Red & Sore Nose from CPAP Nose Pillows

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Red & Sore Nose from CPAP Nose Pillows

Postby 999 » Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:26 pm

I'm a new CPAP user. For nearly three weeks, I've been using the Fisher & Paykel SleepStyle 200 (with humidifier and pressure set at 9) and a Resmed Swift LT mask with nasal pillows. Wow, what a difference it makes. :-D Finally getting some sleep. Problem is that the pillows are leaving the tip of my nose very red (looks like I've been punched or on a drinking binge) and sore. :oops: While the red marks on my face from the mask straps go away within an hour or so, the red marks on my nose persist throughout the day. When I got the machine, the tech told me to use the medium pillows. I'm a side-sleeper and use a contoured pillow to minimize pressure on the mask, but by the middle of the night, I'm getting some leaks around the pillows (I coat my nasal passage with neosporin before I go to bed to create a seal and minimize the irritation), but these can usually be stopped simply by repositioning the mask. I've tried both tightening and loosening the mask, as well as switching between the small, medium and large pillows to see if it will lessen the apparent pressure that's making my nose red and sore. It does seem that the smaller pillows significantly reduce the pressure around my nasal passages and the tip of my nose, but they allow a lot more leakage during the night, so I've always had to swap them out for the mediums in the middle of the night. :-? I'll be really grateful for any advice that might help ameliorate the problem. Thanks!
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Postby pam57 » Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:41 pm

I use that mask and have no red marks anywhere on my face from it. It sounds to me like you may have it much too tight?

Early on, I had it too tight and did get a little red spot on the end of my nose -- from the hard plastic pressing. On someone's advice, I loosened the straps more than made sense to me ... and it worked perfectly.

I also tried different sizes of pillows, as you have been doing. And I found that changing the angle of the pillows -- tilting away from or toward my face -- made a big difference in how well they seal.

Hope that's useful ... Keep experimenting?

Pam

Edited to add: If the neosporin has a petrolatum base, my understanding is it could damage the pillows. And also may not be the safest thing to use for you, either. Not 100% sure of this, but you might want to check.
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Postby 999 » Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:35 pm

Thanks, Pam. Thanks for taking the time to share your advice. Much appreciated. I'll really loosen the mask up tonight (in spite of my compulsive tendency to want to tighten it to prevent leaking) and let you know how it goes. Again, thank you for your help. :-)
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Postby 999 » Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:40 pm

Thanks, Pam! It made a world of difference. Much more comfortable last night and just a couple of slight red marks this morning. I'm convinced that making the mask even a bit looser will resolve that. Really appreciate your help.
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Postby pam57 » Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:28 pm

:-D That's the ticket! As long as the pillows are gently touching your nose, the seal will happen. Pam
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Postby NanaPat » Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:28 am

Pam, you are correct regarding the Neosporin! It does have a petroleum base & will indeed deteriorate the pillows & is also very bad for your lungs!!! I use an anti-itch cream & it works great. I have found that it helps the "seal" also!!
Also positioning is a big help with the Swift LT for Her.
I am a newbie~~only 8 weeks into this!! Don't mind the mask at all, just waiting for the increased energy level I was told I would have!!! :lol:
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Postby Scooter1836 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:42 pm

For the minor irritation while getting used to my pillows I used KY Jelly on my nose
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Postby 999 » Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:27 pm

Thanks to all for the advice against using neosporin. I've discontinued it and found that most any moisturing lotion (e.g. Oil of Olay) works just as well at minimizing irritation and enhancing the seal. :-D
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Re: Red & Sore Nose from CPAP Nose Pillows

Postby lynettesali » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:44 am

A good source of info is the C-Pap supply company or your doctor. My C-pap people are supposed to get back to me to tell me what the doctor recommends to ease the irritation. I'll post when i find out.

Another option is to get a mask that covers nose and mouth for those times you have nose irritation or your nose is plugged up and it's hard to breathe through your nose. (Some people end up with irritation on the bridge of their nose from the mask, so every option has its issues.) Taking a decongestant helps when my nose is plugged. If that doesn't work I go sleep on the couch with my head slightly elevated, as my snoring without the C-pap deprives my hubby of sleep.

If you are a new user refer to the diagram in the instruction book to make sure you have the nasal pillows positioned/attached properly. They are at an angle and the top should have the pillow nasal openings closest together and then they flare outward slightly at an angle like a tent (hope that visual makes sense). when I get a new set I have a hard time sometimes putting it all together and get it turned inside out and upside down (think I'm spatially challenged! LOL) Soon everything becomes routine. I really do sleep better and am better rested. I have a humidified C-pap with a hose cover that keeps the air warm.

My irritation is right at the edge of the opening of my nostril. Think I'll try loosening it to see if that helps. Thanks for everyone's posts.

I agree with Pam that tilting the pillows toward the face or away until you find the right fit and seal really helps. Just a minor adjustment makes a big difference sometimes.
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Re: Red & Sore Nose from CPAP Nose Pillows

Postby lynettesali » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:12 pm

I'm going from an extra small to try a small tonight. I thought the tighter the fit, the better the seal. I'll let you know how it goes trying a larger size pillow. I tried the small for a few minutes and was surprised that it still sealed...so that may be part of my answer in dealing with irritation just inside each nostril (right where the pillow contacts the skin.)

This is a great forum for helping one another. I don't know if it makes a difference if we mention the type of machine----there may be slight differences in the way things are made. I would recommend that you reference the type of machine and then those that reply may have more specific into. I have a Res Med S9 and have used it faithfully for over 2 years. I really like the humidifer and heated air and the cover for the hose from machine to the tube connecting the mask to the main tube.... is very helpful is keeping the warm air moist. I have fibromyalgia and wish I'd been diagnosed years ago, as this has helped my sleep (plus other meds including Roprinole for Restless Leg Symdrome (that was picked up in the sleep study and I had no idea I even had that issue.)

We all need a little humor in our lives and all of us have stories. I'll post this separately under a new topic heading " humor."
When my pillows leak or I take the mask off in my sleep my husband tries to wake me up and says, "Put on yoru "Sniffer" or "fix your sniffer. " when I'm half asleep and get up to go to the bathroom and climb back in bed and forget the c-pap---my snoring usually wakes my husbandS...ometimes I put the pillow mask back on and then forget to turn on the machine----needless to say my mouth and nose were VERY dry the next morning! and I snored the rest of the night. He finally gave up rolled over and tried to go back to sleep.

We have to laugh as between dental nightguards to deal with clenching or grinding and the my c-pap, it is a great picture of true "romance" We're in our 60's and I was just diagnoed in 2010.
So when things are tough and you are struggling try to see the humor in the situation---it really does help.
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