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CPAP and nasal congestion

on 5/19/12 5:16 am - OK
VSG on 05/29/12
 Third night of cpap I feel like have the worse head and nasal congestion 3-5 hours in and no breathing for me I have to pull it off. Average 5 hours a night. Took decongestion pull last night didn't make difference. Any suggestions

on 5/19/12 5:21 am - Silver Spring, MD
VSG on 02/27/12 with
are you using the water chamber (humidifier)?  If so, I'd play around with the level.  I know when I started I used to turn it off completely.  Now I keep the humidifier at 3 or so.  I'm so sorry it's been a tough adjustment.  I have the complete reverse struggle - my doctor wants me to consider going off my cpap now but I can't imagine sleeping without it..... 
You could also try nose drops but beware if you use for more than 3 days you will become dependent on them (trust me on that one)  So I'd suggest anything else before that.

Height 5'7"   HW: 314     SW: 293

on 5/19/12 5:44 am - OK
VSG on 05/29/12
 I use a warmed humidifier on cpap machine set at three first night then felt to dry turned it up seem no help almost more congestion. I'm going to try sleeping elevated tonight. Tganks

on 5/19/12 5:47 am
VSG on 04/03/12
 My doctor told me to use afrin when I'm sick with a cold or sinus infection.  I also use Flonase daily.  Ive been on the CPAP since 2005, and I love it! 
on 5/19/12 6:36 am - Houston, TX
What kind of mask are you using? I found after moving from a full face mask type to the nasal pillow type i never had problems tearing the mask off again. In fact when i am stuffed up i look forward to putting on the nasal pillow as it quickly clears that all up by forcing air through the passage. I could not sleep at all with the full face mask. The hot air on my whole face was so uncomfortable. If that's part of your problem swap it out...thank me later.
on 5/19/12 6:46 am
You might want to check the setting like a few ppl suggested...I have bad sinuses too
on 5/19/12 7:17 am - OK
VSG on 05/29/12
 Full face mask. I appreciate it I will ask about it. 

bill B.
on 5/19/12 6:45 am, edited 5/19/12 6:55 am - NC
VSG on 12/13/12 with
Try using Ayre,my sleep Dr recomended it for me, spread a little inside your nostrils before you put your mask on. Breathright strips may work for you also. Usually the problem in not enough moisture, move your setting up one notch a night and see if you can get it to where you are not as conjested. I have mine set half way and it works for me. Also you may ge****er in the tube, try to keep it under the covers, warm water coming from the chamber and going thru the tube in a cold room creates this sometimes. I use this and it works great, no more keeping the tube under the covers, my wife uses it also and is able to keep the mask on all night now.  I've been on CPAP for three years. Hang in there, you'll get it right.
Edit: I also use the pillows there great I switched masks like 4 times in the begining, till I got the right one for me, you should not have to pay for a new mask every time as long as it's in 30 days. You can use a Neti Pot also to relieve congestion, If you use it regulary this may be all you need. Get the squeeze bottle type, not the tea pot style.
on 5/19/12 7:20 am - OK
VSG on 05/29/12
 Thanks all good info!!!

on 5/19/12 8:32 pm
 i had to use simply saline got it at walgreens for about 11 dollars, but i was able to sleep.  I also switched to the head gear that goes up your nose i call it the snorkle and i can sleep on my side and stay asleep all night its wonderful

on 5/20/12 9:27 am - Tallahassee, FL
You might consider going to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor to see if you have enlarged turbinates.  These are fleshy things in your sinuses that warm and humidify the air inhaled through your nose.  When you lie down, sometimes they become engorged with blood (cause they are a type of erectile tissue apparently).  Some peoples turbinates get enlarged and never get any smaller, so when they become engorged, you feel like you need to use Afrin, or something similar.

If this is the case, the doctor will put you under general anesthesia, and basically roto-rooter out your turbinates to make them smaller.  You won't feel better immediately because the tissue inside will be swollen and covered with scabs.  After about 6 weeks, though, you will be able to lie down and breath through your nose.

You might also consider getting one of those mouth appliances that pull your jaw forward while you sleep.

I got on the CPAP and had the kind of mask that just goes over the nose.  The pulmonary PA kept having a dang hissy fit because I was using Afrin.  She gave me two other medicines, Flonase and something else, but they actually made my nose block up even more!  She never had any other suggestions other than to just say that I shouldn't be using Afrin, she would never allow it in her home, and on and on.

Finally, on my own, I decided to see an ENT because I had my  nose broken years previous and thought maybe I had a deviated septum.  Went to see the ENT and that's when I found out about the turbinates.  The ENT also suggested that I see a dentist who makes mouth appliances for people who have sleep apnea.  All this has helped immensely.

I'm just still so aggravated with the pulmonary PA.  I went there so that THEY could figure out how to  help me breathe better.  What about other people with the same problem?  I'm sure they are still getting berated by that PA and struggling to breathe at night.

Hehe, sorry about that rant!   Bitter much?  Grr!

Well, good luck!  I hope you find the answer to your question!
No heaven will not ever Heaven be
Unless my cats are there to welcome me.
~Author Unknown
on 5/20/12 10:23 am
Fluticasone Propoionate Nasal Spray!  (Flonase)   Its a common steroidal prescription nasal spray and is used in CPAP therapy alot, it is not habit forming, like some sprays.   It could be allergies, a cold, too much humidity, swelling.... but whatever it is, you still need your sleep.  Ask your primary care Doc, about it and see if it makes sense for you.  
HW: 425    SW: 337   CW: 262 GW: 217 (surgeon)  
Pre-surgery loss; 88 lbs (mostly in my required 6 month insurance class)
on 5/20/12 10:34 am
VSG on 09/13/11 with
I love my CPAP and wouldn't sleep without it. 

Buy a neti pot and use it every night.  Play with your humidity setting -- too low irritates my nose, but too high causes congestion.
" I am not at all concerned with appearing to be consistent. In my pursuit after Truth I have discarded many ideas and learnt many new things."  Ghandi