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Nasal pillows giving me panic attacks

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Nasal pillows giving me panic attacks

Postby ShellyB » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:34 am

I was so excited to get my new mask - nasal pillows. They are so comfortable BUT I am having panic attacks because I can't breathe when using them. How can you not breath when air is blowing up your nose? I can't even feel the air going in my nose. I do think I am having allergy problems because I have one blocked nostril which I go to my family dr in 2 weeks. Anyway I had to go back to my old mask and I could sleep. When I got the nasal pillows I asked the Respiratory Therapist if he would have to lower my pressure because the air would be directly blowing in my nose and he said at my pressure level, it wouldn't be necessary. Anyone else have sinus problems and can't wear nasal pillows?
Dx Sept. 2010
Res BiPap Plus M w/Heated Humidifer
Pressure 13/8
Respironics Comfort Fusion Nasal Mask
Opus 360 Nasal Pillow Nov 2010
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Nasal Pillows

Postby tiredgirl » Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:09 am

I just tried the nasal pillows last night for the first time. I was so excited to as to how light it all felt. I could not get used to the air blowing straight up my nose the whole time either. I had to eventually go back to my full face mask. I have had sinus surgery in the past. I also have a deviated septum, which could also be an issue. I was really hoping this would work, because with the full face mask, I seem to pull it off at some point during the night, without any knowlege.

Good luck to you!!
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Postby Janknitz » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:41 pm

It may take some time to get used to them, just like everything else in CPAP world. Try wearing them during the day, doing some quiet activity. I have pretty high pressures and I can't really feel the airflow other than a light, soothing bit of air in my nose.

Some people find a slight INCREASE in pressure helps--you wouldn't think so with the air going directly in your nose, but some people find a little more pressure makes it easier. And you can try going up one size of nasal pillows, as the air delivery "holes" get bigger as you go up in sizes.

Be sure you are doing good "nasal hygiene"--use a neti pot or spray bottle twice daily for nasal rinses and consult your doctor about taking a nasal steroid and/or oral antihistamine to keep the sinus passages clear (avoid OTC decongestants because of rebound effect).

I find that the combination of good nasal hygiene and nasal pillows has made my sinuses crystal clear for the first time in many years. My sense of smell is so much better (which is not always a blessing!).
Phillips Respironics System One Auto A-flex and Humidifier
Encore Viewer 2.0 Software
Swift FX
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Postby LTee43 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:12 am

Janknitz wrote:It may take some time to get used to them, just like everything else in CPAP world. Try wearing them during the day, doing some quiet activity. I have pretty high pressures and I can't really feel the airflow other than a light, soothing bit of air in my nose.

Some people find a slight INCREASE in pressure helps--you wouldn't think so with the air going directly in your nose, but some people find a little more pressure makes it easier. And you can try going up one size of nasal pillows, as the air delivery "holes" get bigger as you go up in sizes.

Be sure you are doing good "nasal hygiene"--use a neti pot or spray bottle twice daily for nasal rinses and consult your doctor about taking a nasal steroid and/or oral antihistamine to keep the sinus passages clear (avoid OTC decongestants because of rebound effect).

I find that the combination of good nasal hygiene and nasal pillows has made my sinuses crystal clear for the first time in many years. My sense of smell is so much better (which is not always a blessing!).


I use a saline solution and a nose spray every day to keep my nasal passages open. Any blockage wholly defeats the advantage of nasal pillows. Other than a saline solution, I agree with the above advice on trying other nose sprays. I just switched to nasal pillows and couldn't be happier with it. My DME gave me a 30-day trial with it, but I did well with it almost immediately.

LT
No, I wasn't sleeping. I was checking my eyelids for pinholes!
Equipment: Resmed S8 Escape, Resmed Swift Fx 61500 Nasal Pillows Mask
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congestion

Postby dozindude » Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:01 pm

Yep I know the feeling of clogged sinuses so I ended up using a wedge pillow to raise my head and upper torso about 8 inches, then sleep on my back - WOW what a difference it made. I use a steroid for allergies anyway so between those two things my full face mask is much more enjoyable! Btw, I tried the nasal unit and it just seemed too unnatural for me so I went back to a WELL-FITTED full face mask.
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me too!

Postby sleepy_ash » Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:03 pm

I can totally relate-- You are not the only one! I defintitely have issues w/ my nasal pillows-- some nights it is a total struggle and I will have a bit of a panic attack because I feel like I am getting NO air. I have all sorts of seasonal/ environmental allergies and problems with my sinuses /sinus headaches. I went to my ENT to help clear my airways and turns out I have deviated septum. So when ever I have even the slightest bit of congestion it makes it hard to breathe when lying down with those thing strapped to my nose! Most nights like that when I am able to calm my self down enough to fall asleep only to wake in the morning to realize that I pulled off the mask sometime in the night without knowing it. I think its because of the blockage I am not getting enough air so I unconciously rip it off.

Sounds like you are having similar issues. I am too wondering if I should switch masks-- perhaps the direct air into my nostrils is what is irritating my allergies/ sinuses? Most people have really good results with prescription nasal steriod sprays like Flonase to help clear up congestion or nasal anti-histimines. Also, tying a nasal saline sprays [e.g. Simply Saline] or irrigation [neti pots] could help you.

I have tried all the sprays and different treatments- they used to help, but then I kind of plateaued and nothing seemed to work--my sinuses only seemed to get worse. My sleep doc recently switched me from a CPAP to APAP so it adjusts the pressure as my body needs it. I am not sure if it has made a difference- i have only been on the new machine for less then 5 days.
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re: me too!

Postby dozindude » Mon Nov 15, 2010 3:10 pm

The stuff I use is called Nasacort AQ. I like it much better than Flonase. It lasts up to 24 hours and doesn't "burn" when it hits the throat like some of them do, and it clears me up pretty well after a few minutes. I tried the nasalirrigation and it doesn't work real well - I think it is due to the residual effects from the Bell's Palsy I had a couple years ago. It sort of paralyzes one side of your face and sometimes it never completely clears up. I still have problems from it - nothing I can't live with - but definitely annoying. Good Luck!
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Postby ShellyB » Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:18 pm

So, I was taking Ambien for sleep and I think that was causing panic attacks, even during the day. I stopped taking it (have only been taking them for a short time) and I feel better even though its only been 4 days. I went to the lung dr today just to make sure I wasn't having an asthma attack and I am fine. He even did a breathing test and I passed with flying colors and my lungs are clear as a bell. I really really thought I wasn't getting enough air in my lungs even during the day. I feel like a real stooge, but I guess better to be safe than sorry.

So even though one of my nostrils seems always plugged, I get plenty of air. I am going to try one of the nasal sprays though especially because it seems a little worse now that the heat in the house is on.

Thanks all.
Dx Sept. 2010
Res BiPap Plus M w/Heated Humidifer
Pressure 13/8
Respironics Comfort Fusion Nasal Mask
Opus 360 Nasal Pillow Nov 2010
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Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:42 pm
Location: NW PA

Postby Janknitz » Mon Nov 15, 2010 6:26 pm

Well, that's good to know for future reference as a lot of doctors kind of casually prescribed Ambien to help patients get used to CPAP--maybe it ends up working against them instead.
Phillips Respironics System One Auto A-flex and Humidifier
Encore Viewer 2.0 Software
Swift FX
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Postby mdw » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:08 am

I have used the cpap for many years. I developed Roscea a few years ago and had to go to the nasal pillows. The doctor just upped my pressure from 11 to 13 plus my machine has a ramp feature that had not been turned on. It was set at 20 min to get to full pressure. That has helped me. now my biggest problem is getting it to stay on my head. I am currently using the "ponytail" method.
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