Help with my full CPAP mask please. - Sleep Matters

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Help with my full CPAP mask please.

IdasMum profile image

Sorry this is a long 1st post. Sleep Apnoea

I have been using a CPAP Resmed AirSense 10 Series machine for 3 + years, started on a nose mask . Took to it like a duck to water and was so pleased to finally be sleeping well. It has always been a positive thing for me. About 2 years ago I began to have nights were I was quite dry and my throat would sometimes feel red raw. Little did I know this was nothing compared to more recently. I was provided with a humidifier and it work a little for a few months.

About 5 months ago I began to get so dry, my gums stuck to my teeth and my tongue stuck to the bottom of my mouth, throat like I was in a desert. I put it down initially to Keto mouth as I'd commence on a diet (Fast 800) that put me into ketosis. As the diet (12 weeks) continued, the ketosis wore off but the dry mouth continue with vengeance.

About 6 weeks ago I notice that my mouth was dropping open during sleep (normal ageing stuff I guess) so I contacted my supplier who provided me with a full mask. At the same time as delivering this, the technician increased the humidity settings on my machine (I didn't know this was possible!).

Over the next few nights I struggled with the new mask, couldn't get it to fit and sprung leaks several time per night. My dry mouth however was loads better. I went back to my nose mask just so I could get some sleep but my dry mouth was awful so I tried again with the full mask. I concluded that the mask was too small so contacted my supplier and the technician delivered a larger mask on Friday last.

The mask feels a better size, I feel like I have room inside it but, I still cannot get the correct fitting to stop frequent overnight leaks. I have considered calling the technician but don't know how that will help as sometimes the leaking doesn't start until the end of my first sleep cycle. I won't be apparent immediately.

The night before last I had it so tight I ended up with a massive red mark across the bridge of my nose. I sort of know it shouldn't be too tight so loosened it last night and had more leaks (cold air blasting into the corner of my eye!).

So.....I am stuck. Loosen or tighten? Help, I am desperate.

13 Replies

I have been on cpap for 15 years now and until 2 years ago I loved my nasal mask but a new medication caused serious nasal congestion and all the problems you have described. I had my mouth dropping open and tongue sticking to teeth resulting in bleeding tongue and having to use artificial saliva spray many times every night. So I had no choice but to change to full face masks, I bought many before I discovered the Philips Resrionics Dreamwear Full Face Fitpak, check it out - it helped me immensely and will address many of your worrying problems like air leaks because the tubing attaches top head putting less strain on the seal. There are several versions of this mask around now, it is not like any full face mask I have used, it fits under the nose and allows mouth breathing as well. I live in the U.K. but usually buy all my supplies from America and you can check it out at ( ) If you consider it make certain you get the Fitpak which comes with three different cushions so you have choices plus you should not get face marks, costs $135 from this supplier. The under nose fitting may take a little while to get used to and also the overhead tubing but it is well worth persevering with. If you think I can help please message me. Eric

IdasMum profile image
IdasMum in reply to swindonian

Thank you Eric.

I will take a look. I had a horrible night, very little sleep in the 5 hours I wore the mask for. Eventually swapped back to my nose mask and had a good sleep albeit rather dry.

I am going to swap back to the smaller full face mask tonight as the problems I was having with it are repeated with the larger. Hoping I might crack it tonight (I say/think this every night).

Thanks again.

IdasMum profile image
IdasMum in reply to swindonian

Well, after receiving your reply I did some searching on the internet and found a Resmed Airsense mask equivalent to the Philips you recommended. I sent an email to my supplier here in France with all the info and my technician is coming tomorrow afternoon with a new mask! Fingers crossed it's the one I asked for.

Will keep you posted.

Junella profile image
Junella in reply to swindonian

Wouldn't this cause the mouth to drop open and dry out?

Mouth dropping often has to do with loss of muscle tone (you might not really need a 'full' mask).

You can restore your muscle tone by repeatedly and firmly pressing upwards against the bottom jaw while trying to open your mouth. Might take a few days of doing this on occasion.

~wbic, member sleep-matters forum

Had same issues with same machine. Turned up humidity (See Youtube on how to access clincal settings) and changed to F20 Mask,. Problem solved.

Thanks for your replies.

My humidity was increased when the tech came with my 1st full face mask 4 weeks plus ago.

Dryness much better but when returning to nose mask due to leakage issues, dry mouth came back.

Technician came on Tuesday and supplied me with an F30.

It's far more comfortable than the others and I am getting better sleep and little dryness.

Still need to get the straps right as I am getting some leakage now and again however it seems less agressive.

Just seen this on YouTube. It doesn't review well.

Junella profile image
Junella in reply to IdasMum

This one looks like it would leave marks on my face where the bands are. One I tried left a large red mark across my forehead that didn't disappear for hours. Imagine going to work with that.

I had problems with cpaps and couldn't stand the mask type. I found the best for me is CpapPro. This has nose inserts (I first had a problem with them leaking air, but got it finally adjusted on my own.) Connected below the nose inserts is a mouth guard that keeps my mouth closed at night and should keep the mouth from drying out (that happens when the mouth is open and results in sore throats). This has proved to be the best one for me for more than five years.

I've had one good night out of 6. Back to nose mask last night.


swindonian profile image
swindonian in reply to IdasMum

A good nights sleep for me now is 4 hours but that is largely due to me being my wife's carer and multiple bathroom visits with her. I do try to catch up during the daytime as I usually manage to doze in a chair without apneas (american spelling) although some years ago when I sat down to watch football I did need a cpap on. When I wrote earlier I suggested Resprionics Dreamwear which I thought addressed your pressing problems, I find it great and still use it from time to time. However, in my frantic searches for suitable masks I came accross a cheap BMC mask from China, it is a quarter of the usual prices so I bought one, tried it, liked it and have bought 7 more since (see image), it is now my favourite mask, I have got both models and in two sizes, the last one cost £32 plus £7 shipping. I have in fact got more than 20 masks having ditched the nasal masks, I am paranoid about having back-ups - I have 4 apap machines. I do not get facial marks from the headgear but being old and male I would not mind anyway When I was first diagnosed 15 years ago humidifiers were not always heated and wre in fact separate machines, the unheated humidifiers wre called pass-overs, when I remembered this at the height of my nasal congestion I turned the heat off but still changed the water every night and surprise, surprise - it helped immensely, so much so that although I wear a full face mask my mouth stays shut every night now. I don't know if you can put links on this site but here goes with the link to my supplier I hope you stay safe and well. Eric

Colour photo of 4 new and 3 current being used Chinese masks

The masks in the photo (are they all the same?) look like the original full face mask I couldn't manage.

I am not bothered by the strap marks, just wish they wouldn't pull on my hair.

I looked at YouTube last night and found out how to reduce the ramp up pressure, so hoping that will improve the leaking tonight. I also tried to change the language to English but it wouldn't!

I will go back to the F30 in the review above and see if it works with less pressure. If not it'll be my nose mask.

I don't pay for my machine/masks here in France, it's covered by my health cover.

I have been using CPAP for the past six years for my obstructions in breathing. Its usage helped me reduce daytime sleepiness and improved my ability to sleep without frequent waking up. I used full-face masks for three years. It was comfortable for me. However, three years ago, I was required to use glasses for my eye problems. Full face masks caused disturbances while wearing glasses. My doctor suggested me to use Nasal pillows as they do not cover the nasal bridge. It is also a comfortable option and is easy to use. And it reduces air leakage since they direct air into the patient's nasal passages. So I purchased ResMed AirFit P10 Nasal Pillow masks from [ ]. There are excellent choices here with reasonable prices. You can discuss this with your doctor and bring the most appropriate masks.

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