Worth sticking with
on the 7th Apr 2017
I've only had this mask about a week and in that time I have had to travel with it so it has been interesting. There are definitely very good and not so good point with this mask but in summary I am going to keep using it as the problems with it in no way overcome the benefits for me.Firstly, the reason I went for this mask is that as well as OSA I have fibromyalgia and so cannot really stay in one position for long in bed - and, I can't cope with anything tight (or even touching) on my face and certainly nothing over my ears. For the last 7 years I have been using a combination of the Breeze nasal pillows for side sleeping and when I needed to sleep on my back I would change masks to a modified swift! But to put it in context, the hospital tried the new bravia with me and I couldn't cope with the very small elastic straps as they put pressure on my head and would slip up to my ears as I moved around! So, I needed something much more stable and lightweight and as the hospital wouldn't give a TAP PAP I spoke firstly to my dentist who said it should be ok and the purchased one.The good - I could hardly believe how stable this mask is - it is way beyond my expectations and no matter how much I move around it just stays in place! Also, it is really quiet and the air exhaust is quite defuse so I don't blast my wife like I did with the breeze. I move around a lot and this mask just stays in place and it really doesn't matter what sleeping position I am in - side or back - it stays put. Also, there is no point of contact with my face except the mouth guard and the actual nasal pillows so I get no face irritation whatsoever. For these reasons alone I will be sticking with the TAP PAP because while there are some problems which I'll go into below, the quality of my sleep is way better than it has been for quite some years.The not-so-good - the little annoyance is that every time I want to put the mask on - even after a trip to the loo in the night - I need to undo the locking nut, put the mouth guard in place and re-locate the nasal pillows and re-tighten the nut. This is probably simply because of the way I am made and may not affect anyone else in the same way. This really isn't a big deal - I've got good at placing the pillows in no time - but it is a little more involved that pulling a mask off and dropping it back on again - not a big deal but worth noting.However, the real issue is that it can be difficult to get the mouth guard right. So far I have re-set it 3 times and even then I sometimes get the placement in my mouth wrong. The tooth placement device isn't soft - it is hard and to work well it really needs to grip your upper teeth. So, when you set it up it can seem soft-ish, but once it cools it tends to contract a little and become tighter. At the moment I have it set about right, but even so, it is possible to miss-place it if you aren't careful and put stress on your teeth somewhat. For example, last night I set it in place and it was tight but when I put it back in place in the middle of the night I realised that I had placed it too far back the first time and it was a lot better placed the second time ... I guess this is all about learning.Having said all this, once it is in place and gripped your teeth you very soon forget it is there and that leads to very high quality sleep. The leaflet that comes with the device warns you that it could take time to get use to it and that seems to be my experience - but I can't see me stopping using it as it really helps me!I should also say that if you let the hose get too tight or too lose over your pillow that can also pull on the mouth guard and so on your teeth when you move about and because of the way it works you need to be careful as that can be noticeable - but again, part of the learning curve.And, the mouth guard is hard at the bottom as well as the top, So don't expect to have a soft mouth guard for your teeth if you clench but I suspect it is still better than nothing.So, over all, this is an amazingly good idea and if you have issues similar to the ones I have it really is worth the effort of getting use to it - since it arrived I have not wanted to try any of the older masks I have.