Ahhhhhh! FitLife Total Face Mask FINALLY!
First things first -- thanks to Sheriff Buford, purple and woodworkerjunkie for their valuable advice!
Second things second -- I think the FitLife has gotten a bum rap. Even Respironics advertises it as the, "'Problem solver' . . . a solution for patients who have difficulty wearing conventional masks." The design seems to have such natural benefits, I would have tried it earlier without that corporate caveat! Instead I waited until I had a reject pile of 8 to 10 masks and I experienced the normal nose bridge problems, irritated nares, pressure grooves, eye irritation, excessive leaks, etc.
I have used the FitLife for four nights and the mask was extremely comfortable.
However, the first night I had major problems with leakage.
purple wrote:Unfortunately, if there is any pressure on the mask, side to side, or up and down, or from the hose. Then the mask walks across one's face. And we get a leak.
Throughout the night I had major "mask walking" and major leaks. When I analzed my data the next morning, the leakage was well within the acceptable limits, but the noise from the leakage was very disruptive and I did not sleep well. My immediate conclusion was, "another item for the rejected mask heap". But, other than the noise, it eliminated all the irritations and I had excellent stats: AHI: 1.8, which consisted of only 8 hypopneas.
The second night was perfect!
woodworkerjunkie wrote:I was having trouble with it leaking at the center of my forehead and had to pull the straps real tight to get it to stop, so I bought a sweatband sold in the sporting goods at Walmart and placed that around my head and the top front of the mask, that way i don't have to over tighten the straps. Then I found the mask wants to walk on your face while your asleep.
I didn't have the opportunity to go out and buy a sweatband, so I modified WWJ's idea: I took an old chinstrap and wrapped it tightly around the mask. My wife stitched the two ends of the strap and I used gorilla tape to attach it to the upper face plate. It totally stabilized the mask without me having to use excessive tightening of the mask straps. I frequently turn from side to side and my ASV machine regularly increases the pressure to the 18 to 22 cm range; however, I was awakened only once during the night by leakage noise. I slept well and had excellent stats: AHI: .18, with only ONE hypopnea! PLUS, the stabilizing strap allowed me to use my Tempru-Pedic pillow and rest my mask on the pillow without leakage -- no need for the CPAP pillow.
Third night, ditto. My AHI was ZERO! The only issue was during the middle of the night, the "chinstrap" slipped on the top of my head. The leak noise woke me, but I placed the chinstrap again and went back to sleep.
Fourth night, AHI of .22, which consisted of TWO hypopneas - 8 hours and 7 mins of restful sleep with no awakenings!
Two final thoughts:
1. NOTE to current PR System One users: I have seen several threads in which users indicated that they had their "SYSTEM ONE resistance" set at X1. The elbow swivel tube on my mask is clearly marked: X2!
2. Pad-A-Cheek: Karen indicated that she does sell a liner as a Special Order. Because of the labor involved, she is in the process of raising the price from $20 to $25.
CONCLUSION: I realize that each of us is different, with different face structures and what works well for one my fail for another; however, IMHO, I feel the FitLife is an excellent mask and should NOT be considered a mask of "Last Resort." If you haven't tried it, I would strongly recommend that you do so.