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Enlargement of Nostrils by Nasal Pillows?
#1
I have been using nasal pillows for 6 months and have become increasingly concerned that my nostrils appear to be gradually stretching.

There are several factors involved here. First, it used to be that starting my CPAP machine would cause my nostrils to inflate a little but resist the expansion, and then a couple of minutes later they would gradually relax to allow a greater expansion. However I have recently noticed that my nostrils no longer resist the initial application of pressure and seem to go immediately to the fully expanded state.

Secondly, my nasal pillows seem to move further into my nostrils than they used to, to the point that they sometimes cause discomfort or soreness. Several weeks ago I contracted a nasal infection which may be related.

Third, I woke up last night in the middle of the night with a feeling that my mask was suffocating me. My attempts to deliberately breathe more deeply were entirely unsuccessful. Eventually I realized that my left nostril was either blocked or severely restricted and I would have to take off my mask. I then discovered that my left nasal pillow had moved so far up inside my nostril that it was causing the blockage. It took a surprising amount of effort to remove it.

I have never experienced anything like this before. The possible causes that occur to me include: something wrong with the nasal pillows or the CPAP machine; an unusual force acting on the pillows mask while I was sleeping; or nostrils that have gradually become enlarged to the point that a pillow can move up inside.

My CPAP pressure settings are unchanged from 6 months ago, and so that is not the issue.

The fact that last night I was able to put the same pillows mask back on, restart my machine, breathe normally and get some more sleep seems to rule out an equipment defect. The only source I could find of a possible unusual force acting on the pillows mask was a minor torsional twist that I observed in the mask tubing and corrected before going back to sleep. And so I am left wondering about the possibility of my nostrils gradually stretching under pressure.

Has anyone else experienced something similar?
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#2
I haven't noticed any stretching of nostrils, but I'm wondering how long you've been using the same Pillows? Perhaps replacing them with fresh, stronger ones as I'm sure they degrade over time.
APNEABOARD - A great place to be if you're a hosehead!! Rolleyes

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EVERY ACCOMPLISHMENT BEGINS WITH THE DECISION TO TRY!
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#3
If making body parts larger was so easy as strapping on some CPAP pillows, I'm sure someone would find a way to make a fortune from it...although it would probably not be the nose.

This has been discussed a lot, and there is nothing out there that suggests nasal pillows can make your nose bigger. Age and Rosacea are a different matter.
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#4
(11-16-2015, 03:45 PM)cate1898 Wrote: I haven't noticed any stretching of nostrils, but I'm wondering how long you've been using the same Pillows? Perhaps replacing them with fresh, stronger ones as I'm sure they degrade over time.

Thank you for the suggestion, Cate. My DME supplies me with new pillows at the rate of two per month because that is what my insurance allows. My usage is roughly at the same rate, although I have noticed that a few pillows leak considerably more than the others and so I try to carry a small reserve. The pillows I used last night have been in service for 10 nights. I will be moving on to new ones tonight.
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#5
I have been doing this since 2008 and get pretty long service out of nasal pillows. We're talking at least 6-18 months. I never have had the replacement frequency you're talking about, more like, when I think of it. I only have 3 right now, and two of them will be a year old next month.
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#6
(11-16-2015, 04:02 PM)Sleeprider Wrote: If making body parts larger was so easy as strapping on some CPAP pillows, I'm sure someone would find a way to make a fortune from it...although it would probably not be the nose.
...

I have no idea what you could be talking about. Dielaughing


My P10 headset is a loaner from the DME (along with machine), and I have no idea how old the pillows are, only that I've been using the same ones for 2 months now. Unlike a lot of other members on here, my insurance sucks and I do not get 2x replacement pillows every month. Sounds excessive. I'm jealous!
APNEABOARD - A great place to be if you're a hosehead!! Rolleyes

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
EVERY ACCOMPLISHMENT BEGINS WITH THE DECISION TO TRY!
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#7
(11-16-2015, 03:33 PM)OpineCone Wrote: I have been using nasal pillows for 6 months and have become increasingly concerned that my nostrils appear to be gradually stretching.

There are several factors involved here. First, it used to be that starting my CPAP machine would cause my nostrils to inflate a little but resist the expansion, and then a couple of minutes later they would gradually relax to allow a greater expansion. However I have recently noticed that my nostrils no longer resist the initial application of pressure and seem to go immediately to the fully expanded state.

Secondly, my nasal pillows seem to move further into my nostrils than they used to, to the point that they sometimes cause discomfort or soreness. Several weeks ago I contracted a nasal infection which may be related.

Third, I woke up last night in the middle of the night with a feeling that my mask was suffocating me. My attempts to deliberately breathe more deeply were entirely unsuccessful. Eventually I realized that my left nostril was either blocked or severely restricted and I would have to take off my mask. I then discovered that my left nasal pillow had moved so far up inside my nostril that it was causing the blockage. It took a surprising amount of effort to remove it.

I have never experienced anything like this before. The possible causes that occur to me include: something wrong with the nasal pillows or the CPAP machine; an unusual force acting on the pillows mask while I was sleeping; or nostrils that have gradually become enlarged to the point that a pillow can move up inside.

My CPAP pressure settings are unchanged from 6 months ago, and so that is not the issue.

The fact that last night I was able to put the same pillows mask back on, restart my machine, breathe normally and get some more sleep seems to rule out an equipment defect. The only source I could find of a possible unusual force acting on the pillows mask was a minor torsional twist that I observed in the mask tubing and corrected before going back to sleep. And so I am left wondering about the possibility of my nostrils gradually stretching under pressure.

Has anyone else experienced something similar?

I think it is extremely unlikely that your nostrils are expanding. More likely, the pillow itself is breaking down and becoming more flexible with time. I also would not discount the possibility that you are not using the correct size. You might try using the next size larger and see if it fits better for longer.

My insurance covers a new pillow every 2 weeks, so I would presume there is some data supporting the fact that they break down and become less effective during that time frame. We all know that insurance won't cover a damn thing that they don't consider absolutely necessary. Big Grin
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#8
(11-16-2015, 03:33 PM)OpineCone Wrote: I have been using nasal pillows for 6 months and have become increasingly concerned that my nostrils appear to be gradually stretching.

Ah yes the dreaded Porky Pig phenomena !

(Yes I'm joking)
I use my PAP machine nightly and I feel great!
Updated: Philips Respironics System One (60 Series)
RemStar BiPAP Auto with Bi-FlexModel 760P -
Rise Time x3 Fixed Bi-Level EPAP 9.0 IPAP 11.5 (cmH2O)
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#9
OC: you must be wearing your mask too tight. The trick that I employ is wear the mask right enough that pillows seems a bit loose in the nostrils. Then, when the pressure hits, the double wall inflates a bit and makes the pillows fit perfectly in my nostrils.

Another thing you may want to do is go up a pillow size. It's just basic laws of physics. Reduce the force and increase the contact area to reduce pressure.

And as most people have mentioned, the silicone does break down with use. But I am sure it doesn't break in 2 weeks. I for example used my first set of p10 large pillows for 7 months before replacing them.

Are you using any lubricants/emollients around or in the nostril area? I am just speculating here but they may accelerate the breaking of silicone structure in the pillows.

Started APAP 4-20, Closed range to 7.5-14, then straight 8.0 w/ Aflex 3
RDI always below 1. But sleep much much better at straight pressure.
Started on F10, Tried Quattro Air successfully. Finally settled on P10.
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#10
It is now my impression that my nose has not become bigger but rather is more elastic than it was six months ago, so that it stretches more easily when the internal air pressure is raised by my CPAP machine. When the pressure is removed, my nose seems to return to its original size and shape. It then looks the same size as it has looked for a long time, as evidenced by memories and lots of photos.
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