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Question about my apnea
Question about my apnea
I've been using my Airsense 11 since last October. My AHI has been reduced significantly in the process.
In my first sleep study it was 86. Last night it was .42 which seems pretty good to me. I've been wondering
if a possible contributor to my apnea could be coming from nasal congestion. I have a long history of chainsaw snoring
(which has been eliminated per Oscar) and I often woke up with pretty severe nasal blockage on either
or both sides. I've discovered that I can clear one side by tilting that side of my head up, but it just drips down to the lower side.
I still experience a lot of congestion at night, but since the machine is autoset between 12 and 20 cm of H2O,
I'm guessing its blowing hard enough to keep the nasal passages functional throughout the night.
Although I've gotten used to wearing a mask, its not my first choice. If I could replace it with decongestants, that seems like a win to me.

Here's last night's numbers if that will help:

Obstructive Index 0.00
Hypopnea Index 0.28
Unclassified Apnea Index 0.00
Clear Airway Index 0.14
95% Flow Limitation 0.17
RERA Index 0.14

Any suggestions of how I can dig deeper into this question would be most appreciated.

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RE: Question about my apnea
It's somewhat unlikely that the pressure is keeping your nasal passages open. The pressure is enough to gently push back flaccid tissues in your lower airway, but swollen nasal tissues are not likely to be compressed by PAP pressures. Your reduction in AHI and snoring reflects the good work the pressure is doing in your pharynx.

It's possible that you're benefiting some from whatever your humidity setting is. For some people, higher humidity helps to reduce nasal congestion; for others, lower humidity is best.

You might be interested to know that nasal congestion commonly cycles from one nostril to the other. Google "nasal cycle" for more information.

Do see an ENT for help with the congestion. Mine turned out to be due to a dust mite allergy. To control symptoms, I'm using Flonase spray before bedtime (over the counter, takes a few weeks to kick in), Azelastine (prescription spray), montelukast (aka Singulair, a prescription pill), and the occasional sinus rinse (NeilMed brand).

You can't hurt yourself by using Flonase, so I would suggest giving it a try. For the rest, you need advice from a doctor.
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