Permanent changes in face from CPAP masks

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Permanent changes in face from CPAP masks

Postby Logic » Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:35 pm

Have any of you noticed permanent changes in your faces caused by CPAP masks?

You probably read of the study in Japan in which x-rays showed skulls being pushed back in the upper and lower jaw area after three years of CPAP use. I started using CPAP six months ago, using a nose-and-mouth mask. Over the last several months, I thought, “wow, my face sure seems to be aging at an accelerated rate lately.” Then I realized that my face had gotten a depressed area from each side of my nose down to the outsides of my mouth—right where the mask goes! Furthermore, it seemed like my jowls had gotten saggy—right where the mask curves to go around my lower lip! In addition, my lower jaw seemed slightly less pronounced, and, in profile, my once-straight nose now has a depression at the bridge—right where the CPAP mask pressed against it! My thinking is, if a mask can move a skull in three years, it can probably move cartilage and skin much faster. I sure hope that the degradation is not permanent, but I’ve been off the mask for two weeks now and notice no improvement.

A week ago, I started using CPAP again, this time using a nasal pillow, which is much more comfortable and I like better. However, when the CPAP is running, the air pressure inflates my nose like a balloon, expanding it maybe 30% in all dimensions, looking almost comical—like Bozo. “How could this not, in short order, cause my nose to become permanently bigger?,” I thought. A few days ago I measured the width of my nose at the nostrils with calipers. Today, some six hours after wakeup, I measured again, and my nose is a full tenth of an inch wider, in just three days! It was big to begin with, so bigger is not good.

My question is, has anyone else noticed changes in their faces from CPAP? If so, what were they, and what type of mask did you use? I’m single and date a lot, so significantly degrading my looks is not a trivial issue.
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Re: Permanent changes in face from CPAP masks

Postby Logic » Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:07 am

FOLLOW UP: I had the idea to use a swimming nose clip in conjunction with the nasal pillow to prevent my nose from inflating. I bought a few types at a sporting good store and tried them. I settled on one that I adjusted so that it was just tight enough to retain my nose at about its original size when the CPAP machine was pressurizing it.

Also, it seems that the facial changes described above from the nose-mouth mask have, in the course of a few weeks, diminished or disappeared. Good!
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Re: Permanent changes in face from CPAP masks

Postby Vicki » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:54 am

Could you provide the references for that Japanese study? I can't find it. Masks really are not meant to be tightened so much that they restructure bones. Most masks have a silicone pillow that inflates with air, therefore, if the mask is too tight, it doesn't work. I have been using a PAP for 11 years and my face is the same (except for the unfortunate aging process).

Vicki
Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
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That which does not kill you makes you stronger-Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich must of had apnea.
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Re: Permanent changes in face from CPAP masks

Postby Logic » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:38 am

This forum won't let me post a web address, but I found it on the first page when I Googled:

Japan CPAP skull X-ray jaw
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Re: Permanent changes in face from CPAP masks

Postby Daniel » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:01 am

Logic wrote:This forum won't let me post a web address, but I found it on the first page when I Googled:

Japan CPAP skull X-ray jaw


Check our posting guidelines.
Commercial linking is not permitted.

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The untreated Sleep Apnoea sufferer died quietly in his sleep..
Unlike his three passengers who died screaming !


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Re: Permanent changes in face from CPAP masks

Postby Vicki » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:14 pm

Here is the full-length paper:

Craniofacial Changes After 2 Years of Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Use in Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea

This looked like a well-run study to me except for the absence of controls. Only those patients who used a nasal mask were included in the study. Pillow and FF mask patients were excluded from the study.

I think the important take home messages are:
"Although our subjects are adult nongrowers, significant dental changes were observed. However, the amount of change is not considered to be sufficient to stop using nCPAP at this time point. These changes may affect the profile, tongue space, and OSA symptoms. Major changes occurred in the maxillary area...However, it has already been shown that oral appliance (OA) use for the treatment of OSA can cause dental changes in adults with night use only...Further studies with a longer term of CPAP use and a larger sample size are needed to confirm those findings...The side effects of dental changes obviously have a small impact compared with the beneficial effects of nCPAP, such as reducing the AHI and daytime sleepiness..

They forgot to mention the biggest benefits of CPAP which is keeping the cardiovascular system from being trashed, decreasing the risk of heart attack and stroke, decreasing the risk of diabetes, etc.

However, one caveat is:
"A limitation of this study is the absence of control data. One of the confounding factors may be dental and skeletal changes associated with aging...Considering the almost 3-year time period of this study, age may not be the affecting factor."

Treatment for any disorder always involves a risk/benefit assessment.

Vicki
Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
Marilyn Vos Savant

That which does not kill you makes you stronger-Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich must of had apnea.
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Re: Permanent changes in face from CPAP masks

Postby CraigB » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:53 pm

My nostrils and nose have certainly gotten bigger. Also, my blood pressure has gone down to normal with out meds. A small price to pay for better health.
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Re: Permanent changes in face from CPAP masks

Postby briank » Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:49 pm

Any (full) nasal mask that applies pressure between my nose and upper lip changes my dental bite noticeably (to me) overnight. It seems to recover after a day or two of switching. I now use only nasal pillows.
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Re: Permanent changes in face from CPAP masks

Postby snoreaholic » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:13 am

I agree, it took the dark circles away from under my eyes.. :lol:
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Re: Permanent changes in face from CPAP masks

Postby Winfred0000 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:50 pm

Hi!

The reason I found this post on a general Google search was for the exact reason this person posted thinking in the long term my nose has changed since using my CPAP since 2002 (minus two years I foolishly put it away as I couldn't stand using it, yet finally realized that was a mistake). I thought one example of this morphing would be dentistry. I think it was a dentist that told me how malleable, or whatever the proper term is, our tissue is when he said theoretically they could with proper bracing (meaning if you only had one tooth) actually move a tooth from one side of your jaw to the other. Also consider what happened to Dizzy Gillespi (sp?) after inflating his cheeks for so many years. So it wouldn't be surprising if you inflated your nose for 365 nights a year for years that there would be a noticeable change. My nose is larger in result. I have to weigh the health benefits of CPAP, which means actually having full deep cycle "REM" sleep, less strain on the heart, as high of a % blood oxygen level your lungs can maintain, etc. So I went to the computer to see if others are observing what I've observed with my nose, and they are. Thank you very much for posting this. There are many styles of masks. I suppose the triangular shaped gel mask would not of course inflate the nose as the pressure is around the nose rather than directly into the nostrils. I use to use that style and didn't like it as there is also a small gel pad that rests in the middle of your forehead that bothered me.
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Re: Permanent changes in face from CPAP masks

Postby LaPopessa » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:33 pm

Nope, haven't noticed anything like this (in 5th year of CPAP).
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