How to Troubleshoot & Improve Leak Performance?

General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
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ozij
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Re: How to Troubleshoot & Improve Leak Performance?

Post by ozij » Mon Feb 26, 2024 11:33 pm

A different pillow for your head may also make your mask leaks better - worth investing in if they bother you.

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vandownbytheriver
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Re: How to Troubleshoot & Improve Leak Performance?

Post by vandownbytheriver » Tue Feb 27, 2024 8:55 am

MikeekiM wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2024 9:27 am
I took your comment to heart and tried a longer piece of tape to make sure I got the corners really well. But today's chart looks identical to my previous chart.

Tonight, maybe I'll put one horizontal over my lips, and two verticals at the ends to secure it even better to see if that makes any difference at all.
OK... note my method has the two vertical strips *first*, then the horizontal one on top of them. When taping, press along the low/deep parts (into the corners) first, then secure the rest... tucking the lips while doing. The tape should follow the contours of your face without bridging across gaps.

If you test the tape job in the morning by inflating your cheeks you'll see if it held... if it developed a leak the air will take the same path quite quickly. GL!

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Re: How to Troubleshoot & Improve Leak Performance?

Post by MikeekiM » Wed Feb 28, 2024 5:13 pm

vandownbytheriver wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2024 8:55 am
MikeekiM wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2024 9:27 am
I took your comment to heart and tried a longer piece of tape to make sure I got the corners really well. But today's chart looks identical to my previous chart.

Tonight, maybe I'll put one horizontal over my lips, and two verticals at the ends to secure it even better to see if that makes any difference at all.
OK... note my method has the two vertical strips *first*, then the horizontal one on top of them. When taping, press along the low/deep parts (into the corners) first, then secure the rest... tucking the lips while doing. The tape should follow the contours of your face without bridging across gaps.

If you test the tape job in the morning by inflating your cheeks you'll see if it held... if it developed a leak the air will take the same path quite quickly. GL!
What kind of tape are you using? And why do you do the two vertical strips at the end of your mouth? If you have a long enough tape, shouldn't a single strip across work?

@pugsy - Are you a mouth taper (you may have mentioned this, but I don't recall). If so, what are you using?

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Pugsy
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Re: How to Troubleshoot & Improve Leak Performance?

Post by Pugsy » Wed Feb 28, 2024 5:39 pm

MikeekiM wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2024 5:13 pm
@pugsy - Are you a mouth taper (you may have mentioned this, but I don't recall). If so, what are you using?
Not now.
Been on cpap coming on 15 years now and I only really taped seriously the first 3 months or so.
Have done it on a rare occasion since then but just when I was trying a new mask and having leaks and needed to know for sure if they were mask movement leaks or not (majority of the time it was mask movement).
And I just used the cheap old blue painter's tape that I had left over from painting the kitchen.
I have never bought special tape. Didn't need or want to.

I can do the tape thing but I just don't want to nor do I really have a serious need to.

See this recent report. I didn't tape.

Image

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vandownbytheriver
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Re: How to Troubleshoot & Improve Leak Performance?

Post by vandownbytheriver » Wed Feb 28, 2024 6:17 pm

MikeekiM wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2024 5:13 pm

What kind of tape are you using? And why do you do the two vertical strips at the end of your mouth? If you have a long enough tape, shouldn't a single strip across work?
I use the Cover Roll Stretch Tape (CRST)... two rolls 13$ on the Zon:

https://www.amazon.com/Cover-Roll-Stret ... B01F9JFBBY

This is what Lanky Jason recommends... works great for me. Water helps this tape release... folding a corner gives you a tag for pulling.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGAHEENnatw



At first I taped like Jason... one piece, 3" long, across the (tucked-in) lips. I always found it had failed in the morning... when I did the cheek-inflate test it was at the bottom corners of my mouth, usually just one corner. So I got mad at it and put three pieces as I described... this held fine. I'm getting up to 16-17cm pressure... Pugsy is hitting 10 max on their graph. I ended up moving to full-face *with* tape, as I described... leaks are gone.

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Pugsy
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Re: How to Troubleshoot & Improve Leak Performance?

Post by Pugsy » Wed Feb 28, 2024 6:25 pm

vandownbytheriver wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2024 6:17 pm
Pugsy is hitting 10 max on their graph.
That was the one night. I routinely will hit max IPAP of around 14 cm and sometimes even higher.
My pressure needs used to be a lot higher but not so much anymore since I have lost some excess pounds.
REM stage sleep is where I will see the greatest pressure needs most of the time because my OSA is about 5 times worse in REM (documented on an in lab sleep study).

Before the weight loss I had to use a minimum pressure of 10 cm and would see pressures hitting nearly 20 cm IPAP and I still had occasional 0.0 leak nights depending on the mask.

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robbob2112
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Re: How to Troubleshoot & Improve Leak Performance?

Post by robbob2112 » Wed Feb 28, 2024 10:43 pm

Not to make lite of your long struggle, but curing leaks is the first step to make a good nights sleep.

I thought I was a nose breather until I started. I tried mouth taping and couldn't handle it. Ultimately Iended up on the F20 airtouch or the F&P Evora (looks like the F30 but has a large size.)

For either of those two I get good result once adjusted right. But on the F30 I put cover-tape along the bottom edge a lot of the time.

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Re: How to Troubleshoot & Improve Leak Performance?

Post by MikeekiM » Thu Feb 29, 2024 10:34 am

robbob2112 wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2024 10:43 pm
Not to make lite of your long struggle, but curing leaks is the first step to make a good nights sleep.

I thought I was a nose breather until I started. I tried mouth taping and couldn't handle it. Ultimately Iended up on the F20 airtouch or the F&P Evora (looks like the F30 but has a large size.)

For either of those two I get good result once adjusted right. But on the F30 I put cover-tape along the bottom edge a lot of the time.
I don't think you are making light of my struggles (and believe me, I think I am likely one of the worst cases of adapting to CPAP/APAP). I started my "journey" in June 2022 and only this December was I able to wear it consistently throughout the night (a full 18 months after I started). Here's my chart showing my struggles just keeping my mask on.

Image

So I am not sure that the absolute first step to a good night's sleep is curing leaks. But it's probably a distant second to actually being able to wear and use CPAP/APAP all night long.

Now that I have finally got to that point, I am curing and addressing issues/problems as they come up. @Pugsy helped me address the manual adjustment of my heated tube last month. And this month I am trying to address these leak issues.

Last night my mouth was completely sealed. Couldn't blow out any air this morning (but I did wake up with some massive coughing which triggered me to take the tape off around 4am). Mask leaks seem to be introduced around 3am or so. I wonder if it is because my facial oils have built up by that time, making it more difficult to keep a seal on my face. I am only a week into this mouth taping, so I am going to continue to power through it.

As my history with CPAP/APAP demonstrates, I am patient with this process. Many of my friends/family are shocked that I struggled through using it for 18 months (which was 18 months of very poor and frustrating sleep).

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Re: How to Troubleshoot & Improve Leak Performance?

Post by MikeekiM » Fri Mar 01, 2024 10:02 am

Weird situation last night. Went to bed with tape on my face. Woke up with the tape removed from my face and wrapped around my index finger like a bandaid. I don't recall doing this in the middle of the night. That said, my leak score was relatively good (on the MyAir app, I lost 3 points due to leaks). I haven't checked OSCAR data yet.

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Re: How to Troubleshoot & Improve Leak Performance?

Post by MikeekiM » Mon Mar 04, 2024 11:53 am

Another night that my mouth was taped completely shut, and I am still experiencing leak issues. I know it's mask leaking because the air flow sneaking out of the silicon cushion is blowing on my face and waking me up.

Not asking for any advice here. Just wanted to give everyone an update. I am going to start trying adjusting my N20 mask, as well as re-trying my N30i and P10 masks. Now that my mouth leaks are pretty much 100% resolved, I think any issues that I have had with my previous masks may no longer be valid. Will update this thread as I make progress.

It looks like it isn't necessarily high pressure that causes my mask leaks. Leaks mainly wake me up in the early morning, a couple of hours before I wake up.

Image

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Pugsy
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Re: How to Troubleshoot & Improve Leak Performance?

Post by Pugsy » Mon Mar 04, 2024 12:49 pm

Look at the mask I use....it doesn't move around.

At least now you know what the problem is. That's a start.

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Re: How to Troubleshoot & Improve Leak Performance?

Post by MikeekiM » Tue Mar 05, 2024 2:02 pm

Scored another "100" in MyAir app with no loss of "points" for high leakage.

Last night, the thing I did differently was cinching my mask a little tighter. I am very careful not to tighten things down too tight for comfort issues, as well as the fact that sometimes too tight leads to increased leakage.

Before going to bed, I focused on moving my head slightly up/down and side-to-side to see if that movement separates my mask cushion from my face (even if ever so slightly), and I cinch down the straps accordingly. Seems to have worked. I'll rinse and repeat tonight to see if I can repeat this performance.

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Pugsy
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Re: How to Troubleshoot & Improve Leak Performance?

Post by Pugsy » Tue Mar 05, 2024 2:11 pm

Sounds like you got a good handle on things.

At some point in the future you might want to try it again without the tape and see what happens.
You never know but there is always the chance that your mouth learned to stay shut better. Stranger things have happened.
I know it did for me. I know it's not perfect but the mouth opening I might do now is a whole lot less than what I was doing when I first started cpap therapy. A lot depends on why we are opening the mouth....either out of habit or physical need to mouth breathe because of congestion.

I never have had much of a congestion problem unless I was ill but I sure had a bad habit because of most likely gasping for breaths due to the apnea events messing things up. Once I fixed the apnea event thing then I didn't have gasping breathing and the mouth stayed shut...for the most part. I don't mouth open or mouth breathe enough now to really be a problem and since I sleep right through it I just don't care. :lol:
It did take me about 3 to 4 months of taping to "unlearn" that bad habit though...or at least unlearn it enough so that it really didn't impact my therapy.

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Pugsy
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Re: How to Troubleshoot & Improve Leak Performance?

Post by Pugsy » Tue Mar 05, 2024 2:16 pm

Oh...the mask movement thing...that's something we don't always have good success with controlling.
Straps get loose (they stretch out with use over time) and sometimes we just toss and turn more.
With time and experience you will recognize those issues and fix them when they happen.

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Additional Comments: Mask Bleep Eclipse https://bleepsleep.com/the-eclipse/
I may have to RISE but I refuse to SHINE.

If you want to try the Eclipse mask and want a special promo code to get a little off the price...send me a private message.

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Re: How to Troubleshoot & Improve Leak Performance?

Post by MikeekiM » Tue Mar 05, 2024 2:24 pm

Pugsy wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2024 2:16 pm
Oh...the mask movement thing...that's something we don't always have good success with controlling.
Straps get loose (they stretch out with use over time) and sometimes we just toss and turn more.
With time and experience you will recognize those issues and fix them when they happen.
Yes, I think the tendency for the mask "tightness" to drift is part of my problem. I mistakingly took the perspective that once I adjusted my mask, that it is somewhat "set and forget", and that I just need to take it off in the morning, and put it back on without needing any adjustments the next evening. But I think that is a mistake on my part. I think that I will need to bob my head left/right/up/down each evening if for no other reason that to confirm that the fit has not "drifted".