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October, 2015  2.00

"Headgear, Rainout, software

Headgear

The style of headgear depends on the type of mask which make sense but I find that some styles of headgear contribute to the leak problem. I use a Memory Foam pillow as it gives proper support which stops me from getting a sore neck but the pillow is firm and when I use headgear that have straps around the top back of the skull, every time I move my head I can feel the headgear straps moving as well which pulls the mask side to side. Each manufacturer designs the headgear differently and the one that is provided with the mask is not necessarily the best for your head. Respironics make headgear that suits my head perfectly and so I have used their headgear on all the masks I have tried regardless of the manufacturer. You can buy headgear cheap off Ebay so my advise is to buy something different and give it a go, you might be surprised how much better is is than the one provided with your mask. Everyone has a different shaped head ...

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Image from Sleepyhead Software

Rainout

Rainout or condensation forming in the Air Hose or Mask is a big problem but can be solved in a few ways. If heating the bedroom is not possible then a heated Air Hose is the best solution. A tube warmer or snuggy will help but it's not as good as the heated Air Hose Having a heated Air Hose will solve the problem of water building up in the hose but it won't stop the mask from filling with water and dripping onto your face. One simple way of reducing this is to pull the bed sheet over your head while sleeping but the problem is the noise from the air vents on the mask when it hits the sheets can be a bit annoying. If your using a Fisher and Paykel mask that has the air filter diffuser then there will be no noise at all. I tried attaching what you might call a "snuggy" to the mask and it did reduce the condensation problem but keeping the snuggy on the mask is the problem. Even having a heated air hose and a mask snuggy, won't stop condensation from forming around the air vent on the mask and that water will drip inside the air hose and the mask. The only way to completely eliminate the problem is either turn the humidifier heating down or to heat the bedroom. It's not necessary to have the bedroom hot you just have to make sure the difference in temperature between the air temperature coming from the mask and the room temperature is not too great.

Software

I have owned the Resmed S9 and S10 CPAP machines and I use the ResScan software to keep a check of my AHI. The software works well but it is rather slow to load in data and display, save and shutdown. It tells you everything you need to know but when something is slow to operate you forget about doing a quick check. I recently found the software Sleepyhead written my Mark Watkins see the following link. http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/sleepyhead/index.php?title=Main_Page This is great software it's easy to use, fast and provides all the information you need to keep a track of your AHI. It only support a couple of manufacturers at this time but hopefully in the future this will be extended ti include Fisher and Paykel which is my current CPAP machine. I won't be reviewing the product as you may as well just download it and give it a try.