Nasal Pillow Users...help!

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NewUserPatti +0 points · 10 months ago

Hi. I'm new to this site and to CPAP, having gotten mine yesterday. I chose the pillows because they seemed easier, but now I don't know. I ended up taking mine off about 5 am, and my nose is so sore today. Now, I am sick, and wondering if this is the wrong time to start. I was bothered by it so much, I kept pulling it away from my nose and felt that with the rushing air it was more comfortable to be just outside my nose but now I think that was completely wrong as I see so many posts about the problem of "leaking." I just felt like I couldn't breathe! Almost like I was holding my breath a little, my heart pounding and my stomach felt like I was being strangled, if that makes any sense at all. I felt like I wanted to breathe through my mouth the whole time to get some air, even tho there's so much coming in! Like a wind tunnel! My setting is on 5 apparently, that's low right? So how come it feels so strong? I was so looking forward to waking up feeling energy, but I woke up more tired than usual. I've read a lot of tips for getting used to this, I'm just questioning whether I should wear this while stuffed up? thanks!

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Oregonrain +0 points · 10 months ago

Feeling stuffed up might improve as you continue using the cpap, but if you have a real cold, you might need a full face mask during times of serious congestion. I had some congestion when I first started using the cpap but that seemed to improve as I continued using the cpap. I started with a nasal pillow mask but it made my nose sore too, so after a week I switched to a nasal mask. After a few days of the nasal mask my nose and sinuses no longer felt sore. Many people like the nasal pillow masks, but I ended up liking the nasal mask better because I preferred breathing air that was blowing into a space just outside of my nose instead of having that air blown directly up my nostrils. I got a 'FitPack' that had 3 sizes of nasal mask cushions and chose a size larger than I needed because I wanted to have a good amount of airspace around my nose, and even though it was a bit bigger it still fit well with no air leaks. Regarding your settings: you'd have to talk to your sleep doctor about the settings on your type of cpap but I am using an Dreamstation auto cpap and I found it harder to breathe at the lower setting and breathing was actually easier for me when my setting was adjusted up. My auto cpap also has a Flex setting which helps make it easier to exhale so that likely helps as well. Stick with it and it will get more comfortable at some point.

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snuffie3456 +0 points · 10 months ago

Hi Patti, Don't give up! I felt the same way when I started using the CPAP. It felt like I couldn't breathe! Once you start panicking, your breathing gets even deeper, which makes it worse. The way I handled it was to just give up trying to use it first thing at night. It just freaked me out too much. Halfway through the night, when I got up to pee, I'd put it on while I was calm and sleepy. This seemed to work much better for me. Within a week I was using it all night. It also helped to get a really good book on my Kindle. My reward for keeping the mask on was that I allowed myself to read in bed as much as I wanted. (A guilty pleasure for me.) Eventually my breathing would calm, and I'd fall asleep.

I'd also check the ramp setting on your machine. It's possible that your full pressure is 5, but the starting pressure might be something lower. For example, my machine starts at 4mm, then takes about 5 minutes to get to full pressure at 8mm. I find 4mm to be a little bit low, and just had my sleep tech change it to 5mm today.

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wiredgeorge +0 points · 10 months ago Sleep Enthusiast

Nasal pillows or nasal masks are not always appropriate for the prescribed air pressure. I can't use one due mine and you didn't mention what your pressure setting(s) is/are. I find putting the mask on when I am plugged up helps relieve congestion and I can breathe and sleep much more easily. I use an Amara View mask which sets the opening right under my nose and is light and relatively unobtrusive and doesn't leak much.

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