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Using nasal CPAP masks with deviated septum

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BreatheHappily +0 points · 2 months ago Original Poster

Hi, I have a deviated septum. The passage on the right side is significantly narrower than that on my left side. I find reflux causes mucous production in the nose which makes me blocked on both sides. If I can avoid this by not over eating late in the evening, I can breathe to some degree through my right nostril, while the left is fine.

Have you heard of people with deviated septums that have succeeded with nasal CPAP masks? I have yet to attempt a full night with a nasal mask and am a bit hesitant as I don't want to wake up with an aching, dry throat.

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Sierra +1 point · 2 months ago Sleep Patron

I have no experience with a deviated septum. However, if you can breathe with your mouth closed a nasal or nasal pillow style mask should work. The secret of using the nasal mask is the ability to keep your mouth closed while you are asleep.

I use a nasal pillow type mask and was originally concerned what I would do when I got a cold and ended up with congested nasal passages. It has turned out to be a non issue for me. I find that if I can get one passage or the other open, there is no problem getting air during the night. The nasal mask seems to keep at least one passage open.

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BreatheHappily +0 points · 2 months ago Original Poster

I read about the nasal cycle. In healthy people, the turbinates on one side of the nose naturally take turns swelling up to cause congestion for three to six hours on one side, in order to give the cilla in that nostril a break and prevent them from drying out. Then the same thing happens on the other side.

When I have a blocked nose, I am fine for a few hours when the left side is on duty, but start breathing via my mouth when it is the right side's turn.

You said the nasal mask seems to keep at least one passage open. I wonder if the body will let the off-duty nostril stay open. I hope so, and hopefully the humidifier would protect the cilla while they work overtime.

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Sierra +0 points · 2 months ago Sleep Patron

Opening your mouth and trying to breathe through the mouth is problematic on a CPAP when using a nasal mask. The pressure will escape out through the mouth and you end up with a dry mouth, and the CPAP not working well due to the large leakage rate. Some can solve that with a chin strap. That did not work for me, so I have ended up doing the mouth taping thing. Using a full face mask partly solves the issue as then you can breathe through your mouth without losing air pressure. However you can still end up with a dry throat.

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BreatheHappily +0 points · 2 months ago Original Poster

Yes, that is what I am worried about. I guess I won't find out until I try. Was just wondering if people with deviated septums can give me any advice or share their experiences. Nasal sprays didn't help much. I am hesitant about surgery.

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