bipap / ear annoyance

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AHands

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there's a major annoyance that is interfering with my use of the bipap during the day:

my eustachian tube (the tube that connects your ear & throat--the one you need to open on the airplane) opens up, causing *loud* breathing sounds in my right ear. i've had this problem for decades, especially when working outside in hot weather, but i could normally close the tube by pinching my nose. i cannot do that with the bipap, and the eustachian tube opens often while using the bipap

anybody else have this problem? suggestions for relief?
 

danjay

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Wow, this sounds really irritating. Are you using a full mask? I switched to a mask that
just covers my mouth and has "pillows" that go to my nostrils. I can scratch my nost,
pinch my nose, whatever. Maybe this would be an answer. Good luck.
Dan
 

rose

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I had this happen when still on the CPAP before being switched to the BiPAP, maybe you could find out if your expiration pressure could be lowered a little? I know that with my machine it has the "bi'flex" option that lets me use the lowest exhale pressure within the parameters of what my machine is set at. (its by respironics) I think its set for 10/6 but somehow it allows me to go to the lower end of the 6 pressure... don't really understand the mechanics of it, just know that I don't have the ear problems anymore.

Whichever company manages the set up of your machine would have to get the ok from the doctor that ordered it, but maybe there is some wiggle room to reduce your out-breath pressure some.

My biggest problem now is that I can't scratch my nose when it itches, and I don't know why it itches as the night wears on, am considering trying benedryl at night!
 

Al

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Have you tried opening your mouth half way and rocking your jay side to side?


AL.
 

AHands

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thanks!

i recently had the bipap pressures adjusted from 10/6 to 10/4.

opening my mouth half way and rocking my jaw side to side does close the tube, but it opens back up on the very next breath. sometimes its a problem, other times not--maybe diet related (e.g. dairy products)?
 

CindyM

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Adrian- maybe fiddling with the amount of humidity will help? I have mine turned up all the way and sometimes notice more fluid in my ears - just enough to make them itch. Turning down the humidifier on the Bi-Pap solves it for me.
 

AHands

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thanks. i've been running mine dry--no water. my hands are too crippled to allow me to fill it myself. also, i already ruined one unit by transporting it with water inside. the respironics s/t is MUCH easier to fill than the respironics m-series bipap-plus, i think i'll give it a try...
 

CindyM

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I often wonder how people with weak hands manage.

My respironics PiPap M series is brand new and everything on it is stiff and shiny. The head strap comes with a little plastic ball-thingy that fits into a slot on the face mask. Good for someone with strong hands but some nights I can barely fasten the mask. Eventually I will need to ask Lee for help, or go get another type of mask.
 

Marjorie R. Wilcox

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Rick runs his without the humidifier. (7 months) He was told to start that way and add the humidity later if he needed it. He hasn't gotten dry or sore up his nose or anything yet. Of course we have humidifiers going in the house to keep the room humidity up toward 50 all the time. (We have a woodstove that takes humidity out of the air.)

In the summer the air is naturally over 50 most of the time.

We were told that the humidity in the bipap can cause more problems than it is worth unless it is working exact. Problems with pressure, and water collecting in the hose etc.
 

rose

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Its interesting that there is a wide array of concerns/opinions/solutions with such a small group of people that have responded to this post. That's why its so important to get a RT to set the PALS up customized to their needs!

It really burns me up that BethU is expecting hers to be delivered via the mail. How can someone with the stage she is with bulbar weakness, in addition to the breathing problems that could stem from either the ALS and/or her heart problem history, be expected to be titrated correctly for the air pressure ratio, or the mask fitting correctly, let alone how much/little humidity!

The first RT that came here, did not do a good job at all in finding a mask that suited the structure of my face, and I ended up researching and buying one on my own via the internet that actually fits! Which is a big deal! Its also easy to put on and off, only thing tricky at all is getting my hair pulled up to the right height ponytail when putting it on, and the importance of this only has to do with not wanting "headgear" hair in the morning, LOL.

The second RT, did a much better job in teaching me about the use of the machine. He also made note of they type mask I'd found on my own, and said that when I'm eligble for the next new mask, that they (the home care provider company he works for) would make sure they had this same mask for me. He asked if I still had the box from it, as he wanted the specific style number, etc.

He also talked to me about the humidifier, much needed for me as I already have dry mouth. I did try running it one night with very little humidity and ended up with a nose bleed, so I need the moisture for sure. About cleaning it, it seems to be easy to maintain, I'd read on another thread where CJ runs her hubby's bipap a while after washing the hose, but my machine cuts off on its own if the mask isn't on my face after a couple of minutes. It also turns on by itself when the mask is in place, which is nice.

Back to the ear problems, until I had ratio of air pressure I have now, not only did my ears clog, but I got air in my stomach. It was awful.
 

AHands

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the Swift

i like the "swift" model mask. it's small, only blows into the nostrils (not mouth) and i can easily don it with one hand--i lift the "swift" toward my face and "sling" or toss the straps up around and behind my head with a swing of the arm, then pull the mask down to my nose, and voila! but i have no pony-tail to contend with.

the other masks i tried had a clear plastic piece that came up between my eyes or otherwise interrupted my field of vision; the compact "swift" leaves my field of vision relatively unobstructed.
 

danjay

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Amen to the comments about finding the right mask. Like Rose I had to do my own research online.
My provider was able to get it for me once I told them what I wanted. Took several months for the wound on my nose from the original mask to heal. I guess the lesson is, don't stop looking and investigating and asking until you really are comfortable. I'm going to checkout the swift mask. Maybe even better than what I have now.

best to all
Dan
 

CindyM

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My sleep lab tech said that with a bi-pap, you get better results if you use a full face mask. Anybody know why this might be so?

I have yet to find a face masks that fits well. I fill in the gaps with snippets of fleece or cotton batting and try all sorts of other adjustments but I'm thinking nose pillows are the way to go. I do want full treatment capacity, however.
 

rose

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Cindy, there is a website for cpap supplies that has a face measurement online tool. It was easy to use, one only needs a ruler (or a tape measure) and the measurements are entered into the online calculator, it then will tell you if the mask you're considering will work for you, and if not, it suggests other styles.

I do not know why a full face mask would be more effective if you sleep with your mouth closed. If it opens during sleep, then that would make sense.

I'd almost settled on the Swift style that AHands has (and likes) but when I plugged in my facial measurements, it turned out it was not ideal. This style, that he has, also comes in one just for women, the straps are a more feminine color. The "swift" is a nose pillow style.

The one I ended up buying and liking is the Fisher & Paykel 406 nasal mask (it is triangle shaped and only covers my nose, not my mouth) The description says "for small faces" there is a very similar version, slightly larger, I think the similar style is one model number different, 407 maybe? Don't remember. The website also had consumer input as far as rating the various ones. You should be able to find the site I'm talking about with just a simple internet search, but if you are interested, and can't find it, let me know and I'll locate if for you. I have no gaps with this mask at all, and the cushioning around the nose cup is very nice.

After looking into this whole thing in depth, I think whether you sleep with a closed or open mouth is a big factor, and also the shape of your nostrils (nares) whether they're round or more slit like, and whether or not they're the same size as each other.

PS, I did purchase the "return" insurance, in case the mask was not a good fit. I ended up keeping my first try, the insurance was extra $$, but I could have returned it if it wasn't what I wanted.
 
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brendapals

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rose,
I also have the one with nasal pillows, but it's not the triangle thing. I hope to get online this weekend and look around. My velcro is starting to need adjusting about once a month, and the nose thing actually feels too big-and it's a small. But I've had the same type for about 3 yrs now, so I think a new measurement would be in order, huh?

I also am very, very lazy with putting the distilled water in the little resovoir thing-don't know that I need it, I know I can't stand it when it feels warm.

When I first started using it, I had a velcro strap that I "wrapped" from my chin up to the top of my head, for the sole purpose of keeping my mouth shut while I sleep!

Now, it's stays shut on its own, thank God,
talk soon,
-b
 
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