Friday, April 11, 2008

CPAP: Whoopee!

With a CPAP unit, one question must be answered: what kind of plastic rig do I want strapped on my face?

One mask just covers your nose. The increased air pressure to keep sleep apnea under control is pumped in through your nasal passages. Works OK if you don’t open your mouth, allowing the pressure to weaken. A chinstrap is supposed to keep your mouth shut, but it also causes the nose mask to slide around more and leak.

Such leaks are called “farts” by CPAP users. Indeed, it does sound like a small whoopee cushion when the air slips out from underneath the flexible membrane seal. Try sleeping with a whoopee cushion on your face making rude sounds.

The other option is a full face mask that covers both your nose and your mouth. The upside is that even if you open your mouth while sleeping, air pressure in maintained.

The downside is there is more area to slide around and leak. A bigger whoopee cushion. Before I could replace my old nose mask, I had to use a full face mask. Despite my carefulness, the mask kept leaking and farting, waking me up again and again. Besides not getting proper rest, I ended up with a bad dry mouth.

I did get another nose mask and went back to my old routine. I skip the chinstrap and gently seal my mouth shut with paper tape. Less mask farts, no dry mouth.

Now if I could do something about another problem. Sometimes using the CPAP creates gas. Ergo, normal farts…

(Note: This post doesn’t offer medical advice. Consult your doctor before you tape your own trap shut.)


X. Dell said...

There some guys in Brooklyn I know who can tape up your mouth, but good.

Sounds like an awful lot of hassle. If the person asleep next or near you has a trouble with snoring, they have to have a problem with farts too (both kinds).

If the tape works, however, maybe the AMA should look into it.

Either that, or maybe a patent is coming your way?

Ray said...

X. Dell:

Apparently you can patent a process. So if my particular mouth-taping routine is considered as a patentable process, I'm in!

Those guys in Brooklyn who can tape up my mouth but good - medical specialists, huh?