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Fall Allergies - How to Deal with Them
#1
Fall Allergies - How to Deal with Them
I am a newbie on CPAP and this forum.  I am finding lots of insight and help here just stalking around and I thank you all.  I have been using a Dreamstation with a nasal pillow for almost six months with success.  100% usage of around 7 hours a night and my AHI improved from 27 during the sleep test to a 3.9 last month. Each successive month has had a lower average since I started until September.  In September it is 4.85 for the month but the last 2 weeks have averaged 5.2 with a high reading of 9.8.  I have been much more congested during these 2 weeks due to seasonal allergies.  My sleep study was the result of persistent  AFIB which was cardioverted after 4 weeks of failed drug therapy so decongestants are not something I can take.  My question to the old hands is:

How do you deal with allergies that cause problems while you sleep and use CPAP?  I have tried showering an hour before bed and gargling warm salt water, netty pots, and even steam breathing with menthol in the water. Non have a lasting effect that allows me to get a full nights sleep and I am concerned about the AFIB possibly returning if the trend continues.   BTW I walk a minimum of four miles daily at a 2.5mph pace and have dropped 40 pounds from the exercise and improved diet so I am plenty tired when I hit the hay.  I am a side sleeper because sleeping on my back seems to cause PVC's.  BP is typically 110/56 and pulse is in the 50's when resting.  I am on metoprolol and lisinopril in 100mg and 20mg doses 1x daily. My machine is set for 6 to 18 psi and the typical operating pressure was under 9 until the last 2 weeks - now is over 12 to 14. 

Sorry for all this info but I wanted to give all you old hands plenty of information to help with the sleuthing.  Thanks to all for any help. Thanks
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#2
RE: Fall Allergies - How to Deal with Them
Your machine is compatible with SleepyHead, and the easiest way to answer your questions would be if posted data. While you've had a minor increase in AHI, we cannot advise with the given information because we only know your settings, not the type of apnea or hypopnea or its corresponding pressure. Your history is good but not revealing for the event rate. We would be glad to help you interpret the world of data that will be available to you, if you avail yourself to it.
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#3
RE: Fall Allergies - How to Deal with Them
Since you asked about fall allergies: the air you breathe in at night through the machine is really not much different than what you breathe in during the day. The difference is the higher pressure and the use of a filter (which may or may not help).

If you are referring to congestion: use the nasal rinse, use your mask, and take your allergy meds. In the morning, do another nasal rinse. Done.

I have horrid spring and fall allergies that include heavy congestion and an eye that feels like sand is in it. I can be congested as heck when I go to bed but I wake up able to breathe. Until I take the mask off. Then all that stuff shifts and I'm clogged again. A nasal rinse later, and I'm back to my usual allergy self. Yay.

I have found that my nasal pillows are better at keeping the stuff out of the way than the FFM. I woke up several times a night, congested and unable to breathe through my nose, when I wore the FFM. I switched back to the pillows and boom, clear. Until I wake.
PaulaO

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#4
RE: Fall Allergies - How to Deal with Them
Great info Paula. Thanks. You're not the only one with spring and fall allergies, that's for sure.
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#5
RE: Fall Allergies - How to Deal with Them
Same here....I suffer allergies and congestion it seems year round.  

I could be congested before bed, but once I have my nasal pillow mask on, the congested feeling eases up.   I sleep well, but once I'm up in the morning, it starts all over.  

This is what I've found to relieve most symptoms:
Use a saline nasal rinse at least once a day. (Not the neti pot, just the squeeze bottle)
Also use a saline nasal spray as needed.  
I keep the humidifier low, as I've found a high setting for me causes more congestion.
If I'm really miserable before bed, I'll take a Claritin.

I try not to uses prescription nasal sprays.

Also keep my mask clean and change the filters in my machine every couple weeks.

I know it can be hard to deal with, but you just have to find what works best for you.
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#6
RE: Fall Allergies - How to Deal with Them
I also found higher humidifier settings aggravate the congestion.  The NP at the cardiologist's practice is a sleep specialist and she suggested using Opcon eye drops before sleep.  Apparently they have an antihistamine in very small dose that helps to open the pathways between eyes and sinuses which can help relieve congestion.  Thanks
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#7
RE: Fall Allergies - How to Deal with Them
Sleepyhead is installed and I transferred data this morning.  I will spend a day or so playing with the app so I understand navigation and capabilities. Expect more when I have finished.
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#8
RE: Fall Allergies - How to Deal with Them
I have gone to an acupuncturist. I did wounders. the only thing is the first 2 days you nose continually runs the for the next two months no allergies
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#9
RE: Fall Allergies - How to Deal with Them
I also have allergy's and congestion year round plus I work in a wood shop which does not help. I had days when I would sneeze at least 200 times and I am not exaggerating.  Now I take a daily OTC Zyrtec D in the morning. In the PM, I take a Benadryl and OTC Flonase. My allergy's are now well controlled. I had days when I would sneeze at least 200 times and I am not exaggerating. The cpap actually clears my congestion at night.

But, EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT!

car54
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#10
RE: Fall Allergies - How to Deal with Them
Like car54, I have to manage my allergies every day year round. If I don't there is a good chance I will have a vertigo attack. I take a Singulair daily and use Nasacort each night at bedtime. During particularly bad bouts of congestion I will take Zyrtec twelve hours after taking my Singular. My CPAP machine takes care of any remaining congestion while I'm using it.
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