Huge CPAP Mask Leaks Due to Weak Chin Problems (Mouth Breather)

by Skip Radau
(Tucson, AZ, USA)


I love your web site.

I started using a Phillips System One CPAP machine with humidifier late last year. The CPAP pressure was set at 14cm H2O. At first I used a nasal mask that was made by Resmed. It was an older mask that did not have a forehead pad. After trying several other types of masks it is still the best one I have tried so far, even with my allergy problems since the humidifier seems to minimize them (set to 5 on the System One machine). I think it's success was due to it not resting on my chin since when I open my mouth to breath my chin drops back and causes all the full face masks and one hybrid to tilt and leak. I sometimes wake up to find my mouth under the lower edge of the masks. Yes, I am a mouth breather. The other masks I have tried are:

1) Fisher & Paykel Full Face Mask (FFM) (M & L)
This one didn't have an adjustable forehead pad and cut into the bridge of my nose pretty bad.

2) Resmed Quattro Pro FFM (L)
This one's adjustable forehead pad worked great. Unfortunately after my mouth opened and my chin receded during sleep the mask crept up my face and sat on the bridge of my nose and my mouth was exposed to the outside world.

3) Respironics Comfort Gell FFM (L)
This masked behaved the same as the Quattro Pro.

4) Respcare Hybrid Mask. (L)
The nasal pillows would pull out and air leaked there and around my mouth as my chin dropped back.

My question for you is whether the Respironics FitLife FFM that looks like a scuba mask would work, or would my receding chin cause problems with it too. If is a bad choice what would you recommend? Nasal pillows and a nose mask seem to be my only other options.

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Jun 01, 2012
Try Using This - CPAP Mouth Breather
by: CpapHelpDesk

Hi Skip,

I am so glad you like the website and find it helpful. Thank You.

I have a number of points to mention and some of them I am sure you already know and some might not uniquely apply to your situation. So please bear with me:

1. It appears you experience a pretty severe “Jaw Drop” (opening of your mouth.) Very common. The best solution is to use a CPAP chin strap along with any mask.

2. Now if you are using a Full Face CPAP Mask, you only have to keep your mouth partially closed. Just enough that you are not causing your mask to ride up and cause a leak. If you use a Nasal Pillows or Nasal Mask ….the CPAP chinstrap must keep you mouth totally shut !

3. See our CPAP Chin Strap reviews. On the left hand navigation bar of my website there is a button that says Chin Strap. Click it and you will see various video reviews of them.

4. Were you ever “fitted or measured” for a mask ?

Or was it given to you because someone or you said you were a large for one “type” of mask and a false “assumption” was made that you should be large for all types of masks.

Always measure. To large …more room for leaks and mask movement.

5. Strictly For the benefit of others reading this comments, I believe you meant Mirage Quattro Full Face Mask. I think Quattro Pro is software not a CPAP mask.

6. Yes worth considering the Respironics Fit Life Full Face Mask & the Oracle (Oral CPAP mask). However see the video reviews I created for them. I show and explain their strengths and weaknesses.

7. I would not recommend using a CPAP Nasal Pillows because your settings are on the high side (14 cmh20) ….your delicate inner lining of your nose may hurt. Generally speaking, nasal pillows are more comfortably tolerable if your CPAP pressures are 10 and lower.

8. Yes you can try any nasal masks but you must use a CPAP chin strap to control your mouth. The moment you open your mouth, you will experience the air rushing out of your mouth and your are NOT getting CPAP therapy.

9. As far as CPAP Hybrid Masks goes, “The Hybrid” seems to be a better option than the ResMed Mirage Liberty. Something about the Mirage Liberty that causes those nasal pillows to pop out fairly easily. See the video reviews on both them on this website. That has been my clinical plus personal experience.

10. Make an appointment and physically go to your Home Medical Equipment Company’s office. The purpose is to have them show you and let you try the various sample CPAP masks they have.

11. Please bring your CPAP, Power chord and Tubing with you and actually try it out. I know this sounds trivial but trust me you must bring them.

12. You must try out the mask at 14 cmh20. Not at the ramp settings. Use your best guess and open your mouth the way you think you do when you are in deep sleep This is one of the best way to evaluate how the mask feels and may function at night.

I am glad you are not giving up. There is too much at stake.

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