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Newbie Nasal stuffiness--help!
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rdavis Offline

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Post: #1
Newbie Nasal stuffiness--help!
Hi all!

I've been using the CPAP for 3 1/2 weeks. In that time I've continued to struggle with (but especially since my minimum pressure was increased) nasal stuffiness caused by the CPAP.

I have never had nasal problems or problems with congestion before, and I don't have allergies, so I was really surprised by this. The mask usually feels fine for about the first 90 minutes, but then my nasal cavities swell up (I guess from irritation)? There's never any sinus drainage, just feels like a narrowing of the air passages, making me have to work to pull in air (I use a nasal mask, not a FFM).

Saline spray does nothing, and messing with the humidifier settings hasn't helped. It's affecting my compliance, because it gets so bad that I have to take the mask off and breathe through my mouth.

I've heard nasal irritation is common for the first weeks of use, so will this go away? But in the meantime, I don't know how long it will take, and I can't make compliancy (or live my life) when I can only breathe for the first 90 minutes of every night.

I've seen a lot of suggestions for allergy meds and anti-congestion meds on this and other threads, but will those address my problem, since it's not allergy related and it's not really true "congestion"?

Going crazy, wanting to get compliance, and needing help. Should I give up and switch to the dreaded FFM?
12-11-2014 09:47 AM
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rdavis Offline

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Joined: Nov 2014

Machine: Phillips Respironics REMstar Auto
Mask Type: Full face mask
Mask Make & Model: F&P Eson
Humidifier: Phillips Respironics System One
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CPAP Software: SleepyHead Other Software

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Sex: Female
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Post: #2
RE: Newbie Nasal stuffiness--help!
I should also add that I'm really reluctant to take corticosteroids long term (for a personal medical reason). I'd honestly rather switch to a FFM than go that route.
(This post was last modified: 12-11-2014 09:55 AM by rdavis.)
12-11-2014 09:54 AM
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zonk Offline

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Mask Type: Nasal mask
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Post: #3
RE: Newbie Nasal stuffiness--help!
(12-11-2014 09:54 AM)rdavis Wrote:  I should also add that I'm really reluctant to take corticosteroids long term (for a personal medical reason). I'd honestly rather switch to a FFM than go that route.
There is nothing wrong with FFM, works and allow you to breathe thru your nose/mouth without compromise the therapy. I keep FFM in reserve but prefer to use my nasal mask even when congested. I find saline sinus rinse (not sprays) clear nasal passages and set my minimum pressure at 9 and no Ramp, any lower would make me feel uncomfortable ... YMMV

There some OTC but not for long term use, only good for 3 days because of the rebound effects

CPAP air can be irritating but that is something, some of us have to live with and figure out whats the best approach to deal with it, not using CPAP is not an option and not on the menu either

I don't know how the PRS1 humidifier suppose to work or if your machine is 60 series with the heated tube option

Keep learning about the humidifier, different modes and humidity levels, some need more humidity than others, some feel better with water in the tank but humidity off (passover) or without the humidifier altogether ... everyone is different
12-11-2014 04:43 PM
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PollCat Offline
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Machine: ResMed S9 Autoset
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Post: #4
RE: Newbie Nasal stuffiness--help!
You might want to start using a nasal/sinus rinse to help keep the air passages cleaned out. I use a NeilMed rinse every morning and Nasonex at bedtime to keep the air passages clean (and keep my nasal polyps at bay). If you use a nasal spray, like Nasonex, do not use it after using the rinse - a lesson I learned the hard way! Whistle


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12-11-2014 05:52 PM
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Galactus Offline

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Post: #5
RE: Newbie Nasal stuffiness--help!
I'm not sure what settings you have tried on the humidifier, but that type of nasal irritation is usually caused by the air being to dry, and causing that feeling (from what I have heard). I find a higher humidity setting and heat will help that, but that is me, and on this people will vary.

If everyone thinks alike, then someone isn't thinking.
Everyone knows something, together we could know everything.
12-11-2014 08:52 PM
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Ghost1958 Offline

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Machine: PRS1 Series Sixty Auto Aflex
Mask Type: Nasal mask
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Other Comments: Moderate to Severe SA Obstructive. Rapid O2 desat off the machine.

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Post: #6
RE: Newbie Nasal stuffiness--help!
I have the same problem with a nasal mask though Ive been set to the same nasal mask you have. While normally Im not a person that needs alot of humidity when that happens I find if I crank the humidity up in about five minute my nasal passages open up.

I have the heated hose and run it usually about 3 in winter with the humidity set to max setting of 3 when I have stuff nose problems.

Takes a few minutes but then opens me right up.
12-11-2014 11:56 PM
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rdavis Offline

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Post: #7
RE: Newbie Nasal stuffiness--help!
UPDATE: Thanks everyone for your responses!

I ended up getting a full face mask, and it was like night and day. In 5 days I have gone from barely using the CPAP 3 hours a night to using it 8-9 hours a night and actually being asleep for most of that time. No more waking up in a panic, working to pull air in through a stuffy nose Big Grin

That being said, I would still welcome advice on this topic. I'd like to switch back to the nasal mask if possible. I'll try saline rinses rather than the spray. Does anyone know if the heated hoses work better at keeping the air warm than the hose covers do? If so, I might try switching from a covered regular hose to a heated hose. Also, do any of you "warm up" your machine before putting the mask on? My sinuses tend to get irritated before the humidifier has time to warm up, but even after it does, the irritation does not clear up, so I'd almost need the air to be completely warm before I put the mask on. Anyone else have experience with this?
12-18-2014 01:23 PM
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Ghost1958 Offline

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Machine: PRS1 Series Sixty Auto Aflex
Mask Type: Nasal mask
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Post: #8
RE: Newbie Nasal stuffiness--help!
Not sure if you have a 560 or a 550 PRS1. The 560, the latest model of the PRS1 will use the heated hose. And has a water preheat option. If you have the 560 auto aflex you have that preheat option and the option of refitting it to a heated hose if you dont already have the lid that allows you to use one.

Yes the heated hose will warm the air quite rapidly after start up depending on what setting you put it on. And the humidifier preheat will heat the water for 30 min before you go to bed.

Some 550s have the preheat and some dont depending on how early the particular version of software is on a 550.


To turn preheat on if you have it on your machine just push the big knob down and hold it until the humidifier light comes on then release it. The machine will not turn on but will preheat the water for 30 minutes. You can start the machine anytime during that 30 minutes as normal if you wish.
If for some reason you take longer than 30 min to go bed after turning on humidifier preheat it will shut off by itself.

If you hold the knob down for better than 7 seconds and nothing happens you likely have a early model 550 machine that doesnt have the preheat option on it.

That said ill assume you have the 560 which means you have the option of going to a heated hose. Yes the heated hose runs rings around just a hose cover. It will actively heat the air per your desired setting instead of just trying to hold heat from the humidifier.

It also has a sensor in the mask end of the tube to sense the humidity and temperature at the mask. It will deliver a much higher humidity level to the mask than the PRS1 humidity mode alone if you set it for max humidity.

And no rainout.

With preheat and heated hose you can start out therapy at a very very very warm temperature. Much to warm for me at max settings even in a cold bedroom of 55 degrees. If you can go to heated hose do so. You wont regret it.
(This post was last modified: 12-18-2014 01:46 PM by Ghost1958.)
12-18-2014 01:39 PM
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rdavis Offline

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Post: #9
RE: Newbie Nasal stuffiness--help!
Thank you Ghost 1985! That is very helpful. My machine is indeed a 560 so I'll try the preheat, and I may order a heated hose. Sounds nice.
12-22-2014 02:08 PM
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Mr. Van Winkle Offline

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Post: #10
RE: Newbie Nasal stuffiness--help!
My thoughts on this, when I started this about 5 weeks ago, and after the first few days I noticed some stuffiness , but mine was Three things that I feel caused it 1.) I needed more EPR relief on exhale , and 2.) I was using a mask that didn't vent good enough for me.
3.) I also add the heated hose. I run on Auto for Humidity
So since I change to the F&P Eson nasal mask along with not letting my water run dry I've been fine. I sleep thought the night because now , I don't have to fiddle with my mask as much and no dry mouth.
On the night's I do feel stuffy a couple shots of saline in each nostril through the mask on and relax before you know it I'm out like a log!


Mr. Van Winkle
12-22-2014 05:00 PM
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