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Enlargement of Nostrils by Nasal Pillows?
(11-16-2015, 10:12 PM)AshSF Wrote: 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.

AshSF, I do not think I am wearing my mask too tight. As you know, the AirFit P10 nasal pillows mask has a limited and somewhat primitive method for adjusting tightness, by moving the positions of the two elastic head-straps on the head. I have learned to adjust the tightness so that the mask is comfortable and the leakage rate is low, and I do this in the leakage test mode before I switch my CPAP to auto mode. My head-straps are kept loose enough that they wander over my head during the night if I do not also wear a ruby chinstrap on top of them.

I am using the largest size P10 pillows available, which are called large. If extra large size becomes available, I will certainly try them.

I do use an HPA lanolin sealant because it does a great job of reducing leakage and improving my AHI, often to zero. I have compared the 10-night old nasal pillows I used last night with the brand new ones I will use tonight and made an interesting discovery: the used pillows are much softer than the new ones. At first I thought this was clear evidence that the sealant had caused silicone breakdown. However, on closer examination, I found that the softness extended over the entire structure of the old pillows unit, and was not concentrated on the areas which had come in contact with the lanolin sealant. Currently, I therefore think it most likely that the old and new pillows came from different manufacturing batches, and that is the reason for the difference in softness. However, I will check this further.
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Here is my six month update on the issue of nostril enlargement. After having one side of my nasal pillows push up inside my left nostril a total of four times, I discovered that the cause was occasional high pressure from my CPAP machine, high enough to enlarge my nostril somewhat like inflating a balloon. The CPAP was correctly responding to the nasal/sinus congestion I was experiencing. However, the pillows were slightly smaller than the ideal size for me and therefore subject to moving up inside my nostril when the nostril was fully inflated.

The solution that eventually worked for me started with a diagnosis of nasal vestibulitis, in which infection of nasal hair follicles causes the hairs to be oversensitive, resulting in nasal and sinus congestion. It took several tries to treat the vestibulitis infection successfully, after which my CPAP pressures returned to a much lower range, eliminating the pillow-into-nostril intrusions and also allowing me to stop using the sealant that I had previously needed to reduce air leakage from my mask.

I have seen no indication that my nostrils have been permanently enlarged by using nasal pillows. However, I find it interesting that under some conditions nostrils may apparently become sufficiently enlarged by the pressure from a CPAP machine to allow one side of a pillows device to move up into the nostril.
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You know how those people use loops to enlarge/stretch earlobes? I think the pillows are doing that to my nostril openings, in a much less severe way. I took at my nose and my nostrils are more open than they used to be.
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There are people here who will suggest this means you are using too small a nasal pillow size. That the pillow shouldn't go IN the nose at all, but sit ON it.

When they give me my supplies they say "Oh, you look like a small". After trying that for 30 minutes, I was suffocating and not getting enough air through the opening. So I moved to a medium. That worked fairly well for a year.

But, for a month now, I've been trying the advice of "don't put the pillow IN the nose at all. Just ON it." I've been using a large pillow (I'm a 5 ft 3 in woman) since my supplier accidentally shipped it to me; I had planned to ask for one anyway, to test it. MAN OH MAN , is it nice to have that much extra air available!! Yes, the pillows just sit atop my nostrils, and the air pressure (and straps) keep it in place. There is now enough air pressure to open up my airways when I have clogging --- as others have mentioned, but I had never experienced. (Maybe it's usually men who experience that, and medium-sized pillows or smaller do not provide enough air to clear up clogs?) Anyway, the large pillows DO open my night-time clogs, even when my turbinates try to do a nighttime swelling on me.

My point: if your nasal pillows are capable of slipping into your nose, why not try a larger size pillows for a bit? I was surprised, but no, they really don't have to fit inside your nose, at all. Just onto the opening. It's worth a try ....
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(11-16-2015, 11:16 PM)OpineCone Wrote: I am using the largest size P10 pillows available, which are called large. If extra large size becomes available, I will certainly try them.

(06-01-2016, 01:54 PM)BadGoodDeb Wrote: There are people here who will suggest this means you are using too small a nasal pillow size.

My point: if your nasal pillows are capable of slipping into your nose, why not try a larger size pillows for a bit? I was surprised, but no, they really don't have to fit inside your nose, at all. Just onto the opening. It's worth a try ....

Thanks, but I already addressed that. Wave
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Oops, sorry. I missed that!
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I hear ya Opine Cone. Been there, done that. Suffocating feeling, crimped nasal mask ports, enlarged nostrils Yep, my nostrils definitely have expanded from using nasal pillows. It was worse with a large nasal mask, so now I use a medium, even though that smaller size is noisier and doesn't have as good air flow. Replacing the mask when it is a bit worn (softens up) helps, but what gave me the most comfort with nasal pillows is to keep the head straps as loose as possible. I sometimes need to readjust (yank on) the straps in the middle of the night as they seem to tighten up when I shift around during sleep. For a while I put a chin strap on over the mask head straps to hold the mask steady, but now put the mask straps on over the chin strap and learned to position my head and pillows in a way that usually keeps the mask loose and properly seated.
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I agree grumbledore that it is beneficial to avoid having the head straps of nasal pillows be any tighter than is absolutely necessary to hold the pillows in place.

Because my head is considerably larger than average, the standard straps of my large size nasal mask are way too tight for comfort and stability. I have therefore modified them by removing one strap and weakening the other by cutting away part of it with sharp scissors in order to reduce its width. I wear the modified mask under a ruby chin strap (which might better be described as a soft whole-head harness) so as to keep the weakened mask strap from moving around on my head. I have also attached the end of my heated hose to the chin strap above my left temple, using a simple velcro loop, so that there is never any tension on the hose of my mask. That arrangement works so well that I can shift my position several times during the night while I sleep, including turning over and even sleeping on my back sometimes, without causing significant mask leakage. Dreaming
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Cool. Nice system ya got there OpineCone.
I got to thinking, and will modify what I said about nasal pillows making my nostrils larger; I did not take measurements, so can't say they are larger, BUT they are definitely rounder and wider and my nose is pushed up a bit from what it was. So my nostrils are shaped differently now, which is a good thing for me because it makes breathing easier - my nostrils don't collapse like they used to when I breath in hard (during waking hours). like
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I think I am going to try switching from pillows to nasal.
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