major sinus issues and CPAP

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major sinus issues and CPAP

Postby jbturof » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:47 am

I've noticed a lot of people having problems with sinus issues because of their nasal pillow head gear but I had major sinus problems prior to the nasal pillows and it's prevented me from using my CPAP at all now for over a year. The longest I've ever used it was for a few days in a row but every time I use it, I wake up feeling like I can't breathe---gasping for air kind of thing. The sleep center doesn't know what to suggest and I was fine with it for a while and lost some weight in hopes it would help matters but now it's winter again---worst time for my sinus problems---and now I'm sleeping terrible again PLUS I'm waking up with a headache. A lot of sites said it could be sleep apnea so now I'm trying to figure out what to do. I know I can't use it the way it is. I tried multiple masks when I had my study and couldn't sleep with anything but the nasal pillows.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

Jeff
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Re: major sinus issues and CPAP

Postby john1110 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:32 pm

I too have had sinus problems all my life (I am 66 now). I use a squirt of Afrin every night before I use the CPAP and it works all night for me...no stuffy nose. I also do not heat the air, which was causinf sinus problems when I did. I just put a little water in the humidifier, but leave the hest off. Hope this helps.
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Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:18 pm
Machine: Remstar Auto-O-Flex Sys 60SRS
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Year Diagnosed: 2012

Re: major sinus issues and CPAP

Postby pamsyflower1 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:54 pm

Hi Jeff and welcome to the forum. My husband has had chronic sinus issues for all of his life and is now on CPAP. It is recommended, for most people with chronic sinus issue, that they use full-face masks and not the nose masks because the directed pressure into the nasal passages often exacerbates the sinus issues. It was interesting to me that my husband was also drawn to the nose masks at first. I think it was because the nose mask just looked less invasive to him, and the full-face masks looked more intimidating. I had to really work on him to get him to go to the full-face mask, but he finally chose the Quattro FX. The Quattro FX did not work out with his face shape (the middle part of his face is quite small). He changed to the Amara Full face mask, but it has taken a few weeks for him to master the large leaks. He gets nose itches (because of his sinus drainage) and has learned how to address these without causing himself large leaks. He uses XClear with Xylitol before bedtime and again when he gets up in the morning and has found this to be very helpful. You will find this at your local Health Food Store.

Your feeling of gasping for air and not being able to breathe is actually pretty typical for folks getting used to CPAP. Often, this is just a reaction to the start pressure not being strong enough...or the ramp time being too long. Your body may actually be craving more pressure! When this happened to me, I asked my RRT to increase my start pressure to 7 and my ramp to 20 minutes and have never experienced that suffocation feeling since then. My husband's ramp is set at 5 minutes. You can set your ramp to whatever feels comfortable to you. A prescription is not required for ramp time, but you must ask for a new prescription to change your start pressure if you think that might help you.

You must work at making your therapy work for you...and that means never sleeping without your machine running and without your mask on. You must address each of your comfort issues until your therapy simply feels like a new way of sleeping...your new normal and becomes what you do each night...all night long...no exceptions. Stopping your therapy after a couple of nights use is not an option for you. Use the equation: Sleep=masking up.

CPAP therapy is usually prescribed for persons with obstructive sleep apnea. This is usually diagnosed based on an overnight sleep study. If you had a sleep study, you should try to get copies of the information from it. This information will tell you what level of obstructive sleep apnea that you have, whether you have oxygen desaturations in the night and whether your pulse rate goes up in response to your apneas. You should check to see if your machine is fully data-capable and, if it is, you should obtain the appropriate software so that you can check your own data on a regular basis. This is very motivating for many patients with regards to their treatment! When I learned how severe my OSA is, I never again felt safe not using my mask and machine while sleeping. In actual fact, even mild OSA can cause severe symptoms...severe enough that anyone with OSA should feel unsafe without their machines and masks or a treatment of some kind. Good luck to you, friend.
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Machine: Respironics System One Auto A flex
Mask: Resmed Quattro FX For Her Medium
Humidifier: heated humidifier
Year Diagnosed: 2012

Re: major sinus issues and CPAP

Postby lpast8 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:20 pm

Hello Jeff, Im a long time cpap user with very severe sinus issues. I can only use nasal pillows even though for sinus sufferers full masks are recommended. I just cant get a mask to sit on my face and not leak and continuously wake me up.
The only relief ive gotten if from a taking two nasal sprays a day..I take fluonase and patansase in the morning and just patanase at night. They are both prescription, fluonase is generic and patanase is not and its very expensive.
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Machine: resmed s9 Vpap auto
Mask: resmed swift fx nasal
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Year Diagnosed: 1979

Re: major sinus issues and CPAP

Postby the scrooge » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:19 am

jbturof wrote:I've noticed a lot of people having problems with sinus issues because of their nasal pillow head gear but I had major sinus problems prior to the nasal pillows and it's prevented me from using my CPAP at all now for over a year. The longest I've ever used it was for a few days in a row but every time I use it, I wake up feeling like I can't breathe---gasping for air kind of thing. The sleep center doesn't know what to suggest and I was fine with it for a while and lost some weight in hopes it would help matters but now it's winter again---worst time for my sinus problems---and now I'm sleeping terrible again PLUS I'm waking up with a headache. A lot of sites said it could be sleep apnea so now I'm trying to figure out what to do. I know I can't use it the way it is. I tried multiple masks when I had my study and couldn't sleep with anything but the nasal pillows.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

Jeff

I have several other posts so I'll note restate that here. I have also found if you search (severe cpap injuries) some sites explain how body reacts to air being blown into nose. When nose dries out body make mucus to keep nose from drying out. This continues while you sleep. So, they say use mucinex. I tried from Feb 2012 to 6/8/12 to use cpap. Was told I'd get used to it. I felt worse using it. Sleepwalked out of semi like it was parked 6/8/12. My wife was driving 60 when she thought I was just checking to see if door was shut.
This site doesn't want me to post bad side effects. I've lost my job and had a seizure from scar tissue on brain from concussion I got from my sleep walking event. I'm 51 and never sleep walked before cpap.
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Year Diagnosed: 2012

Re: major sinus issues and CPAP

Postby 49er » Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:44 am

Hi Jeff,

Have you seen an ENT about your issues?

I know from personal experience that if my sinuses are totally blocked, using the machine is intolerable even with a full face mask. So I greatly empathize with your situation.

You also might want to google Garden of Life Immune Balance Sinus. For me, it hasn't been the total answer but it seems to have worked better than many nasal sprays. It also lets me eat a small piece of cheese in the morning without my sinuses getting totally blocked.

Which leads to my next point - Have you looked into food allergies? For me, that seems to be an important part of the picture. Now, I need to be more disciplined in not eating the food that clogs up my sinuses, particularly later in the day.

Good luck.

49er
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Re: major sinus issues and CPAP

Postby need_air_at_night » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:32 am

john1110 wrote: I use a squirt of Afrin every night

You know you are to use Afrin no longer then three days? or you get rebound inflamation and your sinuses do not know what the normal is so they stay swollen! Your doing harm to your sinus membrains.
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Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:05 pm
Machine: Philips repironics system on
Mask: mirage quattro
Humidifier: yes
Year Diagnosed: 2009

Re: major sinus issues and CPAP

Postby jbturof » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:24 pm

Hi all.
First wanted to thank everyone for your replies. It was a huge help.
Since I posted almost a year ago, I lost almost 25lbs and that in it's own has helped my issues hugely.
The Spring and Summer months were fine. My wife said I barely snored at all and when I did it was when I had been drinking or eating too much.
The confusing part of my sleep apnea is that I do not display the typical symptoms. I don't wake up exhausted. I don't run out of energy through the day at all. I don't have headaches. My wife has only noticed me stop breathing once or twice (the gasping thing). I don't generally wake up during the night unless my wife wakes me up because of my snoring----which is the only symptom I have. Very loud snoring.
Now with winter setting in again and the furnace back on, I'm snoring again on a fairly regular basis. Since mid-November or so.
I still haven't been using my CPAP machine (sorry for those who really wanted me to try again). I tried two more times after I posted/read responses and it just freaks me out when I can't breathe. It's been so long, I don't even know if it's still operating properly. My insurance is very picky about what it will cover for replacement costs and what it won't so I've hesitated getting it looked at. I called my maintenance company twice to ask questions but no one has returned my calls. They call me occasionally on a robo-call to ask if I'm doing okay and I choose the 'please call me option' which they don't reply to. I do know I don't have the $$ for the prescriptions for different nose sprays. I have been to an ENT Dr. My sinuses apparently looked like cauliflower on a CT they did. Very abnormal and they recommend surgery to open them up. Again though, my insurance sucks and I don't have the $$ for it.
Still not sure what to do but wanted to update you on things (since some asked...) and see if anyone had any other thoughts.
Thanks again for all the suggestions.
Jeff
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Year Diagnosed: 3



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