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Hi everyone,

I've had sleep apnea for a few years and I've always used a full face mask. When I was diagnosed I was automatically given a full face mask with no mention of alternatives. It hasn't really bothered me until recently. I've been waking with a sore nose where the mask rests on the nose. Normally I use cotton wool pads, but now the soreness is getting worse. I've tried adjusting the fitting but then I get leaks. So this has got me thinking about a different mask. I did read about a cloth mask, the Sleepweaver Anew, but it has bad reviews concerning leaks so I am reluctant to try it. I honestly don't know if a nasal mask/pillow will work for me? They do look less obtrusive, but I can't afford to buy one only to find it doesn't work for me. I'm unsure if I'm a mouth breather or not! So another option is a hybrid mask. I've been looking at the Mirage Liberty which covers the mouth and uses nasal pillows to seal to the nose. I would welcome any comments from users of the Mirage Liberty or comments from other "nose" sufferers.


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I do believe you get Gel pads that go over the bridge of the nose, Hope2sleep has liquid ones, they might be the same ones  http://www.hope2sleep.co.uk/liquicell-nasal-cpap-cushions.html these are reported to be good, though I have not tried them myself.

The hybrid mask was not very popular though those that used it tended to like them.

I think if I had to use a Full-faced mask I would use one of them instead.  I have never used one though, however, I have a full-faced mask that has broken (Used when I have a very bad cold and just can't breath when on my back if I roll over) so I may just ask for one.  However, if I can't breath through my nose it would appear pointless, all I need would be a mask that allows me to breath through my mouth.  There used to be one, but not heard it mentioned in years.

I used to get a very sore bridge of the nose, in fact it used to bleed, happened with both the Nasal and Full-faced masks.

So I understand fully what you are going through.

I was a mouth breather and they gave me a Nasal mask!  I had to learn myself to breath through my nose all the time, it was a bit of a struggle, but my brain eventually accepted I have to breath through my mouth in order to breath at night, but it took a while.  I was then able to use Nasal Pillows.

I can't get spares for the Nasal Pillows I use now, so they are all bits of insulation tape and home made head gear. 

If your mask fits, try the LiquiCell Nasal CPAP Cushions, it is not always easy to get a mask that fits.  If you have to buy them yourself it can get expensive!

As Sleep2snore says, the Liquicell nasal pads are very good and help most people, and it's also worth trying a Silent Night Mask Liner http://www.hope2sleep.co.uk/silent-night-mask-liners.html  Some people are fine with one or the other, but some need both.   However, if this problem has only just occurred with the same mask, then it could be that it's time to replace the mask cushion or headgear.  I too am very vulnerable to nasal bridge sores, so fully empathise.  If I use a 'traditional' full face mask I tend to use both a liner and the nasal pad.

If you're a mouth breather then it's best to stick with a full face mask or a nasal one with a chin strap.  You could try a chin strap with a nasal mask to see if you can train yourself to breathe through your nose as many people can, but I'm not one of the lucky ones and have had this endorsed by ENT that it's not physically possible for me to nose breathe, which is why I've failed when trying.

I tried the Anew mask but even the representative of the company selling them at an event couldn't stop it leaking with me, so I'm glad I didn't buy one.

It's worth asking your clinic if you can try a mask that avoids the nasal bridge area.  One of the most popular newer ones is the Respironics' Amara View which you can see on our website too http://www.hope2sleep.co.uk/amara-view-full-face-minimal-contact-cp...  Failing that, you could ask if they stock the Sleepnet Hybrid or the Resmed Mirage Liberty.  I've used all of them and prefer the Amara View, although I do like the chin support on the Hybrid.  In fact if they made a mask out of the best features of the Hybrid and Amara View, it would be my perfect mask lol.


I purchased the Amara View mask a while ago. I liked the look of it and I thought it would solve my nose issue. However, I had a devil of a job to keep a seal on it, plus I didn't like the weight of the extra bit of hose that came with it. I have a Resmed hose/tube, the narrower one, but the rubber fitting is too large to fit directly onto the Amara mask. In the end I gave up and put the mask away. Every now and then I try and think of a way to attach my hose directly onto it's smaller fitting, but no bright ideas yet. The Mirage Liberty hybrid mask is made by Resmed so I've no worries about hose fitment. I might just "bite the bullet" and buy myself one.

I have plastic bit at the end of my hose, I didn't get then for a while, then they came with a new hose or something, Then I had a make of mask with a small hose and it plugged directly into the large one.  Funny feeling you should have had a smaller bit of hose with the mask or an adaptor or something?

Mind you the mask I got the small hose with was rubbish!     Broke the second night.

I tried again last night with the Amara View mask, but I could not get it to seal. I thought I had it at one point, but when I lay down it started leaking again, so I went back to my full face mask. However, this morning the bridge of my nose is really sore again! I get my machine etc through the NHS hospital at Rugby so I'll contact them and see if they supply any hybrid masks, failing which I'll order the Mirage Liberty.

But all of this reminds me why some people give up with therapy. It's a dramatic change to have to sleep with a mask strapped to your face each night, even worse the problems that mask fitment brings. Thank you Kath for providing a place for SA sufferers to get help, advice and not letting us feel alone in this new CPAP world.

Try putting the mask on when you lay down, the shape of the face changes when you lay down quite a bit.

Failing that, try another mask, it sometimes takes a few before you get one that fits.

There is a great need for a mask fitting service, one where you can try a mask for a night.  Then buy when you are happy with a model.

Some manufacturers will let you try and refund your money, so if you are private I would go down that route.

I don't think any manufacturers to a refund system here in the UK Sleep2snore like some DME's do in the USA for an extra insurance charge.  We do free mask fittings at our charity's shop, but of course it's too far for some to travel, although surprising just how far people do travel to us (Hull, East Yorkshire).

David, there's a good chance you have the wrong mask cushion with the Amara View mask, as it's crucial you have the right size.  We had one customer convinced he'd need a large.....I suggested he tried small.  He then bought the medium cushion and still strugged.  Finally, in desperation he got the small cushion and it works well for him now!  Ask your clinic if they can let you try a smaller cushion.

I went back to the hospital that supplies my machine etc to ask about a different mask. They showed me the Mirage Liberty and let me try it on. It did feel a bit strange but decided to give it a go. Last night was my second night and I slept very well, though today I woke with a dry mouth. Interestingly, the clinician who gave me the new mask noted that she thought I had the wrong size of my regular mask. But as I could only leave with 1 mask, I decided to go with the Liberty. If I can't get on with it, I'll go back and get a larger size of my original one. I was given that size when I was originally diagnosed, and I go back every february for my annual checkup as my driving licence is dependent on my compliance with therapy, and yet only now has it been suggested I have the wrong size!

I had quite a few, in fact I have the box my forst machine came in stuffed full of masks that I tried and failed to get on with.

Nasal Pillows is the only ones I can get on with, though I do sometimes get a dry mouth.  I know what happens, it is not that I open my mouth, it is the air sneaking into my mouth and building up enough pressure to force it way out of my lips.  There is not a lot I am prepared to do about it.  I could do what the crazy Americans do and put tape across my mouth, but for me that is not a good idea.  I have enough extra pressure, so loosing a little is not a problem, and it is so tiny an amount that it does not affect me.  However, if I sleep soundly it does give me a dry mouth due to the air passing through, even if it is a tiny amount (It is like a dripping tap) but it does dry out the mouth.

I keep a small bottle of water with one of the pull to open tops (the sport bottle type) and if I waken I just squirt in some water, this also helps with the dryness and also the leaks.  However, this is not helping you.

It is a shame that there was not a mask pack of masks that could be sent out to people to try, then sent back and sterilised before being sent out again.  I wouldn't mind trying some masks that had been tried by others if they had been sterilised before being sent out again.  Of course you would need to pay quite a substantial deposit or give your credit card number with a charge for P&P which could be charged if the masks were not returned.  Though this would require some big investment by someone to set up in the first place.

Good luck with your masks David, this can be the biggest problem area.  But do not give up, there is a mask out there that will work for you, it is just a case of finding it.

Even the cloth masks need improvement to make them work better.

Like a flexible bit of plastic round the nose to make it stay in the correct shape for the nose.

I always wanted to try the cloth ones, so I sent away for one (refund if it did not work) but this was before the Full-faced one came out.  Didn't work for me, shame as the Sleep Clinic I go to said they would supply me with one if it worked.  One a year only.  Now they have two Full-faced ones out, however, Looking through TheLankyLefty's YouTube Videos, a good source of information  https://www.youtube.com/user/TheLankyLefty27/videos he is a Sleep Tech so his videos are worth a look through.  He points out the good points of all the masks he tries and the bad points.  However, these points might not be the same for everyone, but it does give you a good idea.

It is just a shame there was not a shop like Hope2Sleep's somewhere in Scotland.

It would be worth the trip just to try some masks.

I was sent two masks form a website for review, however, I did say that what worked for me might not work for others.

I didn't want them to send me any more, though I think they have stopped doing this now anyway.

They changed the layout of the website and not only once, several times, so everyone left.

This is the only area where it would be handy if everyone were the same and one mask fitted all

Not sure if you have a CPAP Humidifier David, but if not then I would ask the hospital for one as they help tremendously with dry mouth. If you have one try to raise the setting and if you do get any 'rainout' then a hose cover should stop this http://www.hope2sleep.co.uk/cpap-ventilator-hose-cover.html  If you're already using a humidifier, then it's worth trying the Xylimelts which are a huge seller because we can use them with our masks http://www.hope2sleep.co.uk/xylimelts-dry-mouth-discs.html  I must say I do get more dry when using a hybrid type of mask, which is when I use the Xylimelts as well.

I just checked and didn't realise you'd bought the Amara View from our charity.  See how you get on with the Liberty, but it might also be worth getting the Amara View small mask cushion as that could be the problem as I mentioned in my last reply.

I doubt the hospital will give me another mask cushion, so I just purchased one myself for the Amara view I have. This is just in case I can't get on with the Mirage Liberty. I might ask for a humidifier to accompany my machine if the dry mouth continues.  I did dribble previously, so every morning I had to clean the mask etc thoroughly, but not the past 2 nights with this new mask! I'll see what happens over the next few nights.

So how have you been getting on with the new mask?

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