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Nasal congestion
#1
Hello again!

My sleep study was kind of a joke, and it was a long time ago. The doctor, who I never met, said I had "mild" sleep apnea. Prescribed a CPAP, which my health insurance would not pay for. 7 cm. pressure. I already knew I had sleep apnea, because my wife would hear me stop breathing for as long as 60 seconds when she was awake at night. I was happy to use the CPAP. I felt much more rested in the morning.

That was a long time ago. At the time, I was taking sleep medication that probably made the apnea worse. I've lost some weight, sleep without meds now. For quite a few years, I didn't use the CPAP, and I'm pretty sure I was sleeping normally.

In recent years, two new sleep problems have developed.

First, as I'm drifting off to sleep, exhaling through my nose isn't quite right. I start to breathe out, but then some bit of tissue high in my nasal passage gets in the way for a moment, causing a slight interruption. This is a little uncomfortable and tends to keep me awake. (As far as I know, standard obstructive sleep apnea involves difficulty inhaling, not exhaling.)

Second, I have trouble berating through my nose at night. (During the day, it's not a big problem.) The ENT says I don't have nasal polyps or a sinus infection and I've already had my septum straightened. I think it might be caused by my blood pressure medication. Nasal congestion is mentioned as a side effect. Breathing through my mouth all night is pretty miserable. My mouth gets painfully dry and wakes me up several times each night.

I realized that using my CPAP at night solves both problems, and I sleep comfortably with it. A little positive airway pressure is all I need to breathe through my nose without difficulty. So, that's what I do.

Does anyone else have similar issues with exhaling? Does anyone else use a CPAP to alleviate nighttime nasal congestion?

Thanks in advance.
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#2
Many people have reported that the CPAP pressure helps with their their nasal congestion. I'm one of them.

Also, I have heard of airway obstruction during exhale. I've even experienced it while sleeping on my back, something I almost never do.
Sleepster
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#3
I had a lot of trouble with congestion before xPAP but not particularly with breathing out more than in.

While the APAP is not something that was chosen primarily due to the congestion issues -- I thought those issues would make treatment very difficult -- it quickly became clear that the pressure was HELPING to ALLEVIATE the congestion and allow me to breath all night long through my nose.

Truth is, even if you told me there were no other advantages to xPAP therapy, I probably would just keep using it for that reason alone.

It lets me sleep more comfortably, both by eliminating apnea and by holding off the congestion.

At this point, I never wake up with my mouth open and tongue parched from mouth breathing and trying to fight it off and stay in bed when my nose stops up.

Also, I am not getting sinus drip or even a runny nose anymore.

Fact is, this is the clearest I have been since longer than I can remember.
Sweet Dreams,

HerbM
Sleep study AHI: 49 RDI: 60 -- APAP 10-11 w/AHI: 1.5 avg for 7-days (up due likely to hip replacement recovery)

"We can all breathe together or we will all suffocate alone."
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#4
I have had sinus problems off and on forever so I started with a full face mask. When I tried a nasal mask I found out that it inflated my nasal passages and I could breath through my nose. So I switched to nasal pillows and can breath better at night than during the day which is a good thing because I didn't like the FFM at all. Have had no issues with exhale.
Good luck, Doc J
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#5
(03-09-2014, 12:48 AM)Doc J Wrote: So I switched to nasal pillows and can breath better at night than during the day which is a good thing because I didn't like the FFM at all.

Yeah, me too. I've tried all the masks. Nasal pillows seem most comfortable by far. And easier to sleep on my side. I've got a beard and mustache, which causes every other kind of mask to leak, as far as I can tell.

Glad to know I'm not the only one who's using PAP for nasal congestion.

If I get a new APAP with data recording, I guess I'll find out if I still have obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep-well

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#6
(03-09-2014, 01:50 AM)winky Wrote: Glad to know I'm not the only one who's using PAP for nasal congestion.

If I get a new APAP with data recording, I guess I'll find out if I still have obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep-well
You,re not alone, nasal congestion is more common as one think among CPAP users but its far better to use CPAP than not
I've been done almost everything can be done including septum surgery, the surgery helped reduce pressure somewhat but still get congested, not all the times. Sinus rinse is the only thing using now whenever feel congested

As for "still have obstructive sleep apnea", everyone get some apnea events flagged during the night, AHI below 5 is normal. Once a while might get no events flagged but not possible all night every night even with best optimal pressures setting

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#7
My machine also helps with congestion in my nose. At the same time, I have issues with my ears and I believe it is from the pressure from my machine. while the ear issue is annoying and sometimes very annoying and sometimes it hurts, it is better for me to deal with that than to not use the machine and have my heart and other organs become damaged and worse.
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#8
(03-09-2014, 03:15 AM)zonk Wrote: You,re not alone, nasal congestion is more common as one think among CPAP users but its far better to use CPAP than not
I've been done almost everything can be done including septum surgery, the surgery helped reduce pressure somewhat but still get congested, not all the times. Sinus rinse is the only thing using now whenever feel congested

I wasn't going to bring this up… I suspect the surgery to straighten my nasal septum caused my problems with nasal congestion. The surgery really ripped up those delicate tissues. They used a yellow and black Craftsman wood-carving chisel on my septum, banged on the chisel with a big wooden mallet. I had only a local anesthetic! I thought I had died and gone to hell.

I had one "ultra" tampon in each nostril for five days. They told me not to pull them out, because I might bleed to death. After the tampons came out, I had to blow my nose with the utmost delicacy for the next month, and had to learn to sneeze out of my mouth, to avoid severe pain.

Ever since then, I've had serious trouble with nasal congestion, mostly at night or when lying down. My theory is, those traumatized tissues lost some of their structural integrity, and are more sensitive to inflammation and blood pressure changes than they were before.

Any ENTs on the board? Opinion?

Life's a b*tch sometimes, ain't it?

(03-09-2014, 03:15 AM)zonk Wrote: As for "still have obstructive sleep apnea", everyone get some apnea events flagged during the night, AHI below 5 is normal. Once a while might get no events flagged but not possible all night every night even with best optimal pressures setting

Hadn't thought of that. Thanks.

Winky
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#9
(03-10-2014, 07:22 PM)winky Wrote: I wasn't going to bring this up… I suspect the surgery to straighten my nasal septum caused my problems with nasal congestion. The surgery really ripped up those delicate tissues. They used a yellow and black Craftsman wood-carving chisel on my septum, banged on the chisel with a big wooden mallet.

The marvels of modern medicine never cease to amaze me, I really can't believe that they stopped blood letting already, lol
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#10
(03-10-2014, 07:52 PM)comatose Wrote: The marvels of modern medicine never cease to amaze me, I really can't believe that they stopped blood letting already, lol

Not LOL material, I fear. I got post-traumatic stress disorder from this experience. For a long time, I felt like fainting and crying when I remembered it, which was often.

I'm pretty much over it now.

Winky

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