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EQUIPMENT QUESTIONS

  • When and how should I clean my mask?
    Daily Wash the mask system with warm, soapy water. Do not use soaps with added scents. We recommend plain Ivory® liquid soap or baby shampoo. Rinse well and allow to air dry out of direct sunlight. Weekly Separate and hand wash the mask components and headgear in warm, soapy water. Do not use soaps with added scents. Rinse the components well and allow them to air dry out of direct sunlight. Cautions: Do not use solutions containing vinegar, bleach, chlorine, alcohol, aromatics, moisturizers, antibacterial agents or scented oils to clean any part of the system or air tubing. These solutions may cause damage and reduce the life of the product. Do not expose any part of the system or tubing to direct sunlight as it may deteriorate the product. If any visible deterioration of a component is apparent (cracking, tears, etc.) the component should be discarded and replaced. Note: The headgear may be washed without being taken apart. The dye used in the headgear may run during the first wash.
  • What is the best way to adjust my mask for a proper fit?
    Facial muscles change when we lie down and further relax once we are asleep, so it is always best to fit the mask while you are in your sleeping position. If you sleep in a bed with no pillows, fit your mask like that. If you sleep in a recliner, fit your mask that way.
  • How can I keep my mask on at night? I often find out that I've removed it in my sleep.
    This type of problem is likely occurring due to nasal congestion. If you have a history of sinus and allergy problems, you may be better treated with a full face mask and/or humidification. You should discuss this with your primary care physician.
  • Do I have the correct mask size? I have to strap it so tight (to make a seal) that it hurts.
    It probably means you have an incorrectly fitted mask. When using a ResMed mask, it is important not to over-tighten the mask system. If you can only get a good seal by over-tightening the headgear, you probably have the wrong size cushion or an incorrectly adjusted forehead support. If you are using a ResMed mask that has a MicroFit dial, it is important to note that your clinician has set the dial at the optimal position and adjusting it significantly from that position may cause discomfort.
  • If the electricity goes off while I sleep, will I be able to breathe through my full face mask?"
    Yes, full face masks have a special anti-asphyxia valve that opens if your PAP device loses power. This feature allows you to breathe room air in the event of a power failure.
  • My mask is leaking. What does this mean?
    This may indicate one of several things: incorrect adjustment incorrect assembly incorrect size mask is worn out and needs replacement
  • Why and how often should I replace my mask cushion?
    You should replace your mask cushion periodically because as it becomes worn, it becomes less effective. The life of a mask cushion depends on use, the oils from your skin, and cleaning. It is always a good idea to inspect your mask routinely; poor care may adversely affect the fit of the cushion and thus performance. To get the longest life from your mask, be sure to wash your face each night before putting on your mask, and wash your mask after each use. Use only mild soap, nothing with perfumes, moisturizers, antibacterial agents, bleaches, etc, Always dry your mask and cushion out of direct sunlight. Poor performance is often the first clue that your cushion may need replacement Check for small tears or pinholes, anything that might cause a leak. Household pets have been known to damage cushions by playing with them and so have children, so you may want to keep your mask out of reach. Also, be sure you don't leave your mask somewhere that receives direct sunlight during the day.
  • Why and how often should I replace my headgear?
    You will need to replace your headgear occasionally. Like mask cushions, the life of headgear depends on use, the oils from your skin, and care (cleaning, etc). Taking good care of your mask is the key to maintaining the best performance and mask fit. Wash your headgear at least once per week and dry it out of direct sunlight. If you have oily skin or hair, you may need to wash it more often. Headgear should last longer than a mask cushion, but it will depend on use and environment.
  • When is a full face mask preferable to a nasal mask?
    If you mouth breathe or have mouth leaks, then a full face mask will provide a number of benefits over a nasal mask. A full face mask will stop air loss that can compromise treatment, and it can resolve dry throat and nose problems. If you mouth breathe or have leaks, you will not be receiving your full treatment pressure and thus may not be getting the full benefits of your treatment.
  • Are there other benefits from using a full face mask?
    Even if you don't mouth breathe, you may still experience mouth leaks. Mouth leaks can contribute to decreased treatment effectiveness and consequent symptoms of poor therapy.
  • My doctor says that my nose is blocked on one side from a deviated septum. Which type of mask is better?
    With a deviated septum, you are likely breathing through your mouth due to your nasal passage being blocked. A full face mask will certainly work for you and would allow you the option of breathing through you nose and/or mouth. If your mouth is dry in the morning, you are probably breathing through your mouth.
  • I normally use a nasal mask. Can I use a full face mask when I have a cold?
    Yes, however the thing to remember is that every mask has slightly different flow characteristics, so if you're using an Auto or BiLevel device, you'll need to change the mask setting on the user menu when you switch masks.
  • Which is more comfortable? A nasal mask or full face mask?
    Everyone is different. Some people find that they prefer a full face mask while others prefer a nasal mask. It is really personal preference. However, both our nasal and full face masks utilize the same cushion technology that inflates to form a floating seal, maximizing patient comfort.
  • I have a moustache. Can I use a nasal mask?
    Depending on the flexibility of the cushion, most masks will seal on a moustache, more flexible = better. A shallow cushion in particular is ideal for patients with a moustache, as they may need to adjust the cushion in closer to the top lip. A shallow cushion allows the user to angle the cushion more and maintain the seal at the bridge of the nose.
  • Can a full face mask be used with bilevel treatment?
    Yes. Based on one recent study, one could argue that people using bilevel therapy are more likely to benefit from a full face mask because they are more prone to mouth leak and mouth breathing. In the study, data showed that nearly ALL patients on non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV) experienced some degree of mouth leak and/or mouth breathing. Mouth leak reduces the quality of your sleep and causes sleep fragmentation.
  • Can a full face mask be used with a heated humidifier?
    Yes. Switching to a full face mask may eliminate or reduce your need for humidification.
  • I'm having skin irritation, what can cause this?"
    Possible causes of skin irritation: Headgear strap adjustment too loose or too tight A poorly fitting mask (either unsuited style or incorrect mask size) Worn out mask Dirty mask - Silicone can absorb contaminants such as oils, sweat, dirt and creams from your skin. Extended contact with these contaminants during the night may irritate the skin. If you are experiencing skin irritation, try one of the following suggested solutions: Readjust your headgear straps. The mask should be as loose as possible while still creating a seal Consult your mask user guide or quick-fitting guide, alternatively consult your CPAP therapist for a mask fitting. A different style of mask may provide a better fit Inspect mask cushion and frame for wear, stiffness, cracks or breaks. Replace either the mask or parts that are worn out Wash mask daily according to user guide instructions, with a product that you would use to wash your face. Use mild soap and warm water (30°C/86°F) Wash face before bed (suggested - pH neutral) to remove excess facial oils Avoid using facial lotions and creams where your mask comes into contact with your face, as these products may interfere with mask seal and potentially degrade the quality of the cushion over time. Place some porous hypoallergenic skin tape (consult your local pharmacy) over sensitive or irritated areas to create a barrier between the skin and the mask
  • I'm having nasal irritation, what can cause this?"
    Constant air flow, especially at high treatment pressures, can lead to dryness, nasal irritation and nosebleeds. Humidifiers provide relief from nasal irritation and dryness by adding warmth and moisture to the air delivered by the CPAP or bilevel system. There are also nasal oil products available in most pharmacies to help treat and prevent dryness.
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