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[Equipment] Any part-time mouth breathers transition from a FFM to Nasal Pillows?
RE: Any part-time mouth breathers transition from a FFM to Nasal Pillows?
Thank you mdmarmd for your detailed post. I really appreciate your time and effort as I learn best when somebody explains the “why” behind the simple “try this”.

It sounds like our SA journeys are pretty similar, so many thanks for sharing.

[mdmarmd wrote...]

When you have swelling in the nasal mucosa, whether from allergies or a cold, the tissue becomes leaky and serum fills the interstitial tissue (tissue between the cells) causing edema.  This can partially or in some cases almost completely obstruct your nasal passages depending on your particular anatomy.  

I have this same problem with colds or allergies and I usually can overcome it by using a topical decongestant like Afrin.  One or two sprays in each nostril usually begins to vasoconstrict the leaky vessels and after 10-15 minutes, as the excess fluid gets absorbed the mucosa shrinks down.  I find that if it shrinks enough to let me start to use my P10, the positive pressure begins to squeeze out the edema and it gets easier and easier to breath.  Then usually I can sleep through the night as long as I don't stop the CPAP for too long.

You hit the nail on the head. The symptoms I have experienced fit your detailed explanation perfectly. If I am completely blocked, I can lay down on my right side, and in 10-15 min my left nostril starts to open and I get a little relief. The only discharge from my nose is a few water-like drops which sounds like the engorged soft tissues weeping. I read your post to my wife and she said as soon as she gets back from class (she teaches Tai Chi) we are going out to get some Afrin. Being the smart husband of 33 years who has to get in the last word, I put my foot down and sternly replied a commanding “yes dear”. Smile 

I have never heard of Afrin before. If any of my doctors have mentioned it, it didn’t stick in my feeble mind because it lacked the “why” and only consisted of the “try this”. So thanks again for your detailed explanation.

I would like to stop using the Sudafed as you say. And I am looking forward to trying the same techniques you do with Afrin and then get on my machine. I do use the built-in humidifier at 6 (8 is max) and that seems to be my optimal level of comfort.

On the frequent urination issue… I think I am a light sleeper - regardless of using Sudafed or not. No UTI. Probably getting to the age of starting with prostate problems - they always say it’s not a matter of “if”, but “when” (oh joy). Either way, staying in bed with the mask on will be a work in progress. Hopefully my brain will rewire itself and accept this as the new normal.

I can’t express how much I appreciate all the great comments, personal experiences and noted products available to try. You have all been a great resource of encouragement and are providing the needed direction for this former basket-case’s journey down the path of sleep disorder recovery.

I am looking forward to getting back to using the machine tonight.

Ray B.
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RE: Any part-time mouth breathers transition from a FFM to Nasal Pillows?

I neglected to mention one precaution when using Afrin or other topical nasal decongestants.
They work to vasoconstrict the small blood vessels and so reduce the leakage of serum into the interstitial tissue.  However, some people start overusing it as they really like the relief it gives them.  But after awhile the receptors in the vessel walls apparently become desensitized and no longer respond.  People are then prone to using it excessively, seeking relief, and they get a rebound phenomenon where they get chronically leaky with nasal weaping.

You will not have problems if you just use it to open up your nose so you can start using your CPAP.  Just don't overuse it for other causes of nasal congestion--for that use as directed on the bottle.

Here's a note from WebMD:

Can You Overuse Nasal Spray?
By Marcia Wade

Yes. Just ask Marianne McCall. A few allergy seasons back, she thought her seasonal congestion might never end. In April, she’d begun to use a topical nasal-spray decongestant. The over-the-counter (OTC) drug worked like a charm.
By summer, she was still using the spray daily. Yet it was helping for shorter and shorter periods. Between doses, her congestion was getting worse.

On the Rebound

What happened to McCall is known as the rebound phenomenon. You spray and spray, several times a day, but your stuffy nose seems to get worse.

It’s a well-known problem, says Marilene Wang, MD, an ear, nose, and throat doctor in Los Angeles. The condition’s official name is rhinitis medicamentosa, and it has one cause: overusing decongestant nasal sprays.
These sprays contain chemicals that shrink congested blood vessels. That’s how they open up your clogged passages. Because they’re applied directly to the nose, they give you quick relief.

After a few days, though, the blood vessels don’t respond to the medication anymore. You spray away, but your problem just gets worse. This cycle can continue for months, years, and even decades.

That’s why every bottle comes with a warning: “Do not use for more than 3 to 5 days.” McCall read the labels, but “I didn’t think a couple more days would make a difference,” she says.

She was wrong.

The longer you use a spray decongestant, the more likely you are to get the rebound phenomenon. It can lead to chronic sinusitis and other serious, long-term problems.
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RE: Any part-time mouth breathers transition from a FFM to Nasal Pillows?
Very interesting. I will keep that in mind whenever I use it. I just bought some a short while ago. The bottle said 1 to 3 squirts per nostril, so I decided on 2 per nostril. Almost immediately I felt a mile burning sensation. A small price to pay for a lot of relief. The relief did come quickly. Within 30 minutes I knew it was working as I could breathe easily through both nostrils.

Generally speaking, I really don't like to use any kind of medication if I can help it. For instance, when I use Sudafed for allergies, I take one 12-hr timed release pill and that's enough for the day. And I usually only take one a week or so during allergy season to get past the bad spots. Probably use up a box of ten in six months or so.

I think next time I use the Afrin, I'll use one squirt per nostril and wait to see if that is enough. I think I'm on the downhill side of this bug though. So hopefully I'll be over it in another day or two. Anyway, I've been breathing freely now for a couple hours, so thank you again.

Ray B.

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