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Humidity causing nasal congestion and requiring increased pressure
#1
Humidity causing nasal congestion and requiring increased pressure
Hi Everyone,

I frequently read that humidification is important for CPAP users in order to prevent nasal congestion as your nasal passages dry out.

But, I am finding just the opposite for myself.  With every increase in humidification level, I find that my nasal passages become *more* congested.  The longer I use the machine, the more I find myself having difficulty breathing, and I have to increase the pressure (or the Autoset mode does it for me) to compensate.  When I lower the humidity, I have less nasal congestion and I am able to get effective therapy with lower pressure.

Has anyone else had this experience?
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#2
RE: Humidity causing nasal congestion and requiring increased pressure
I found the same problem, I have very sensitive sinus passages and suffer badly from hay-fever as well.

Now I use my CPAP with no humidity ( make sure you turn off the humidity setting, don't just remove humidity by not putting water in the tank, the heating plate may overheat the base and set things on fire )

Prior to turning off the humidifier I had tried upping my pressure from 7 to 8, and also tried both maximum humidity and "pass over" humidity with water but no heat in the humidifier. 

In the end I switched off the humidity and have no water in the tank, the pressure is still set at 8, and I've now also turned off the heated hose ( though I may turn the hose heat back on over winter to take the chill off the room air temperature )

My nasal congestion while using CPAP overnight has greatly reduced. 

For others humidity has helped, but if that isn't helping you then try the no humidity option to see if it works for you.
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#3
RE: Humidity causing nasal congestion and requiring increased pressure
The humidifier is just for comfort and doesn't affect your treatment.. Not everyone needs it so feel free to turn it off.
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#4
RE: Humidity causing nasal congestion and requiring increased pressure
If you have a clear run of salutary therapy going on for much of the night (low AHI), and experience nasal congestion only at certain times, especially toward the time you typically awaken, humidity should not be a strong factor.  If your AHI vary somewhat, it might be something else going on and humidity may be a factor.

I had to rip off my mouth tape a week ago when I was awakened abruptly and found both nostrils closed completely due to congestion/swelling of nasal tissues.  I use a nose mask.  It was only a mildly troubling incident as the next several nights have not caused a repetition.  I still had water in my reservoir upon rising, but the new machine uses water over night at about twice the rate of my loaner, each on a low setting of only 2/3.  Both are ResMed AS10 machines, but the new one is the CPAP "Elite".  I now have mine set at only 1, and have not experienced any degradation.

Small adjustments to suspected parameters are best, modifying only one at a time, and then wait for a number of nights' results before making subsequent adjustments.  Our sleep varies from night to night, so taking only one set of nightly data as gospel is not a good decision.  You want something like a consistent pattern ideally.
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#5
RE: Humidity causing nasal congestion and requiring increased pressure
(03-04-2018, 04:58 AM)Ockrocket Wrote: I found the same problem, I have very sensitive sinus passages and suffer badly from hay-fever as well.

...

For others humidity has helped, but if that isn't helping you then try the no humidity option to see if it works for you.

Thank you very much for responding and for the suggestions!  I'm at 1 now, and am going to try 0 tomorrow, but still with water in the tank.  If that goes well, then no water will be next!

(03-04-2018, 07:56 AM)Walla Walla Wrote: The humidifier is just for comfort and doesn't affect your treatment.. Not everyone needs it so feel free to turn it off.

What I'm finding is that the humidifier can actually negatively affect treatment.  If I use humidity, my nasal passages become congested.  When my nasal passage are congested, I have to turn up the machine's pressure in order to hold my airway open.  And because my nose is congested and the pressure is too high, I have to work much harder to breath out.  As a consequence, I breath out through my mouth.  EPR and/or pressure support can help with that.  But, since my nasal passages aren't congested when I lie down to go to sleep, the pressure is too high and the EPS/PS is irritating, making it difficult to get to sleep until the humidity takes effect.
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#6
RE: Humidity causing nasal congestion and requiring increased pressure
When I used nasal pillows, the more humidity the worse it got for me. As I bumped up the humidity by "1" each night, my leaks got worse and worse - presumably from mouth breathing due to a stuffed up nose. I would then turn the humidity down to setting "1" and voila, no leaks and no dry mouth upon waking up. I don't even turn on the humidifier anymore. I think it can help some people for sure, but the way it's described by healthcare providers is a farce. They aren't the ones using the machine - we are.
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