Forum · My nose is always stuffed..could this be causing my sleep apnea?

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[-] BravePlumHawk8318 +0 points · 2 months ago

I have had sleep apnea for most of my life..coincidentally I've also had a lifelong problem with always needing to breathe out of my mouth. This has become the natural way I breathe, my nose is always clogged. I can blow my nose into a napkin, but it gets stuffed again within minutes. So yesterday I worked on breathing in and out of my nose with a tissue. When it was time for bed, I got up 3-4 times throughout the night to go blow my nose and get some water. The end result was really amazing..I haven't slept that well in years. I am going to test it again next time I sleep..but does anyone else have this issue with their nose, could this be what is causing my sleep apnea? I don't yet have a CPAP machine, I am in the process of getting my equipment, I was only officially diagnosed within the past 6 months.

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[-] GregariousHarlequinMouse7173 +0 points · 2 months ago

I bet you will do better with a full face mask if you breath out of your mouth. I did read that people with sleep apnea breathe through their mouth more (from having to catch their breath when they stop breathing during the night). That doesn't sound like your case though. Sounds like you have allergies maybe. My CPAP has a humidifier and is set at 4 for the summer months but if my nose starts feeling stuffy or dry, I was told to set it higher. I know some nose mask people keep a full face mask on hand for when they get a cold and stuffy nose. Also, there are mouth masks now for mouth breathers. The nose is clipped or something like that so you don't breathe thru your nose during the night. So many options today!

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[-] SleepDent +0 points · 2 months ago

I am a dentist working in dental sleep medicine. Absolutely, the state of your nasal patency(openness) has a bearing on the severity of your OSA. I always tell patients to think of their airway from the tip of their nose down into there lungs as a system of duct work like that in your home air conditioning. A restriction in ANY part of the duct work will increase the airway resistance in the over-all system and increase the level of OSA. In my view, treatment of OSA, whether with CPAP, an oral sleep apnea appliance, or anything else, should include a trip to the ENT doctor to assess the state of your nasal patency and to optimize it. It generally will not rid you of the OSA, but it will temper it and make it easier to use the CPAP with easier and better air flow through the nose. Arthur B. Luisi, D.M.D.

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[-] wiredgeorge +0 points · 2 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

I think at least one other factor affects the issue of narrowed airways; seems to me if a person has a very large lung capacity, then the narrow airway will indicate a much higher air pressure in the PAP therapy than a person with a smaller lung capacity. This seems a complicated issue and the home A/C analogy seems very appropriate. If a person has a 4 ton A/C and wants to get the ability to get their house even cooler, generally installing a 5 ton unit won't get the job done as the duct work is the limitation and the larger A/C compressor is a waste of money. Perhaps a great sleep study would also include an examination by an ENT or some other med pro who could assess the airways prior to positive air pressure prescriptions being written. Perhaps the airways could be improved and the need for very high pressures which likely complicated compliance could be achieved.

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[-] sleeptech +0 points · 2 months ago

Obstructive sleep apnoea involves airway collapse at the back of your throat, and your nose has little to do with it. A blocked nose may reduce your sleep quality, but it shouldn't affect the collapse of you airway.

[+] [deleted] +0 points · 2 months ago
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[-] wiredgeorge +0 points · 2 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

I don't know... seems a common problem is when folks have stuffy noses and can't breathe and this greatly reduces their ability to tolerate positive air pressure. I know that folks here have often claimed to benefit from nasal sprays which reduce congestion. In my own case, I have a thin nose and have trouble breathing through my nose when stuffy; we live where scrub cedar pollen makes everyone miserable when it is in full season. The machine I use with the pressure allows me to breathe through my nose almost normally at those times of high pollen count. I use a full face mask and a mouth guard to ensure my mouth stays closed at night so I have become a nose breather via the air pressure afforded by therapy. Just my subjective and personal observation. I know that the apnea was caused by the stuff in the throat collapsing but suspect I typically breathed through my mouth prior to therapy.

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[-] SleepDent +0 points · 2 months ago

Another personal observation that I can make is the following: I have had patients tested with oral sleep apnea appliances in place and they will have a certain residual AHI. Later, after they have been treated by an ENT to improve nasal patency, the same appliance will be sleep tested again and the residual AHI is usually significantly lower. It is obvious that the increased nasal patency has reduced the OSA more. Arthur B. Luisi,Jr., D.M.D.

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[-] wiredgeorge +0 points · 2 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

In any case, it is sad that the disciplines associated with sleep disorders can't get into one tent and look for solutions to patients medical apnea issues in a comprehensive manner. A sleep study facility could have sleep docs, dentists and ENTs under one roof to provide a tailored solution for a patient. As it is now, patients fumble through the medical board game and seem to not always find the best therapy for their particular circumstance.

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[-] SleepDent +0 points · 2 months ago

You are absolutely correct. Dr. Luisi

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[-] NorCalSleeper +0 points · 2 months ago

You'll want to keep your sinuses as clear as possible once you start using a CPAP machine. The pressure from the mask will give you a pretty bad sinus headache in my experience. If you crank up the heat and humidity it helps, but I've found Flonase spray to really help. A couple of sprays in each nostril in the evening has really helped me get through the night without ripping my mask off and throwing it (which I did the first night!)

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[-] SarahCummings +0 points · about 2 months ago

Stuffed nose certainly causes sleep apnea, but there are also other things affecting it. I was just wondering, did you maybe consider rhinoplasty? Do you happen to suffer from asthma? I'm just trying to think of what might be the cause for your stuffed nose. Did you ever get the allergy test? You might be allergic to something in your surroundings and as a result your nose is always stuffed.. A friend of mine had issues with nose breathing all her life because of allergies, and I know she was using Xyzal and Pressing pills. They use to help her, but only in short term. Recently, her doctor told her to buy Avamys nose spray and she says it's the best thing she tried so far.

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[-] GentleLimeQuail2691 +0 points · about 2 months ago

My wife had this issue and it was diagnosed as OSA because she also snores. For her, it was actually over active turbinates and it took about 6 ENTs and a 2nd sleep study before she got to the bottom of it. Some ENTs suggested reducing them, some removing them, some were against messing with them and trying similar treatments for allergies some mention above. Please do get lots of opinions if at all possible - as you can see from her experience she had a lot of conflicting advice on how to handle over active turbinates.

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