Nose congestion with CPAP in the morning

by Doug

I have been using a machine for 5 or 6 years with no trouble but find that a new one seems to cause my left nostril to fill like I have a cold.

My pressure was set at 3.5 so I increased it to 4.0 That improves things but I still have a problem.

Any suggestions? Thanks.


This video contains interesting information about nasal congestion and CPAP mask:

I have caught myself a few cold - head and chest. Putting my nasal FX pillows aside, I reached for my ResMed Mirage Liberty mask figuring I would not be able to overcome the nasal congestion.

I decided to turn up the heat one notch and try my nasal pillows first - and within 30 minutes my nose was clear enough........slept well.

I'm telling you this just to let you know that I am a true believer in heated humidification - nightly and whether we have nasal congestion or not. Depending on how congested you are, you may find that turning up your heat setting will be enough to clear your nasal passages. Otherwise, I am also a believer in having a full face mask handy to use.

When we are sick - restful sleep is even more important - spending time in Delta sleep, the restorative sleep stage, allows our bodies time to heal and repair. Often when we are sick, we fall directly into Delta sleep!

So remember - if cold or flu strikes - its not the time to abandon cpap therapy! It's even more important! So use your humidifier and tweak the heat setting ( cover/insulate the tubing to reduce or eliminate excess condensation) and so you don't miss even one night of cpap therapy - use a full face mask on the nights that you cannot breathe well through your nose!

You can also use special strips to open your nostrils. Breathe Right nasal strips offer temporary relief from nasal congestion and stuffiness and may also lessen or eliminate snoring.. Depending on how enlarged the turbinate are, they may help a lot.

A more permanent answer is turbinate reduction surgery.

I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

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Jan 11, 2011
nasal strips
by: Delta_sleep

I too have had a stuffy/ runny nose for the last year or so. Finally, my "new" doc recommended using nasal strips, they actually do a great job. She also recommended me to an ENT for turbinate reduction. Try the strips.

Jan 11, 2011
by: Duke

I repeat the suggestion - by all means use a heated humidifier. I am a long-time XPAP user, and never had a humidifier until about four years ago. It has made a really big improvement in my nasal condition.

I have a Respironics RemStar humidifier fitted to my Respironics BiPAP, and always operate at a high heated setting - By using a heavy quilted hose sleeve I have no problems with rainout and the humidifier has certainly improved my congestion problems.

Jan 11, 2011
maybe surgery?
by: Steve

I have. Had a stopped up the nose for years and my dr always blamed it on allergies from my pets I went to an ENT dr last week and he said my turbinates were enlarged.

I have been on CPAP machine for 2 years and every night I wake up and one side of my nose was 100% stopped up. Doc said it was because my turbinates were swollen and sag for a better term. Due to laying on one side too long.

Just had radiofrequency surgery yesterday and I think this will be the answer to the nose being stopped up. Look into it. This may be your problem. The word may be spelled wrong but google it.

Good luck

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