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I need some help, please.  A few weeks ago I was given a full face mask to try after telling my pulmonologist that it appears my mouth is opening while I sleep, even though I use a chin strap.  I've been using a nasal mask.  There's no problem with air leakage.  However, I gave up with the full face mask because as soon as the pressure increased, the air would start leaking out.  It would seem to be okay at the beginning.  Before I could fall asleep, though, the pressure increased to the point where it would leak out in a large area.  I think the full face mask is the answer to the problem of having my mouth open, but I don't know how to keep it from leaking air.  I switched back to the nasal mask for now. 

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Hello Danilyn, I am very interested in your problem. I have had a similar problem for years. I have always had a full face mask and have omly ever had one mask that would go anywhere near fitting. My mask is an old version of ResMed full face. I am definitely a mouth breather, whose mouth will not stay closed even with a chin strap. I need so much strap pressure to reduce leaks that it becomes painful across the bridge of my nose and other parts of my face. I often remove it through the night, because I waken with the mask hurting. I have progressed to a VPAP Adapt as it is obvious after many years that I have Complex Apnea. I don't know just how or if this affects pressures, but I still waken frequently after a couple of hours sleep. I wish I could give you an answer.
Regards, Bill.
try turning on your machine prior to fitting your mask with the machine still running and on
Unfortunately the mask seems to be the achillies heel of XPAP. Often we have to work with a mask to get it to work. Be sure the straps are not too tight (counterintuitive, I know). Some people find a small bead of silicone- use Macks silicone earplugs, available in most drug stores. You take the earplugs and roll them into a bead- I use one about the size of a pencil- and place it around the entire edge of the mask where if meets your face. You have to place the mask where you want it the first time you put it on with the silicone. Another alternative is to go back to your nasal mask and use micropore paper tape, or blue painters tape to tape your mouth shut. This works for some people. You can also talk to your DME of sleep doc about the problems you are having and they may recommend another mask. Good luck. It's a real problem.
Danilyn, I had the same problem with my fullface mask(pressure at 18h2o, so I went about solving the problem by developing a solution I now call Quietus Liners. The cloth liners interface between your face and the mask and stopp about 98 to 99% of air leaks and the associated noises. Thye also absorb facial oils and even allow you to use moisturizer on your face at night if you so desire. Check out my new compant at www:quietusliners.comHope this helps you as well as it has others and myself.
Darilyn - Here is how I cope with similar problems: I have tried every full face mask and nasal mask on the market, and none of them give a good seal, or they cause sores, even with the commercial bridge-of-nose pad or liners that I make.

So, I use the Swift Mirage II nasal pillow system, as follows: I use a Ruby Puresom chin strap, which keeps my mouth closed on my oral appliance (advances the lower jaw, which is too far back), and I stitched velcro on the sides of it just
above the mouth area. Then I made a mouth flap out of thin neoprene and left the center blank, and stitched the compatible velcro part (to mesh with the velcro part on the chin strap) to each side of the mouth flap. The mouth flap can be a rectangle or you may want it a bit narrower in the middle.

I then made covers for the mouth flap, cotton knit, that I can wash. At bedtime, I set up the machine and humidifier/heat base (this is Respironics BiPap SV, since I have two kinds of sleep apnea), attach the hose, assemble the Swift Mirage II parts (I use the large nasal pillow instead of medium, because I turn my head a lot and can avoid breaking the seal with the large), and turn the machine on and let it boot up.

Then I put on the chin strap, the mouth flap - which presses on my lips (I adjust it to my liking) to keep them closed (wearing an oral appliance helps, and you can get a cheap on online that doesn't do much, since the chin strap will keep you biting down on the oral appliance, but without the mouth flap it won't keep your lips sealed). Then I undo the hose end from the Swift Mirage II assembly, put the assembly on with nasal pillows, and catch the top of it on the top of the chin strap on top of the head.

I also tuck in a couple of cotton knit cushions that I made for comfort, right after I put the chin strap on (but before I put on anything else). I have also made some fleece strap cushions with Velcro to put around straps.

You will get a better fit if you rotate the nasal pillows upward a bit and tighten the straps slightly, once everything is in place. A word of warning: wearing the mouth flap has given me receding gums in the front, so I don't smile as broadly as I used to.

Vicki in Illinois

Please tell us which brand and model of full face mask you are using.
I taped my mouth for a few years, but had another sleep study and...guess what? I needed a higher pressure. Getting to that pressure meant that I kept my mouth closed..some would say, for once! ;)

If you are unable to adjust the mask properly, I would need a different mask. Sometimes we do not try enough of them, and if your doctor or DME provider do not allow you to try a number of them, then maybe you could find another. I do realize that is not always possible, but I firmly believe that it is true.

I have used CPAP for about 5 years now, I think. I have had the privilege, and determination, and funds, to buy and try and borrow at least 20 masks. I've bought them from fellow users, new, online, at CPAP auction sites, and had my insurance pay for a few. There are things I like about each, but I have not yet found the perfect mask. It may not exist yet.

All of that said, sometimes we cannot find a solution that is good enough. This resource has helped me use various mask fixes through the years:

Please do not give up and keep trying things. Be creative and come up with your own ideas to try, as those may be best for you. Try your headgear upside down (if you can)...use a different pillow, try hiring someone to gently hold that mask on your face while you sleep...the possibilities are endless, although not always practical. However, if we do not try something different, we will keep getting what we always have. In this case, it means LEAKS!

BTW: I hate leaks of any kind, and some leaks that I absolutely hate are perfectly within the treatment parameters for that mask. Even though I don't like them, the mask is working with a little bit of leakage.

All the best,
I have both the full face and the nasal masks and like the nasal mask way better but when my nose is stuffy, I have to use the full face mask. If the picture above is actually you, I would bet that your mask leaks on the side of your mouth because of the shape of that part of your face. You might want to try a slightly smaller mask so that it is not so wide around your mouth. Another possibility is that you can change the angle the mask fits your face by adjusting the knob that controls the position of the forehead pads. Hope this helps you.
I also suffered from the Resmed full face mask leaking. One thing that seemed to help was to put the straps on upside down. the bottom straps on the top and the top straps on the bottom of the mask. This seems to gove me a lot more support. Hope this helps

I wish I had answers but I don't; I have the same problem, and my leaks are bad enough that the sound wakes me up, usually on my left cheek (i also get minimal leaks where it blows softly into my eyes even though I have the nose adjustment all the way "down").

I am at pressure 22. I have tried every mask that I have been able to and I eventually ended up with the Comfort Gel Full Face Mask.

I had terrible troubles with the bridge of my nose (the people who designed it need to wear it for a couple weeks) so I started using the little gel pad thingies that go across the bridge of my nose and up between my eyes if you will.

That helped with the nose bridge problem but when the mask does leak and I lift it to adjust it, then the nose thing gets blown out of position and then the leaks become worse. So I tightened the straps, and then tightened them again, and that ended up negating the positive effects of the nose gel pad thingie (not to mention there were now huge creases in my forehead, I have enough wrinkles up there already thank you!). And even with the straps tightened it still leaked. =\

So last night I put the straps back to what they're supposed to be and of course I had leaks, and of course when I lifted the mask to adjust it the nose gel pad shifted and finally this morning I just took it off and got up early.

I'm not a designer of these masks so I don't know if my idea would work but what if the makers of these masks put a center strap in addition to the top and bottom? It should be simple to do if they re-engineered the masks, changed the mold so that there are receptables on each side of the mask (in the center between the top and bottom receptacles) for the middle strap to click into, and changed the strap (head gear?) to have the third strap in the middle that would come from the back just like the top and bottom straps do, and snap into the mask.

Doesn't it seem like that would cut down on leaks? And while they're at it, they could fix the nose part of the Gel mask so that it doesn't break down the bridge of a person's nose (a very common problem with this mask, from what I've read; again, the designers of these masks need to wear them for a couple weeks).

Anyhow, I may try the silicone ear plug idea from Mary Z, and I'll check out the link provided by birdshell and I'll check out the Quietus liners (although I have the RemZzzs mask lines that I'll try again.

Thanks everybody!!
I tried several full face masks before I found one that worked well. I use the
resmed mirage quattro full face medium
Its has a good comfort cushion and I like the headgear also. There is no perfect mask for everyone.

A mask moves when you move in your sleep so no mask is going to be completely leak free all the time. The key issues are finding a mask that fits your face, getting the headgear on just right ... it's supposed to create a pillow like affect on your face ... having it on too tight can actually produce more leaks. Most newer cpap machines can automatically compensate for small leaks. If you are sleeping and a leak wakes you up reposition the mask and go back to sleep .. I found over time this happened less often. Full face masks are somewhat less comfortable than nasal masks but they do ensure a better sleep if you are occasionally breathing through your mouth and they do take some getting used to.

Some of the masks I tried I knew right away they were no good, others took several days to determine ... that's why if you buy one on they sell insurance that costs 1/2 the cost of the mask that allows you to return it if it doesn't fit or leaks. What a racket!
I had the same problem and I found these full mask liners at RemZzzs CPAP Mask Liners. They are great. My CPAP supplier doesn't carry them but you can order them.

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