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Waking up gasping for breath
#1
I wasn't sure how to describe this in the title, so hopefully what I describe here, makes sense.  

I'm using an Eson2 Nasal Mask with Remzzz's liners.  Last night (and a couple of other nights) I've woken up and can't breathe.  It feels like my nose is blocked by something.   Not stuffed, but blocked--hard to describe the feeling.  So far it's always been the same nostril and the one opposite the side I'm sleeping on.  (I'm sleeping on my left side, but my right nostril feels blocked?)   I loosened the right side strap and opened that side of the mask and began gasping for air through my mouth.  After what felt like a minute or so, my nostril became unblocked, but I continued to gasp so I took my mask off.  While this was going on, there was significant air pressure coming through my mask, so I know it wasn't turned off or too low.  In a weird way it felt like the pressure was pushing my nostril closed?  (Which shouldn't be the case, but who knows.)  Or the side of the mask was pushing into my nostril and causing it to be closed--although the cushion doesn't feel tight or pressing against my nose?  And now as I'm writing this, my other nostril must have been somewhat blocked as well even though I only noticed my right one.
 
I've got a humidifier and have been using nose drops before I go to bed.  I've used an N20 as well, but can't recall if I had this issue with it and I haven't used the Eson 2 without Remzzz's--although I looked and they don't appear to be blocking anything.

Anyone experience something similar?  And if so, what should I try?  The nasal pillow masks don't work for me, so I can't go that route.


I'm terrified to go to sleep tonight for fear I won't wake up.   Can that happen?
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#2
I see you are using SleepyHead. What is it showing?
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#3
Chigirl, have you ever tried nasal pillows? A lot smaller mask that puts the pressure right onto the nostrils. Just a thought, especially since you're using liners to deal with leaks that would not happen with nasal pillows.

On a nasal mask, pressure from the mask and the air is imposed along the side of the nose right on top of some sinus cavities. This can cause a problem sometimes. Try pressing in the contact area of the mask and see if you sense a difference in breathing resistance. Can you replicate the problem using the mask, and the machine in mask fit mode?
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#4
@sleepyrider, unfortunately the nasal pillow masks don't work for me.   I've tried the P10 and the Dreamwear.  Because my hair is fine, they move around.  I've tried everything under the sun to remedy that without any luck.  I have not tried to replicate the problem with the nasal mask with the mask fit setting or by pressing on the cushion.  I'll give both your suggestions a try tonight.  As a side note, for me the liners make my leaks worse.  I'm using them to combat an oily face/mask sliding around my face issue.  Prior to that, I was waking up several times a night and having to wash my face.  As a side note, I did take the liner off after the breathing (or lack thereof episode) which is why the leaks are a bit lower there. It's been somewhat of a journey to find something that works.  

@crimson nape, nothing seemed out of the ordinary on Sleepyhead except for some restricted breathing prior to me waking up.  Anyone notice anything else that might provide a clue as to what's happening?


   
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#5
I dont see anything unusual with your graphs. In fact, it looks very good!

I have a feeling that you are just struggling to find the right mask, which is not unusual for many here. If your absolutely sure you cant use nasal pillows, then try a different nasal mask.

As far as congestion, use nasal rinses (squeeze bottle type), and a saline nasal spray.
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#6
I decided to give the mask fit suggestion a try now instead of waiting until tonight.

I tried both the N20 and the Eson2 on mask fit mode, with and without Remzzz's.

I could not replicate the breathing issue with the N20 (which I suspected was the case, but couldn't remember.)  But it's not nearly as comfortable a fit as the Eson2.

The Eson2, with the liner leaks like crazy.  When I laid down on my left side, my left nostril was completely blocked by the side of the cushion.  I was only breathing through my right nostril.

The Eson2, without the liner didn't leak at all.  However, when I laid down on my left side, my left nostril was still completely blocked by the side of the cushion.  I loosened the left strap a bit and the blockage to the left nostril stopped and I was able to breathe through both nostrils.

So it looks like I am probably overtightening the mask to compensate for the additional leaks.  I wonder if my right nostril was having issues because the left one was blocked from the start?  I'm going to try the Eson2 without the liners tonight and see if slips around like the N20 did.  I don't think I've tried sleeping with the Eson2 without the liners.  

I really, really like the Eson2.  It's the only mask that I've been able to sleep well in.  (I tried the Wisp, N20, P10 and Dreamwear as well, with the N20 working the best out of that group.)  I'd like to figure out how to get the Eson2 to work.  Would a larger cushion potentially help, if I find that I need the liners to keep the cushion from slipping, or would that make it worse?  I've got a small cushion now.

I appreciate everyone's help with this.
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#7
I had nose surgery last summer. Both nostrils had weak "valves" which allowed my nostrils to easily collapse closed even from just a rapid inhale through just my nose.

The surgeon used some of the material he had to remove to open up my turbinates and do a septoplasty to effectively rebuild the left and right nostril valves.

I now breathe better than I ever have and the new valves keep both nostrils open during excessive inhalation through just my nose.

Do an online search for:
nasal valve collapse symptoms

If you want to experiment to see if you have valve collapse, those Breathe Easy nose strips should help to hold out your nostrils very much the way the inner valves are supposed to support the nostrils from collapsing.
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#8
It might be that the straps were too tight.  Overtightening the Eson to reduce leaks can be counter-productive.  It needs to be able to inflate to seal properly.  You have to find a balance between too loose to seal and too tight to inflate.  

Are you sleeping with your head in the middle of the pillow?  I find that as a side sleeper, I need to sleep on the edge so that the mask is mostly not touching the pillow.
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#9
@RichardVT, I'll give the breathe right strips a try and see what happens and see if I have any symptoms. I'll google it as well.  I'm glad that the surgery worked well for you.

@chill, I'm going to try the inflate and then tighten/fit the mask thing tonight.  Crossing my fingers that I was just over-tightening it.  I sleep on the very edge of my pillow.  I think I always have-even before CPAP.  Once in awhile I get a lucky break and don't have to adjust my habits.   Smile
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#10
Hope you find the answer to your nose blocking off, whatever it may be!
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