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Steven B. Ronsen updated their profile
Sep 15

How To Properly Fit a Mask. From a Techs Point of View.

First get your bed comfortable. Gather all of your creature comforts and make your nest. this reduces unwanted trips out of bed after the you have the mask on. This is important as you could wake your self up.

TURN YOUR MACHINE ON. Your mask should be filled with air when fitting.

Next I prefer to put the mask on sitting upright. Put the mask on just so that it rest on your face. It should be leaking at this time. (if you have a Resmed adjustable mask crank it out so that the forehead is pushed out as far as possible.)

Now I lay down on my back and listen to my mask leak for a second. Doing this trains your mind to hear them. Adjust the bottom straps first. Undue them and pull them straight out from the mask(the mask will want to slide down the straps). this is to even out the straps. If they are not even stop and fix it! Now evenly tighten the mask down just enough to form seal around your mouth(FFM) or the bottom of your nose(nasal).

Next do the sam with the top straps. Remember the top strap is more of an ancher. It should rest on your forehead rather than dig into it.(At this time if you have a Resmed adjustable mask crank it down. it should hug the bridge of your nose and finsh the seal).

Stop listen. you should not be uncomfortable and you should not here any leaks. The mask should be resting on your face at this point not digging or rubbing but resting. If it hurts loosen it.

If you hear leaks you have to options. 1 pull it straigh up off of your face and set it back down. this will sometimes fix it.
2 you can run your finger in between the seal and your skin all the way around the mask to ensure that the seal is folded under to do its job.

once you have these steps down the others are easy. Turn on your right, and left sides and adjust to rid leaks as well. This is important because the seal won't be the same on your sides as it is on your back. Set your self up for success and adjust for all positions.

Remember it only has to be as tight as you can handle comfortably. If you can't form a comfortable seal then you need a different mask.

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Well said!
Good advice, Rock. CPAP can only help you sleep better if you have a good-fitting, non-leaking mask. The sleep center I go to let me try a few at home before I found the perfect one. Sitting up in a chair trying a mask on without air is NOT the way to test-fit a mask.
Wow, Rock Hinkle!!! I never realized we should adjust the bottom straps first!!! I've always done the top ones first.Thanks for that tip. I won't forget it.

I was never much of a one for "hearing" leaks, but I sure am sensitive to FEELING leaks! The only person who EVER suggested running the finger along the seam line between mask and face to seal the cushion was my sleep lab manager/owner who was the RRT/RPSGT who scored my first PSG evaluation, titration and MSLT tests years ago. AND it works!!! I'm delighted to see you do that too.

Rock Connor, I'm sure you have plenty of mask fitting tips you can share w/us as well. PLEASE do so!
You taught me the finger trick Judy

Judy said:
Wow, Rock Hinkle!!! I never realized we should adjust the bottom straps first!!! I've always done the top ones first.Thanks for that tip. I won't forget it.

I was never much of a one for "hearing" leaks, but I sure am sensitive to FEELING leaks! The only person who EVER suggested running the finger along the seam line between mask and face to seal the cushion was my sleep lab manager/owner who was the RRT/RPSGT who scored my first PSG evaluation, titration and MSLT tests years ago. AND it works!!! I'm delighted to see you do that too.

Rock Connor, I'm sure you have plenty of mask fitting tips you can share w/us as well. PLEASE do so!
That's an interesting phrase, "the finger tip". LOL My nasty ole mind immediately went in a different direction.

Don't thank me, thank my blessed sleep lab owner/manager/RRT/RPSGT.
Ill have to give that a try. About a week ago I bumped up my pressure and I have been having nothing but problems with leaks. It looks like the pressure increase might be working well but sometimes I will wake up because of a leaks blowing air into my eyes. When I go to sleep everything is fine but for some reason in the middle of the night things go wrong. I have been thinking of looking for a better mask or nasal pillows. Any recommendations?
Chris pull the bottom strap down on the back of your head. this will help keep it from rising on your face and out of yoour eyes.


Chris said:
Ill have to give that a try. About a week ago I bumped up my pressure and I have been having nothing but problems with leaks. It looks like the pressure increase might be working well but sometimes I will wake up because of a leaks blowing air into my eyes. When I go to sleep everything is fine but for some reason in the middle of the night things go wrong. I have been thinking of looking for a better mask or nasal pillows. Any recommendations?
Yes, and another CPAP user told me tightening the bottom straps more than the top straps reduced leaks around the eyes rather than the vice versa we tend to think. And he was right, at least in my situation.

And you are right, too, Rock Hinkle, I've run into that recently and have found pulling the back of my headgear down eliminates those leaks. I'm due for new headgear, actually overdue, so ordered a new mask, headgear and chin strap. Meanwhile, I cut a tad off the center strap to shorten it and we'll see if that solves the problem for now.
Perfect instructions!!
Thank you for the information. The technician who fitted me never explained this to me. It has been hard to find a mask that is comfortable. I have 2 discs in my neck that are degenerating and if I tighten the bottom strap to much I wake up with a migraine headache. So, unfortunately I tend to always have some leakage. I don't know what else to do. The leakage does wake me up numerous times during the night because the blowing air is quite strong and pushes the mask out. I have tried to use the nasal type but it hasn't worked well. Do you know if there is a way to correct this without having to tighten the bottom strap so much? Does anyone know of a way?? Any advise would be appreciated.
Thanks these are very helpful choices for making sure your mask fits right.
Yesterday, I met with my sleep disorder doctor. I brought in my mask for some adjustments. The tech didn't even place the mask on my face, he just explained to me how to adjust it. I wished that he would have placed the mask on me and help me fit it to my face. Last night I was laying in bed and I put my mask on. I like the CPAP Machine that they provided me with. It starts automatically after I start breathing. I placed it on my face, then I started adjust the straps and the forehead adjuster (to either squish or let the air flow into my eyes, LOL). I actually held the top part of the mask away from my nose (without the sound of leaks) and then I adjusted the forehead adjuster. And then I went to sleep, but tonight I'm going to re-adjust my mask and try your method of fitting the mask.

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