Nasal Congestion and CPAP use
Continuous positive airway pressure therapy is an important element to treating your sleep apnea and preventing associated long-term health risks like high blood pressure, diabetes, and renal disease. CPAP use will also help you get a better night’s sleep and help eliminate snoring as well as excessive fatigue. Despite the relief CPAP machines promote, users sometimes experience nasal congestion, which can result in frustration and disuse of their sleep apnea treatment.
Why Does CPAP Use Cause Nasal Congestion?
Overtime, forced air delivered through your CPAP mask is irritating to the mucosal lining of your nose. This causes swelling and excess mucous production, both of which contribute to nasal congestion. The irritation also creates an opportunity for infectious organisms to set up shop in your body leading to an even greater amount of both mucous and swelling! How are CPAP wearers supposed to continue their therapy if they’re struggling with a feed-back loop of irritation and nasal infections?
How is CPAP Related Nasal Congestion Treated?
It seems unfair to have such an irritating side effect getting in the way of your sleep apnea management. The good news is that there are ways to manage these frustrating experiences you might be having with congestion. First, have your primary health care provider check for an infection by taking a look at your nose, mouth, and ears. They will also listen to your lungs and prescribe antibiotics if considered necessary. If no infection is present, your doctor may have you take an oral steroid until the swelling in your nose decreases. To alleviate discomfort, check with you physician to see whether or not you would benefit from nasal decongestant regimen.
If you generally use a nasal mask for your CPAP treatment, you may want to switch over to a full face mask like the Amara View made by Philips Respironics while you’re suffering from a stuffed nose. A full face mask is the most accommodating when nasal congestion makes nasal breathing impossible.
If a full face mask is not available, you may try a short, one to two day break from continuous positive airway pressure use. Since the most serious effects of sleep apnea are developed over long periods of time, there is no evidence showing that a CPAP break would create imminent health problems.
CPAP Humidifiers Come Highly Recommended
The addition of a heated humidifier to your nasal CPAP system will moisten all delivered air and prevent the drying of the nose’s mucous membranes. This heated moist air decreases uncomfortable nasal symptoms and helps prevent infection. While we recommend most sleep apnea sufferers use a heated humidifier, studies show that the use of these devices are especially important of persons over sixty.
When using your humidifier, check the operating instructions for information on the best options for filling its tank. Some humidifiers are not compatible with tap water and must only be filled with distilled.
The nurses, respiratory therapists, and physicians at BreatheEasyCPAP.com believe that your sleep apnea treatment shouldn’t be sidelined because of nasal discomfort. Visit our site for your CPAP humidifiers and other devices; we promise that you’ll appreciate our attention to quality and practical pricing.