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Steven B. Ronsen updated their profile
Sep 15
Hi All,

So, I'm a couple of days away from getting my first CPAP device, and I'm wondering about something.

I've usually got a stuffy nose, on one side or the other. Sometimes I go to sleep with one side blocked up, and wake up with the other one blocked.

So, how does this affect using a CPAP machine?

Does the CPAP pressure have to go through the nose?

Does it work differently when using the "full-face" masks?

My doc has suggested I try some nasal spray (flonase?) but I haven't yet. I'm concerned about long-term use of something like that.


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Hi Andy--welcome to SleepGuide!! Happy to have you onboard.

Re: your stuffy nose: have you seen an ENT specialist to see if that kind of stuffiness can be helped with treatment? There are a # of people on here who have had similar problems with chronic stuffiness prior to CPAP. There are also people on SG who take Flonase. I'm not one of them so I can't be of much help to you there, but someone else will be, I'm sure.

Do you have allergies? I don't but allergies are mentioned frequently on here.

CPAP pressure does have to go through the nose. I kinda think the mask MIGHT make a difference--the reason I say that is I'm on my 4th mask now since June, and it's full face because I was having huge leaks from mouth breathing. This will be my 4th night with it and so far I really like it. I'm a side sleeper and it doesn't interfere with that. Mine is a Mirage Quattro. There are other kinds as well, all of which fit a little differently so be sure your DME takes the time to find just the right fit for you. If you don't like the feel of one, tell them. You don't have to accept anything that you know upfront won't feel right. There are quite a few options most places.

I thought I wouldn't like a full face, but I'm finding this one much easier to breathe through than any of the others. For me, it's because the mask is bigger and there's more air inside. This is the first mask I've had that I can actually feel the air blowing into it. I like that feeling--it makes me feel safer, like there's actually a treatment going on. (there was before but I didn't have the sensation of it till full face). Some people have said they have trouble with leaks with full face--so far I haven't. I think a lot of it depends on the shape and size of your face. Not sure. I have a fairly thin face, per my DME.

You'll likely get more replies starting tomorrow or maybe from some nightowl tonight!! I'm glad to see you getting right into this Forum. It's a great place to be--you'll learn a lot and find whatever amount of support you may need.

Susan McCord :-)
Whoops, Andy, I see you actually came in on Friday and have had several responses already. My mistake for not checking the thread first! Duh.........blame it on the fog!!

Susan :-)
I've been to the wall and back with the stuffy nose/runny nose issue. When I get either, the symptoms are, in my mind severe (and I don't tend to be hypochondrical)--the ONLY thing that has helped me is humidification, and lots of it.

I take a LOT of Rx medications for heart disease, BP, depression, etc., etc., several of which (mainly the heart stuff) are VERY hard on my body and have caused a great deal of dryness all over my body, inside and out. I say this only because I'm not saying this is the cure-all for everyone. But for me, I have to keep my humidification turned up to 5 (which is as high as it goes on my machine) or I guarantee I'm gonna suffer the next several days. The symptoms are extreme enough that they absolutely interrupt my life, and the quality of my life. If I hadn't been able to manage them, I would have d/c'd CPAP 'cause I couldn't live like that endlessly.

Again, I want to make clear that I'm more vulnerable to this particular problem, I'm certain, because of the effects that are already existing from very strong Rx meds I have to take separate from OSA.

I'm NOT saying everyone should do as I do. However, I've heard on SG, from my DME, and my sleep doc that humidity helps both the nasal running and nasal/sinus congestion related to CPAP. It just takes a lot of it, consistently, to keep me sx-free.

Susan McCord
I had the same concerns and I am using the full face for that very reason.
I don't know about you, Jackie, but when I sneeze the CPAP sneezes they're really HUGE. Really hard sneezing is something I rarely experience in general but related to CPAP, I do.

It's really quite attractive............NOT!!! It actually practically blows my head off!!!!

Is your sneezing like that? I always wonder if I'm the only one, but I doubt it so I haven't brought it up before.

McCord :-)
Hi all,

Well, I tried the nasal spray last night, it turns out it's Nasonex. I woke up this morning with way less congestion than ever. Throughout the day today my breathing was so clear, I couldn't believe it!

I've never paid much attention to the stuffy nose thing, since i have alergies and it seems like one or the other is always somewhat active.

Bu if this stuff works this well, I'm sold!
Nasonex is good stuff. My son has that for his nasal allergies and it really helps. Now in my case I use some oral allergy meds, but still usually am a mouth-breather during the day. But at night with my nasal pillow mask (swift LT) it somehow actually makes it so I can breathe through my nose at night. Love it!

My husband has a deviated septum though and a nasal mask wasn't working well on him. He was also addicted to afrin nose spray because it was the only thing that let him breathe. His sleep doc has him getting off that cold turkey, and has him on nasacourt (spelling?) to help. He also moved to a full face mask, and now is doing fine on cpap. Next step is surgery to fix the deviated septum.
Using CPAP with nasal congestion seems like a problem for many of us. I was asked if the room was dusted/cleaned on a regular basis when I got the equipment. I posted that you can buy a bacterial globe-plastic filter at, but I'm not sure if it changes the demands on the pressure, I know it's designed as a globe to store pressure in it, to offset any loss, I assume. I had allergies as a teen, my Mom had me at the IEN&T doc for heat lamp sessions even. But
allergies and anything we can do to address the nasal problems has to be tackled, especially with the Mirage nasal pillows mask, which doesn't cover the mouth. We can't all move to Palm Springs for the dry climate, or Arizona. can we?
That just goes to show how dried out my body is from heart meds. I don't even notice that moisture level and just feel normal in the a.m. cardiologist will be interested in knowing about this.

Re: the gift thing--I don't know who initiated that--I hadn't heard anything about it before it appeared. I'd suggest you send Mike a private message off his Page and ask him if he can take it off YOUR site. He often can manipulate stuff like that, or have his engineer do it. He'll do it for you if he's able to. If other people c/o, he'll probably take it down. I don't know. But I DO know he'll listen to you and try to help. He's very committed to people being comfortable on here. Sometimes The Sleep Crew will just try something out to see if people like it--that may have been where it came from. Just contact Mike. Or if you want me to do it, I will. But you have his ear the same as anyone else does.

Susan :-)

bayoulady said:
Yes, Susan........ew.... definitely not a lady-like sneeze,ha!I 've sneezed so much lately 'til my ribs are sore....ouch!
by the way.....I tried the humidifier at 5....yuck. It was too moist, with condensation, so I bumped it back down to 3 again. Wouldn't know that if I didn't try, though. So now, I know.'Twas worth the try...

susan mccord said:
I don't know about you, Jackie, but when I sneeze the CPAP sneezes they're really HUGE. Really hard sneezing is something I rarely experience in general but related to CPAP, I do.

It's really quite attractive............NOT!!! It actually practically blows my head off!!!!

Is your sneezing like that? I always wonder if I'm the only one, but I doubt it so I haven't brought it up before.

McCord :-)

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