Solving CPAP Mask Leaks by Cpapclinic.ca
Do you deal with persistent CPAP mask leaks?
In this post you will gain insight as how to solve this problem.
The CPAP machine is essentially a means to utilise air pressure as an pressurized splint to keep the airway open during sleep. A very common issue occurs when pressure escapes from the CPAP cmask and goes into the air and renders the CPAP therapy ineffective.
Different CPAP Mask Leaks (and their causes)
1. Mask Seal Leak
The leak from the mask seal is the most common leak problem found in CPAP therapy.
It occurs when the air from the breathing machine is leaking between the “mask” and your face and spurts out into the eyes, cheeks, lower chin, etc.
2. Mouth Leak
The mouth leak appears when you sleep with your mouth open, and a significant amount of air pressure exits instead of entering the airway. This occurs with nasal masks.
Side Effects from Mask Leaks
There are two reasons why mask leaks aren’t favorable:
- an uncontained CPAP mask leak may challenge your CPAP’s programming to maintain the prescribed pressure, cause the machine’s sensors ability to stop detecting therapy, and prevent the CPAP’s internal algorithms from working properly.
- substantial leak may interfere with you and your sleep by blowing in your eyes, making noises or produce increased airflow though your upper airway and dry you out via your nose and mouth.
How to Prevent the CPAP Mask Leaks?
Things to do prior to sleep
If you already have a CPAP mask, and eliminating air leaks is proving difficult during your nightly therapy, here are some immediately useful tips that can be done to prevent those leaks.
- Clean your mask with warm soapy water. Clear away all dirt, debris, etc. And let air dry. (mostly done in the morning)
- Assuring a dry mask, place it on your face, make the velcro adjustments nice and even on both sides of your head (goes for most masks)*
- Connect your mask to the CPAP tubing
- Assure the tubing is connected to the CPAP
- Turn on the CPAP
- Make sure no air is seeping out into your eyes, sides of face, lower chin for full face masks and nose masks. For nasal pillows, maske sure no air seeps out from your nostrils.*
- Test the fit while laying down on your back, then on your side
- If the mask is just not fitting, consider a new soft cushion (part that touches your nose and/or face) or consider a completely new mask.
- If your mask almost seals properly but not quite, read below. You may have to add an accessory like a mask liner.
*it is virtually impossible to cover the vast array of masks and their particular adjustments. This quick fix is meant to very general.
Liners are an excellent solution, especially if the general fitting guidelines are very close to working, but not quite. Liners can also work with Nasal masks.
If a liner won’t work and you use a full face mask, consider Resmed’s newest solution to mask leaking ~ memory foam!
Memory foam is now on CPAP masks.
Airtouch mask is now available to assist with solving for mask leaks.
But if this doesn’t work
If for some this isn’t enough because the jaw drops open and breaks the seal at the bottom of the full face mask.
The solution can be a chinstrap.
Chinstraps can also help prevent “jaw drop” which commonly causes unwanted leaking (around the chin area) during sleep and poor CPAP mask performance.
The newest version is extra durable and completely adjustable.
Keys to success for a nose-only mask and chinstrap
- The key is the hold of the velcro of the chinstrap.
- You’ll want a tighter chinstrap hold with a nose mask to actually keep the mouth closed during sleep.
Keys to success for a full face mask and chinstrap
- You’ll want the chinstrap to “cradle” the jaw so you can still open it slightly and breathe through your mouth with a full face mask.
The chinstrap adjustment difference is small but quite big in importance for the type of mask you are using.
In our next post, we’ll cover the smartest approach in acquiring a new mask.
Call 1.877.430.2727 for help.
Written and Edited by Bill Bistak B Sc.,SEO/SEM Spc, CRT
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