Nasal congestion! Need mask suggestions

By Margarite Latest Activity February 7, 2010 at 9:24 am Views 4,053 Replies 11 Likes 2


I've been using the Swift II nasal pillow mask but due to chronic nasal congestion, I assume I'm somehow managing to mouth breath despite the chin strap. So now, I'm shopping for a full face mask. The equipment company(CPAP Supply of America) recommends either the Resmed Quatro or Activa. There are so many masks and I'm confused. I've had a hard time tolerating the head gear with the only other full face mask I've used. I felt too restricted by the forehead bridge for lack of a better term. I'm basically a newbie and really need advice. I've had the machine for almost 8 years but if you added up the time I've actually used it, it wouldn't even amount to 6 months. I know my heart is in jeopardy and need to use my CPAP! Thanks!

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Replies (11 replies)

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  • steadb
    steadb April 3, 2010 at 11:07 am   

    I was having similar problems and switched to the Resmed Quattro full fask mask. I like the full face mask better despite the bigger profile on my face.

  • nkl
    nkl March 23, 2010 at 4:24 pm   

    I also have chronic nasal congestion. My ENT performed a series of procedures called "chemical cauterization" that helped quite a bit; in addition, I take one Claritin at bedtime, and I also use a NeilMed Sinus Rinse system twice a day. I use a Quattro full-face mask and find it much less confining than a nasal system with the chin strap.

  • Robin red breast
    Robin red breast March 4, 2010 at 1:54 am   

    Hi Margarite,

    This is Greg, Robin's husband. Did you ever think about using
    a nasal decongestant. I'm not suggesting OTC nasal decongestants at all.

    I've been using a prescription nasal decongestant called
    Nasacort AQ for years, just before I put my C-PAP mask on for the night, and it works incredibly well. I spray it in my
    nostrils and take a finger and wipe the spray onto the lining
    of each nostril. It works very quickly.

    Nasacort AQ is a cortisone-type product that goes into only
    the nasal lining of your nose. It does not build up cortisone
    in your body, and is much safer than using OTC-type decongestants.

    According to my doctor OTC's stop working after a while, so you keep using more & more. You don't build up a resistance
    to Nasacort AQ, and it's safe for long-term use. I only use it at
    bedtime with my C-PAP, and it has been wonderful.

    Hope this helps…Greg.

  • ray506
    ray506 February 10, 2010 at 11:19 am   

    I sometimes have the same problem with my moth opening while asleep with the nasal pillow. I have been looking into the unit from
    It looks interesting and has some good write ups. Basically it uses a mouth piece to hole the nasal pillows in place and thus your mouth stays closed to hold the mouth piece in place.

    It's worth looking at.

  • JLL
    JLL February 10, 2010 at 10:22 am   

    Have you tried that bandaid looking thing that goes on your nose and pulls your nasal passages open? I don't know it it would work with your type of mask. I use an older mask. I don't know what its called but I've tried all the newer stuff and the old tried and true has always worked for me. I also use a heated humidifier which helps.

    When I have a cold, forget it. The air just burns my nose so I don't get much sleep when I'm sick. I have been using a cpap for 14yrs. My pressure is 16.

  • February 10, 2010 at 1:33 am   

    Try a different tack.

    I use the Nepti-Pot on a regular basis and my sleep therapist swears by it. It's a low concentration salt water rinse of you sinuses. I suffer from a constant runny nose (I blame it on my blood pressure medicine) and it works like a charm for me. Also good for head colds!

    Should be able to find one at any pharmacy.


  • DebK
    DebK February 9, 2010 at 8:07 pm   


    I tried the Swift II nasal pillow and found that it increased my nasal congestion. I couldn't tolerate a full face mask, so I switched to a Mirage Vista - what a difference! My physician also gave me Flonase nasal spray which I used before bed, but found it kept me awake. I use it now once a day in the morning, which doesn't impede my sleep. The new mask is great in that it leaves my eyes free, no forehead pressure and allows me to watch TV or read before I fall off. I hope this helps!

  • frndlylion
    frndlylion February 9, 2010 at 7:07 pm   

    I too suffer from constant nasal congestion and the doctor just gives me flonase which only works *sometimes* and I cant count on when. My personal experience with a full face mask is that if I breathe through my mouth then I get dry throat no matter what setting I have is set at. The other issue with a full face mask is the seal. If you have a relatively high cpap pressure as I do (15) the seal will be a problem. Of course facial features vary you may not have a problem at all.

  • TheDreamer
    TheDreamer February 7, 2010 at 11:10 pm   

    I'm normally a nasal pillow user…though when I was down with The flu, had to resort to a full face mask.

    Had gotten the FullLife from my DME initially…it made my nose bridge sore (I have a narrow nose bridge, which is apparently a problem)…so I got a Hans Rudoph 7600 v2 (?) mask from an online site (had them express ship it to me while I was confined to my home.) It was workable…though it left marks on my cheeks and the headgear wasn't that comfortable (though later I think some adjustment on fitting might help that, though I haven't had cause to have to endure a night with it again)

    Meanwhile, I got the DME to exchange the FullLife for a Quattro … which I used for a couple of nights. And, now sits in my headboard waiting for the next time I need to use it.

    Strange thing…before I settled on the ComfortLite II nasal pillows…I also didn't like the restriction of the forehead pad/strap…and there are certainly times where get annoyed with the forehead part of the ComfortLite II. But, I found that I hated the cheek contact of other nasal pillow systems more…and was have nose bridge issues with non-nasal pillow options.

    The Dreamer.

    The Dreamer.

  • Tracy
    Tracy February 7, 2010 at 1:57 pm   

    Hi Margarite! Personally, I never found a chin strap that worked for me either. I prefer nasal pillows for the same reason as you described…NOT liking traditional mask straps and forehead pads. I noted your facial features as well as I could as the pictures on the web site are small…or is it that my eyes are old…and I think your face is similar to mine: a relatively short face, narrow upper lip and narrow nose bridge. I find most full face masks don't fit me to my liking and so my preference is the ResMed Mirage Liberty mask. Here is a picture:

    I like it because I can tolerate nasal pillows, and with Liberty the nasal pillows simply attach to an oveal frame that encircles the mouth. NOTHING lays above the nostrils - meaning NO FOREHEAD PADS…no leaking in to the eye area. YIPPEE.

    Make sure you use heated humidification for the additional moisture your nasal lining and mouth will need with any full face mask. I'd visit a local home healthcare provider first to determine your size and to try it on to make sure you will like the fit. Take your machine with you so they can hook it up to your pressure when you try it!

    Let me know if you have other questions and good luck to you!
    Nice to see you posting on the boards - sleep apnea equipment choices are an important topice here, so great you're taking advantage of all that sleep connect has to offer. Your posts are helpful to others as well.


  • gfp777
    gfp777 April 2, 2010 at 10:57 pm   

    My wife as well has the Resmed Quatro and she really likes it. You will just have to keep trying different ones until you find the one just for you

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