My first few nights wearing the Philips Respironics Amara mask was really quite painful. I was getting a great night sleep with the mask and CPAP therapy was obviously working for me, but I was having to wear the Amara mask so tightly that it was causing swelling and blistering on the bridge of my nose. By the fourth day, it became clear that I needed to find a solution because the bridge of my nose was bright red and very painful.
The ResMed Gecko Nasal Pad
We decided to go to a few pharmacies that we knew stocked CPAP equipment and supplies. After thinking about things like band-aids and nasal strips, we found the ResMed Gecko Nasal Pad in a pharmacy close to our house. I had read mixed things about it, but I was in need of relief so I bought it right away.
The Gecko Nasal Pad is effectively just a clear silicon strip that sits on your nose to form a slightly cushioned barrier between your mask. The silicon softness and tackiness serves as a good material for this type of application and I was quite keen to give it a try.
On the positive side, the Gecko Nasal Pad did exactly what it was meant to do. My nose felt so much better after just one night and by the third or fourth morning, the redness and irritation were gone entirely. Cleaning the Gecko is a snap; run it under some hot water with a bit of baby shampoo and you’re done.
Downsides of the Gecko Nasal Pad
The big thing I was concerned about with this kind of barrier between my face and the mask were obvious leaks. I’d say about 80% of the time the seal was great and there were no problems with leaks, but every now and then the nasal pad would cause air leakages into the corner of my eyes. I’d then need to remove the mask, reset the nasal pad and put the mask back on.
The biggest flaw with the Gecko Nasal Pad is that it doesn’t really adhere to your face, it sort of balances precariously on the bridge of your nose and you use the mask to pin it to your face. I was able to put on my mask by myself if I was laying on my back, but standing up was a challenge – I didn’t like the fact that putting my CPAP mask on at night had become a team sport.
Another problem was if the nasal pad slipped slightly or wasn’t in the right place when you put the mask on. In this circumstance, you can end up with a piece of silicon touching the corner of your eyelid and if you have long eyelashes, it can be quite annoying.
When I switched to my Fisher and Paykel Simplus mask I was able to abandon the pad because the Simplus doesn’t irritate my nose at all. With that said, if you have irritation or blistering on the bridge of your nose, then the ResMed Gecko Nasal Pad is something I highly recommend because it did work for me!
Do you have one of these nose pads or maybe another solution? Leave a comment below telling us about it!