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FlexiFit Mask

FlexiFit 405 CPAP Mask from Fisher & Paykel was the first mask I have tried when I started treatment of my sleep apnea symptom.

And I am still staying with it. This mask is extremely quiet almost to the point you don’t hear air is coming out of it.

Mask has significant drawback – it is jamming my nose, so I need to adjust it precisely in order to insure there is no air leak. 

I have also tried couple of different devices. Let me share my experience with you.

 

Comfort Curve Resperonics

Per my Internet research Comfort Curve Resperonics CPAP mask is one of the few which patients with sleep apnea symptom like most. So I was waiting anxiously when it arrives to try it on.

 

When I did try it on I was really disappointed. I have found this mask absolutely uncomfortable. In order to prevent leakage of air I must pull facial straps so tight, so it is jamming my cheeks beyond any tolerable level. I was not able even to spend one night with it.

ResMed Nasal Pillow System

Per my conversation with sleep apnea symptom study lab personnel many people like the type of masks called Nasal Pillows. One distinguished characteristics of it – air delivery tubes are going directly to your nostrils. In order to try one I have ordered ReSMed Nasal Pillow System.

Here is my observation. This mask is very comfortable. It is not jamming facial muscles. I almost don’t feel it on my face. Drawback - during my first night I got strong burning sensation inside my nose, so I was forced to change this mask to my first one (FlexiFit 405 CPAP). After couple of days I tried Nasal Pillow again, this time have lubricated nasal tubes with Vaseline. It looks like I feel better now, but not sure at this point if it is the right mask to cure my sleep apnea symptom.

 

BREEZE SLEEP GEAR MASK WITH NASAL PILLOWS

Following suggestions of various sleep apnea forums I decided to give a shot to breeze nasal pillow mask from Puritan Bennett.

 

 

After couple of nights in it I have returned to my old FlexiFit mask and here is my explanation why. Of course overall any nasal pillow system is much more comfortable than nasal mask, which is jamming your face, denting your nose, and creates very bad sensation to which many people will be never able adjust. Nasal pillow illuminates all this at once. Moreover Puritan Bennett pillows are per my estimate slightly better than their analog from ResMed, however noise is still greater comparing to FlexiFit. And the most discouraging part is head gear. It is so uncomfortable… I perhaps only can compare it with some sort of devises used by Spanish Inquisitors. Bad joke perhaps, but that was my impression. I will not return to this mask again. Next one to try will be Mirage Swift || from ResMed. They are claiming 65% noise reduction.

So, we’ll see.       

BRAVO NASAL PILLOWS MASK

As Resmed Mirage Swift 2 is still subject of availability at APRIA (which is only provider of my CPAP equipment covered by my insurance) new nasal pillows mask has appeared on CPAP market. Bravo Nasal Pillows Mask. It is not as expensive as Swift 2, so I have bought it and after three weeks of playing with it here is my conclusion.

 

 

I have found this mask the best mask comparing to any other nasal pillows mask I have tried. But, and let me emphasize my point – to other nasal pillows systems only. The head gear is very convenient to put on and it is very comfortable when it is already on. The mask is very quiet, not as quiet as FlexiFit 405, but it is quiet enough for people like me who could not fall asleep if it is some noisy disturbances around. Bravo does not irritate my nasal passages as Mirage Swift did. It is reasonably comfortable for side sleepers like me, thou with any mask it is better to sleep on your back.

            However the major drawback for me with Bravo (and perhaps with any other Nasal Pillows Mask) – for some reasons I just could not tolerate the entire concept of air blowing directly into my nostrils. Or, I just didn’t dive myself enough time to be tolerant to nasal pillows. I don’t know. In any way every morning after I have slept with Bravo I felt definitely not as fresh as after nights I slept with FlexiFit 405. Yes, FlexiFit is denting my nose bridge slightly, but I am sort of got used to it. So I have decided to keep Bravo as my back up mask and Flexifit 405 is still my primary mask.    

 

Fisher & Paikel FlexiFit 432 Full Face Mask

I have found a lot of positive feed back about Fisher & Paykel FlexiFit 431 Full Face CPAP Mask & Headgear. And since FlexiFit 405 is my primary mask mostly for its quietness I assumed that 432 is using same valve as 405, so I decided to give 432 a shot.

 

 

My first impression was really positive. Mask is covering big portion of your face – it is sort of like you are surrendering to the mask entirely. Peace and quiet, nice.

However, my initial positive feeling started to diminish almost immediately. First complain – leakage. I have noticed that in order to prevent any leakage I need to adjust head gear really tight. So tight that it creates significant discomfort all over my head and with the most troubling spot – my nose bridge. Well, I am sort of got used to it, so I have spent one night using FF 432.

In the morning my disappointment was even bigger. My nose bridge was damaged so badly, I couldn’t use even my primary FlexiFit 405 for couple of days. Additionally to that problem I have gotten some sort of skin irritation under entire mask surface. Well, unfortunately it is a reality – all surface of your face covered by plastic is not “breathing”. Hence you got skin irritation.

So, what else. Yes, this mask is very quiet, same as FlexiFit 405. Unfortunately I wasn’t able even to fallow the rule of thumb – give a second shot when trying new CPAP mask.

Which mask will be my next?

 

Mirage Activa

It was a lot of information on Interment about how gentle this mask is and that you are getting always what you are paying for (this mask is pretty expensive for nasal mask) etc.
So I decided to check it out.
 

 

 

Yes, many things that have been said about this mask are indeed true. Mask is very gentle; it is much more “polite” with the bridge of your nose as well as with other parts of your face. The head gear also is made from some sort of very elastic material, nothing similar to any of other masks I’ve been trying.


However there are some significant disadvantages, which do not appeal to me in particular.
Number one – weight. This mask is heavier interface comparing to FlexiFit 405. It creates some sort of feeling that something really unnatural sticking out of your nose; really weird sensation. It also bad for side sleepers (which I partially am). In contrary FlexiFit 405 feels like natural continuation of your nose.


Number two – noise. This mask is not up to highest standard of quietness. It is not of course a noisy mask, but not as quiet as FlexiFit 405 or FlexiFit 432.


Number three – price. It is three times as pricy comparing to FlexiFit 405. Yes, I would like to pay even 5 times as much for an ideal mask. But this is not the one.
 

 

Table below indicates my sensation about each part of CPAP mask. Please make note that this is my personal sensation about particular mask. Some people may find one mask very comfortable contrary to my negative experience with it.  

Mask Head Comfort from 0 to 5  Face Comfort from 0 to 5 Nostrils Comfort from 0 to 5 Nose Bridge Comfort from 0 to 5

Quietness

from 0 to 5

FlexiFit 405 4 2 N/A 1 5
Comfort Curve 5 0 4 N/A 3
Mirage Swift 5 5 2 N/A 2
BREEZE 0 3 3 N/A 3
BRAVO 4.5 5 4 N/A 4
FlexiFit 432 3 2 N/A 0 5
Mirage Activa 4 2 N/A 3 4.2

 


 

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