|4/5||$65 – $75||Fisher and Paykel|
|– One of the few oral masks on the market||– The mouthpiece feels invasive|
|– Great if you’re a mouth breather and get nasal congestion with a full face mask.||– Interferes with your tongue making it hard to swallow|
|– Non-claustrophobic friendly||– Doesn’t stop dry mouth even with maximum humidifier setting.|
Mouth Breather Options
If you’re a mouth breather, and around 1% of CPAP users are, you have many options: Hybrid (XlinkX), Total Face (XlinkX) and Full Face (XlinkX) masks.
But these options aren’t suitable if you have a wide nose: you just can’t get a solid seal on the bridge of your nose. This leads to air leaks and you miss out on the benefits of CPAP therapy. (You should try Remzzzs for leaking masks (XlinkX).
If you have a chronic nasal obstruction then using any mask that covers/insert into your nose is pointless.
This leaves you with two options:
- Total Face Mask, and
- Oral Mask.
Introducing the Fisher and Paykel HC452 Oral Mask!
The Fisher and Paykel HC452 mask is one of the few masks on the market. It is made to only cover your mouth, not your nose, and nothing is inserted into your nose.
As with all Fisher and Paykel masks they come per-assembled out of the box. This may seem trivial but I find it vitally important as I can see how each parts fit without trying to interpret terrible instruction manuals.
About the Headgear
The mask uses a single strap headgear going around the back of your head. It also has a quick release on the strap.
My preference is a quick release on the hose so I can go to the bathroom without upsetting the seal of the mask. However this is mask a quick to remove and put back on so its not a big problem as it is with Full Face and Nasal Pillow masks.
Party trick: rotating hose attachments
The hose attachments rotates. This should be mandatory on all masks. It allows you to move your head and the hose moves with you without tugging on the pillows and breaking the seal.
The mask has a bias diffuser – just a fancy way of saying it has a lot of fine holes that lets your outgoing breath to exit the mask.
The diffuser also has a filter that makes the exhaust nose much quieter.
It seems to work but the mask only comes with 5 filters. You will have to buy replacements filters (pack of 10 for $5.95) (XlinkX).
Rotating Adjustment Dial
Fisher and Paykel are rightly proud of the rotating adjustment dial. This is the most important upgrade made to this mask.
It adjusts the gap between the cover and the mouthpiece. It improves both comfort and fit. It can be adjusted without adjusting the mask with the head straps.
But it’s not all songs and dances with an oral mask.
And before you try you need to know the side effects.
- Works best for lower pressures (<12cmH2O)
- You will drool like a teething baby. It will get better but at the start it feels like you’re going to drown.
- If you’re a side sleeper – get a towel. The amount of drooling will initially be unbearable. But it does get better the more you use the mask.
- If you have a strong gag reflex you will have trouble. It also gets better over time but I have a severe gag reflex so couldn’t wear it for more than a couple of minutes.
- Your teeth will ache. It pulled up tight over your mouth so pressure builds on your teeth.
- You mouth and throat will dry out. You will need a humidifier (possible even a second one) set to maximum.
- You will also need to take medication biotene (XlinkX). This will help prevent teeth decay caused by dry mouth.
Sleeping Styles Supported
This mask is good for back sleepers. A lot of users have reported no complaints as back sleepers.
Side sleepers, though, found the drool puddling in the mask to be very disturbing.
Can I watch TV or read a book with this mask on?
If you’re claustrophobic, or like to read in beds, this is a great mask as you can even wear glasses as nothing touches the ears and nose.