Well, having given up on finding a way to mitigate the problem w/the Resmed Quattro full face mask's flimsy outter cushion cover's sharp edges slicing into the bridge of my nose quite some time ago, I decided since I was due for a new mask to give another full face mask a try.
I had asked about the Respiornics FullLife but my provider didn't have any in stock and whilst they would have ordered if I insisted they were willing to let me try any of the full face they had in stock in my size and exchange at no cost those I wasn't successful with.
Tim suggested the ProBasics Zzz-Mask and it seemed okay w/the initial fitting so I kept it to try for a week. Much like the FullLife it does not have the forehead piece which is a plus in my book since my angle between forehead and bridge of nose just doesn't seem compatible w/most masks that have the rigid brace w/o adjusting capabilities. Besides, I prefer the comfort of the less the better, especially when it comes to weight.
The headgear is WAY TOO LARGE!. The bottom straps meet and the velcro must overlap to fit comfortably. It is designed for the top straps to fit just above the ears. Yeah, right. It can be QUITE uncomfortable to have those straps riding at the crease between ears and skull and if you lay on your side QUITE uncomfortable to have your ear pressing on that strap, especially when there is the double thickness of the strap! Some experimenting allowed for pulling that top strap more to the top of the head which also raised the bottom strap from so low on the back of the head, actually more at the back of the neck. I anticipated that the bottom strap at the back of the neck was going to be uncomfortable so raising the top strap to the top of my head alleviated that as well.
I wasn't too impressed the first few minutes last night. There was a most definite rise and fall w/every inhaltation/exhaltion. Hell's belles, it was like using my VPAP Auto in spontaneous mode almost!!! Only mask pumping up and down instead of an abrupt "puff" between IPAP and EPAP. Very distracting and irritating. But eventually that ceased and I was able to fall asleep. And sleep I did for a solid 4 hours and 15 minutes. And then I woke up. I have no idea why. Except - my mouth and lips were drier than a burnt boot and when I looked at the data on my LCD screen!
AI 6.5 - HI 19.7 - AHI 26.2 and Leak rate 1.2 median, 4.8 for the 95th percentile and 9.6 maximum. Which just goes to show you that the old-timers at cpaptalk are CORRECT, Leak DOES matter!!! Obviously my pressure settings are way too high when using a full face mask.
But back to the Zzz-Mask: It was a good fit as far as sealing, there just was no problem w/seal that I was aware of and most certainly not according to the data. Once the "pumping" stopped and I got the straps adjusted correctly (I will probably have to cut the top straps and velcro them and most likely the bottom ones too) I rather like this full face mask.
No problem at the bridge of the nose. Very little problem w/leak around the eye which I am VERY sensitive to and will NOT tolerate. It was quite easy to eliminate that leak quickly and occurred only when first fitting the mask when I went to bed and 1-2 times during the last 4 hours of the night when I didn't sleep as uninterrupted as the first half of the night. AND for the FIRST time in YEARS I didn't even need to make a bathroom trip when I woke up during the night! Nor was there any big rush to the bathroom when I got up this morning!!!!
However, I may well have to pack my H3i away and dig out my trusty F&P HC 100 stand alone heated humidifier because my H3i was almost bone dry this morning after 8 hours and 13 minutes of sleep. The last 4 hours were quite interrupted sleep and yet I still feel rested this morning. Tho, heaven knows what this afternoon will bring!!!
I'm thinking of dropping my pressure settings to EPAP 5 and PS 5 and am undecided on the IPAP setting. Maybe 13 IPAP.
One thing to its DEFINITE DETRIMENT! The strap clips. They are flimsy. And ProBasics MUST be aware of that because they provide an extra set w/the mask. I HATE THEM! I found them difficult to use. Maybe because I am NOT used to using a strap clip. I'm used to just "doing" and "undoing" one bottom strap velcro strip.
We shall see what the rest of the week brings w/this mask but overall I THINK I am going to like it once the headgear and strap clips and I come to a meeting of the minds. Obviously I can't start in w/my trusty scissors and velcro until I know whether I want to keep this mask or not.