Using CPAP Machine for the first time and one nostril blocked

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FinallyASleepingBeauty +0 points · about 1 year ago

Hello, I've been diagnosed recently with sleep apnea and so I got the new CPAP machine. I still need to do research on numbers and stats, what they mean, etc. - I'm really new at this.

Problem: For the first two hours I got the air stream from the machine as expected and the mask fit fine and comfortable enough for a mask. I slept well for two hours. Then I woke up, feelings suffocated. Turns out that one of my nostrils or nasal passages is totally or near-totally blocked, and now I can breathe with only one nostril and this is making me feel suffocated. This has been a problem even before apnea was diagnosed - I would say that this is more recent observation - the one nostril blocked situation that is. I use Fluticasone sprays every night and even use the neti pot with saline water. Still, I'm having this one nose blocked issue that keeps me awake in the middle of the night for 2-3 hours. Then sleep again when the nostril is unblocked and I end up going to work tired.

Anyone experience this nostril blocking problem? What's a good remedy? Because fluticasone, neti pot with saline water and humidifier isn't helping. And I don't know what else to do. The CPAP mask feels suffocating when one of my nostrils is blocked.

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Ruby +0 points · about 1 year ago

I can see where having one nostril blocked could cause problems. Is this something that you have discussed with your doctor since you have had this problem before using the machine? If anything, I would think it would help keep it open but it doesn't sound like that is happening. Do you sleep mainly on one side? That could cause drainage to move into the lower nostril cavity.

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FinallyASleepingBeauty +0 points · 3 months ago

Thank you for your post - sorry that it took me months to reply to you, but looks like my notifications are not turned on. Will do that. I realized that if I aired my room for 15 - 30 min before bedtime (windows open a crack), vaccum regularly or semi-regularly, use the neti pot with warm saline water for circulation and fluticasone on top of that, then my nostrils stay open all night long and I can breathe better. I realize that it's almost impossible to do any mouth breathing with the mask on, and so if things are really dire, then I go without the mask, although it's rather rare.

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wiredgeorge +0 points · about 1 year ago Sleep Enthusiast

My Bipap allows me to sleep easy even during a heavy cold such as I am just getting over. Your mask? Without info, there isn't much hope of provided any good response to your request for help. If you are using a full face mask, the positive air pressure will surely help keep your sinus open. If you have a nasal mask or similar, the exhaust holes are small and they have a hard time clearing and I think probably contribute to blockage (just a guess).

When you have a problem of this sort, machine/pressure setting(s) and mask type would help make answers tailored to your situation.

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FinallyASleepingBeauty +0 points · 3 months ago

Thank you and sorry about the late reply - my notifications are not turned on I see. I don't have a full face mask - I have a mask that only seals around my nose and that was the most comfortable one that I picked, given the choices. I didn't like the nasal pillows either. I realized that if I air my room regularly, use the neti pot with saline water and also fluticasone, that solves 90% of the problem and I can sleep well through the night. The good thing is that I had a good manager when I was struggling with getting used to the CPAP mask - turns out that he also uses a CPAP machine and had to struggle with it, and so he could put up with my grogginess at work and lower productivity for a couple of weeks. I don't use the adjoining humidifier with the CPAP - it somehow makes me feel suffocated.

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PhilosophicalPurpleRaven9251 +0 points · about 1 year ago

The same thing happened to me. I switched to a full face mask and I like it much better. Apparently I'm a mouth breather with allergies and I couldn't stand air being blown up my nose all night long. I became congested and woke up with headaches. I haven't had that happen since I switched to a full face mask. I've only been using my Apap machine for about a week though.

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FinallyASleepingBeauty +0 points · 3 months ago

That's great that the face mask works for you! For now I'm okay with the nasal mask if I air my room well enough and use a neti-pot with saline water. I got a full nasal mask, and it's okay for now. Maybe in the future I will get a face mask. I feel that I've adjusted to this machine finally! BTW - sorry for the late reply, but my notifications were not turned on it seems like.

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BrightSpringbudSandpiper5105 +0 points · 12 months ago

Full faced mask is the simplest answer.

I have had 10 years of blocked nasal passages. Try Rhinocort (Australian brand name) which can really help if your blocked passages are due to "rhinovitus, allergies or other similar things. Using a humidifier helps too.

I also use a decongestant for 3 to 4 days in a row then have to stop for 3 to 4 days you cannot use them permanently. So I was alternating between nasal mask and full faced mask.

When I was recently on holidays in the US I discovered that I did not experience blocked nasal passages and used nasal mask for almost a month straight. I became suspicious that I am allergic to something in my bedroom. I bought a cheap air purifier 2 weeks ago and I have just had 4 days running with no decongestant and good nights sleeps and nasal mask only.

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FinallyASleepingBeauty +0 points · 3 months ago

Thanks for your reply and sorry about replying so late - looks like my notifications are not turned on. Yes, next time I will have to try a face mask. For now, I've finally adjusted to my nasal mask, and I also do things like air my room for 15 - 30 min, use a neti pot and fluticasone puffs on top. This helps me a lot with the stuffiness.

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jsielke +0 points · 12 months ago

I find one of the nasal sprays like Nasocort helps a lot.

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FinallyASleepingBeauty +0 points · 3 months ago

Yes, and so does a neti-pot with saline water. Although I get lazy and don't use the neti-pot everyday. But when I do use it, I wait for a few minutes for the drainage to take place, and then puff some fluticasone into my nostrils on top of that. That helps a lot with the stuffiness.

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