, 15:27
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As a mouth breather the nose masks would not work. I am a mouth breather and tried a nose mask, very disconcerting to have a continuous flow of air from your mouth. So a full face that covers both nose and mouth is the option. Unless someone else knows better.

I don't know of cpap shops, doubt if there are any. The suppliers have websites and I do believe you can go to see them. Joe, the forum admin could tell you more.
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  #9  
Old 26th November 2007, 18:11
Joe McManus Joe McManus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puffin View Post
As a mouth breather the nose masks would not work. I am a mouth breather and tried a nose mask, very disconcerting to have a continuous flow of air from your mouth. So a full face that covers both nose and mouth is the option. Unless someone else knows better.
There is one option. A chin strap (simple or deluxe) helps with keeping the mouth shut so air does go in via the nose. Some people even duct tape their lips shut every single night though that seems a little extreme to me.

Besides that, a full face mask is indeed an option.

There is in fact yet another option though you'll have to contact the manufacturer directly or look in the States as I've not seen it for sale around here. F&P do an oral mask but it requires a humidifier to work comfortably.

Her provider should be able to give her a chin strap to try though and if that fails, a full face mask. Sometimes you have to be quite persistent to get what you need and deserve.
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Old 26th November 2007, 18:13
Joe McManus Joe McManus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highpeaks View Post
Also, are there any shops around the NW/Derbyshire area that sells masks, and where she can go and either get advice and/or try a range of masks on?
ResMed have offices you can visit to try masks in London, Abingdon (Oxfordshire) and Coleshill in the Midlands.
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