Sleep Apnea Guide

I have sleep apnea and use this blog to provide unbiased info about sleep apnea to create sleep apnea awareness. If you have sleep apnea, it is important to seek treatment.

The challenge of keeping the mouth closed while using a CPAP

Keeping my mouth closed when sleeping has always been a challenge. I used my chin strap for the first month I had the CPAP. It was irritating and had to go. I tried putting a sock in my mouth and that didn't work either.

Years later, I only sometimes use the chin strap, because it slips off and is still uncomfortable.

The chin strap I have is the black, 1 inch wide strap that has a hole for the chin. For some reason I have been breathing with my mouth open a lot lately, so I need to try something new.

I've seen some alternative ideas around that I may try. Some home-brewed ideas include using a 2" waterproof adhesive tape or any kind of easy to remove medical or sports adhesive tape and taping the lips with it, being sure to have an easy way to remove it. Others have tried duct tape and found it just a little too adhesive. Go figure.

There is even an anti-snoring tape product out that is similar, except that it tapes around the mouth without sealing the lips. Ya, that'll work.

There seems to be a lot of chin strap products out there. The problem is that each is a little different and everyone has a different head. One version may work for you but not for me. I have enough problems with my nasal mask headgear rubbing against my ear. I don't want a chin strap to rub my ear too.

To get an idea of what is out there, this vendor has a lot of large pictures of different chin strap products. View.

Another vendor provides this 2 minute video that shows some chin strap product options in use. Video

Note that among these samples, nobody is sleeping with cats. Cats and headgear don't play well. 8 cats and headgear play worse.

Another thing I've read is that chin straps are not always needed for long term use. If one has regularly breathed with an open mouth while sleeping, changing to closed mouth breathing is a change of habit. Habit changing does not come easily, but once the habit has been changed, it should stay for a while until a new habit is formed.

Alternatively, one could pursue using a full face mask (FFM) instead of using a nasal mask. Though slightly less attractive when trying to be romantic, the FFM may have the potential for good results if I can find one that fits.

1 comments:

Pamela 12:08 AM  

Have you ever found one that fits? I'm just about ready to cry from lack of sleep due to mouth breathing and can't find a single FFM that works. There's only three that my supplier has, and they all leak. When I tell the supplier they're leaking (as I sit in their office and it's rather obvious), they tell me "well you're not laying down -- just try adjusting the straps when you get home." I'm either the worse person in the world at adjusting straps, or there isn't any FFM out there for me. I hope you found one!

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This website aims to create awareness about Sleep Apnea. I'm not a doctor or an expert on Sleep Apnea. If you have questions, please see your doctor.

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