CPAP Masks for Mouth Breathers

Discussion in 'Sleep Apnea & CPAP Users Forum' started by Case, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. Case

    Case New Member

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    I was scheduled to have a sleep test in August. However, even before I could take my test, my mother who is a sleep apnea veteran said that a nasal pillow mask would suit me best. I underwent my test on August 28th, and the RT brought a nasal mask and a nasal pillow. I informed the RT that I am an “open mouth” sleeper, drool a lot and allergies have a particular liking for me and I am worried about using a nasal mask. The RT simply shrugged and said the nasal mask is okay, and one should only use FFM when it becomes necessary, and for closing the mouth, one can always use chinstraps.

    All said and done, I tried a nasal mask and immediately had a disliking towards it. I then switched to a nasal pillow, struggled to keep my mouth shut, but in the end was able to do it successfully. But worried about using a nasal mask when having severe allergies, I got a hybrid also. I tried it once, and even though I had a good sleep, I woke up with a dry mouth. I have these questions

    1) Would FFM help in reducing my dry mouth or would it be the same?
    2) Can I get allergies and cold if I simply use nasal pillow??
    3) Should I go for chin strap if I use nasal pillow only???

    My thinking is on the lines that using chin strap would help me in keeping my mouth shut and reduce problems.
     
  2. worldclassSleeper

    worldclassSleeper New Member

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    I think breathing filtered air would help congestion issues a lot. There are many machines which provide an extra filter to catch more minute particles. I know many people who keep an FFM by their side, and when they have severe congestion issues, they simply use the FFM and once resolved, they go back to using a nasal mask. I think looking at your leak data would reveal if you are a mouth breather. I used chinstraps, was not happy with it, and discarded it and am having a good sleep without straps for past 8 years.
     
  3. MikeWest

    MikeWest New Member

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    It allows mouth breathing.

    Keep an FFM handy

    Chinstraps are more comfortable than an FFM
     
  4. mavericktv

    mavericktv New Member

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    Even I have faced issues with dry mouth and was suggested to tinker with humidity levels as a solution. I have found a sweet spot at high humidity and lower temp which does not dry my mouth out. Though I still have few instances with dry mouth, it is not as severe as previously. I think you should also adjust the humidity settings and see which level is suitable for you
     
  5. ApneaCrusher

    ApneaCrusher New Member

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    The FFM is not very apt for controlling dry mouth. The oral cavity is big compared to the nasal cavity and keeping it well hydrated on a continuous basis is a hard task. Though there are products like Biotene which help in controlling dry mouth, many people end up having dry mouth even with FFM. I would probably train myself in “keeping my mouth shut” rather than using FFM.

    Depends. I had only very few episodes of severe cold due to PAP machine since I started using CPAP a decade ago. The moment I feel as if my nose is beginning to get congested, I begin using saline spray, oral meds and very rarely Afrin spray. I use nasal pillow mask and if my nose is badly congested, then using any type of mask would be useless. When I feel I am starting to get congested, I increase humidifier to the maximum possible extent, and I sleep with my mask on.

    I started out using FFMs but it ended up creating more issues for me, and I switched to nasal pillow about 8 years back and have not had any issues with it till now. Fortunately, I do not get allergies frequently, so can’t hazard a guess there.

    It does not hurt to try. You should remember that one can even have a dry mouth with a small amount of mouth breathing. So, even if you have some minimal amount of mouth breathing when using a nasal pillow, you should not discard your whole night’s therapy. To know the efficacy of the therapy, you should get a machine that gives you leak report. For instance, if you use a nasal mask for say 8 hours and you have a large leak of about 15 minutes, then I would not go for any chin straps. However, if the large leaks go beyond 3 hours or more during an 8-hour sleep, then I would seriously think of other alternatives. As long as large leak stays within 1520 minutes time, I am okay with not using chinstraps.


    Hence I would request you read your leak report for understanding your mouth breathing pattern and then go for chin straps.
     
  6. Alenaerorne

    Alenaerorne New Member

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    I do not fully agree with this because a well-adjusting and well-fitting FFM is a boon to CPAP users. I have two FFM, and I am very comfortable with those. I had tried chinstraps but felt very uncomfortable, and it also interfered with my sleep. Moreover, chinstraps have been proved ineffective in those who use them, so the statement that they are more comfortable than FFM is completely wrong.
     
  7. lana

    lana New Member

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    I agree 100%. Used chinstraps and they simply do not work for me.
     
  8. skinbear

    skinbear New Member

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    I initially tried a nasal mask, then pillow but was not very happy with the use, so shifted to a Quattro FFM and it works great for me. It does not make any farting noises and quietly hums away on the side.
     
  9. Case

    Case New Member

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    Thanks everybody for the wonderful feedback and responses. Would try my mask first and if not successful then would definitely shift to an FFM. I am still in my trial period for CPAP machine, so would try my luck in getting a top-end machine with all bells and whistles.
     

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