Help with a Mask for new Bipap with 28/24 pressure

I have been on a cpap (several different machines) a long time since 1994 (the very 1st test done at Keesler AFB in MS) and it was set at some low pressure like 8 or 10 using a nasal mask and chin strap. During this time, I was within body standards for the military and maintained the standard through the beginning of 2004 when I retired. I went for another sleep study at the VA and they set me up with a Respironics Remstar Auto System One with a pressure of 15. I have always been a mouth breather so when the pressure increased I moved to a full face along with a chin strap. Slept on this thing until I started always feeling tired again and continued this for about a year. Finally went to a Neurologist and had 2 sleep studies and they found several sever sleep problems including night terrors and such. Plus, like most folks I have gained lots of weight over the last 4-5 years after having neck, back, both shoulder rotator cuffs, knee replacement and 3 stints after a small heart attack. They have put me on a Resmed S-9 BIPAP UPAP COPD with a pressure of 28/24. I am having problems a mask that does not leak. I have tried the following: Fisher & Paykel Forma Full face small, Resmed Airfit F 20 medium Resmed Mirage Quatro small and a med. And all leak bunches and wake up and find the bottom of the mask in my mouth. Cut/bruises my nose ect…Thinking about trying a FULL FACE MASK like firefighters use. I do have a few extra masks here that I tried one or twice with my old machine but did not like. I have a F&P 431 med, Resmed Ultra Mirage med, Respironics Amara View med, and a Respcare Hybrid full face with small, med and large gels. All the masks I have tried so far I have to over tighten which hurts and always leaking and it runs the wife out to a spare bed room. Also use cheek pads and Gecko nasal pad to no avail. Anyone have any ideas or experience with this high of pressure. Any ideas for masks? Any tricks? Oh yeah saw video about using a karate mouth guard so ordered several, heated in water and formed for mouth but still did not keep my mouth shut.

Hi @dfellows5. I’ve invited some members of our Facebook AWAKE Sleep Health Support Group to respond to your post.

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Hang on! Help is on the way :slight_smile:

I too have had problems with leaking masks and have not found a solution. But I have devised something that helps.

I have taken a piece of thick soft fabric and cut holes in it for my eyes and nose. I make sure it will cover my face from forehead to chin and wrap around my head. I then place it on my face while laying down. Then I place the mask on top and while holding it firmly in place, I adjust the eye holes so they are not overlapping into my eyes. I make sure there is fabric at the bridge of my nose to cushion the mask. Once it feels good I than strap it in place. Make sure the fabric is pulled straight so as to avoid marks on your face in the morning. 90% of the time it works for me. I’ve even been able to loosen the straps a little.
The trick is finding a fabric that feels comfortable on your face and has some thickness to it. I tried this first with an old towel but the texture left my face looking like it had cellulite! Lol. I found the synthetic fabric called Fleece, to work best for me. It stretches a bit and comes in thousands of colors and patterns. Its also cheap. You will only need to get 1/4th yard. Plain scissors will cut it easily. When determining where the eye holes go, place the fabric like a blindfold over your eyes. Have your wife mark where your eyes and nose are with a marker and use those as guides to cut the holes. Start small and increase the hole size as you try it on till it fits comfortably. The quarter yard of fabric you get will be enough to make 2-3 of these so if you mess up on one you still have more fabric to work with.
While you have it on you may adjust it till you no longer hear leaks. My mouth is covered which helps a lot with the dry mouth I have had to deal with.

I uploaded a picture of what it looks like. I really hope this helps.
If nothing else you’ll get a kick out of my picture. My 3 and 6 year old granddaughters, who I live with, think I’m wearing this on purpose to tease them.

Are your physicians absolutely sure you need such a high pressure? I had leak issues at Pressure 18/14 when I tried a Bi-Pap to see if it could help with a lot of side effects I was having on my C-Pap (my AHI is 106!), but it was painful all night and went back to C-Pap now at Pressure 11 - my Apnea under control, no leakage and I am just living with the side-effects. Clearly the high Pressure is causing the leak, ask if it can be lowered and still get a good outcome with the Apnea. Good Luck to you.

At one time I had the same problem as yours; You might try what I call “The egg mask”, which is an egg shaped clear full face mask. I do not know who manufactures it but google durable medical equipment. There you will find the mask. I have one ordered through them. Should you wait, I will be able to give you the information concerning the manufacturer. Mean while GOOD LUCK, maybe some day these people Will get off their duff and give us a comfortable mask. RW

You have a brilliant mind, the answer to crummy masks which the rocket scientists pulled from a candy bar machine. If you tire of using cloth, try a section of thin (1/4")foam rubber similar to the one in the filtration system in your c-pap machine. While I am waiting for my Easter egg mask, I followed your instructions and it works fine, in fact, I may keep my old mask. RW

Thank you for the accolades! I needed them today. Hope things go well with you.

Thanks for all the responses. I installed Sleepyhead software and pulled my data from my old CPAP and my new BIPAP don’t know what I am looking at yet but will be studying the guides this week. As for am I sure if the DR has the right pressure who knows although he uses a CPAP also. He did say I still had some apneas and normally he would go up go up on pressure but I am already too high. Love the cloth idea!

I too have high pressure 23.8 intake and 14.5 exhaust. I also often wind up with my mask either in my mouth or completely off. I’ve used many different masks. The f 20 seems to work the best. But I’m a restless sleeper with night terrors also. And I really think that’s most of the problem. I’ll keep a lookout on this thread with hopes that someone will have a solution for us.

Hi @j.howie - Do you mind saying if you are on medication for your night terrors?


Sorry for the delay. No I don’t take any medication for the terrors.
I emailed my Dr. and asked if he would turn down my pressure remotely and he did set it for 20.4/10.9. But I don’t think he’ll let that stay because my AHI went from 13.8 to 26.4.

@j.howie For the terrors, have you been diagnosed?

No I have not. I’m not even sure it’ the right description. I have bad dreams and some of them are actually nightmares.