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terrible sinus problems with nasal pillow cpap

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terrible sinus problems with nasal pillow cpap

Postby effexor » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:50 pm

I am having a terrible time with my cpap machine and nasal pillows. I wake up with extreme sinus problems, sneezing, itching watery eyes and runny nose. cleaned bedroom top to bottom, got rid of pillows and curtains and bought an air purifier, nothing helps. I can't use it like this. I was ok first 2 weeks and I was getting used to it but now, no way. I was so sick I had leave work one afternoon. It takes about 2 days for symptoms to clear up. Also,I have Never had allergy problems even tho living in high pollen east coast area. Any ideas. :-(
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Postby robysue » Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:07 pm

Methinks it's time to call the doctor. Possibly doctors. If I were you, I'd call both my PCP and the sleep doctor's office.

There's a chance that the sinus problems are something that has coincidentally appeared a couple of weeks after you started CPAP and the cause of the sinus problems is not the CPAP itself. [Although using the CPAP may be aggravating them.] And that's why a call to your PCP is in order. It really does sound like you're having some kind of an allergic reaction. But to what? Figuring that out may take some medical help since you've done the obvious things to eliminate potential allergens.

There's also a chance that a nurse or PA in the sleep doctor's office can give you some tips on how to sleep with the mask without aggravating your sinus symptoms. The most likely suggestion will be to adjust the setting on the humidifier. But keep this in mind: it's counter intuitive, but both too much and too little humidity can cause problems with congestion for CPAP users. So try adjusting the humidity setting both LOWER and HIGHER.

I've got seasonal allergies. For the most part, my sinuses like breathing the filtered air through the CPAP at night---as long as I have the humidifier set low enough to not aggravate congestion. The congestion returns in the morning after I take the mask off. However, I am taking OTC antihystamines on a pretty regular basis to prevent some of the congestion from starting in the first place and also using a neti pot to help clean out the congestion that winds up occurring anyway.
current settings Min EPAP = 4, Max IPAP = 8 and Rise time = 3

8/1/2010 sleep study results:
AHI = 3.9 [AHI = (#OA +#CA + #H w/desat) per hour]
RDI = 23.4 [RDI = (#OA +CA + #H w/desat + #H w/arousal) per hour]
Dx: Moderate OSA
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Year Diagnosed: 2010

Postby trebons » Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:18 am

I would suggest that you try different type of mask nasal or FF mask , try several masks to find one that is comfortable and less troublesome .
I found out that by lowering humidifier temp did relieved my nose congestion and i do use neilmed nasal rinse (not the spray) comes in a box with premixed sachets and squeeze bottle twice a day .
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Re: terrible sinus problems with nasal pillow cpap

Postby lorreann » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:02 am

You may be allergic to silicone which is what the pillows and most masks are made from. I was tested and I'm very allergic to it, too. I've been trying the sleepweaver cloth mask and it works OK but the nasal one has more pressure. Neither one has been without problems but the cloth one at least didn't give me allergy problems. You can ask your CPAP provider about it. Good Luck! (I think this post was a long time ago so hopefully you found something that works by now!
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Re: terrible sinus problems with nasal pillow cpap

Postby albie333 » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:23 pm

Have you tried to put a humidifier in your room?
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Re: terrible sinus problems with nasal pillow cpap

Postby CrohnieToo » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:19 pm

I would seriously consider switching from a nasal pillows mask to either a nasal cushion or a full face in addition to the humidifier adjustments mentioned. The nasal pillows masks provide the most direct air pressure into the nasal passages and sinuses than the full face or nasal cushion style masks.
ResScan 3.10 - Resmed S8 ResLink & oximeter
ConTec CMS-50D+ oximeter - Philips EverFlo 5L Oxygen Concentrator
PR SystemOne BPAP Auto w/Bi-Flex & Humidifier - EncorePro 2.2.14.0
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Re: terrible sinus problems with nasal pillow cpap

Postby rednevednav » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:23 pm

In the 8 months I have had 2 moderate to severe sinus infections (these are the only 2 sinus related problems I have ever had in my 42yrs of life). One was caused by not using distilled water in my machine; was travelling and using bottled 'purified' water instead. The other one was caused when I decided to be lazy and not empty my reservoir each morning and just leave the water in and 'simply' add to it each night; after 4-5 nights I woke up with the severe infection that I mentioned.

I see this is an older thread....but no one seems to have mentioned either of these possible causes.
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Re: terrible sinus problems with nasal pillow cpap

Postby albie333 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:03 pm

It is amazing what little bit of cleaning will do.
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Re: terrible sinus problems with nasal pillow cpap

Postby hegel123 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:03 pm

I'm still somewhat new to all this, but I did find that placing my machine lower than my bed kept any "rain" (i.e. condensation in the tubing) from entering my mask/nasal pillows. This seems to have cleared up the sinus problems--all day runny nose--that I would get about every fifth night. I learned this trick elsewhere on this very helpful site! :-D
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Re: terrible sinus problems with nasal pillow cpap

Postby xangira » Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:46 pm

Same problem, upper respiratory problems initiated with CPAP use. Referred to an allergies, tested negative on all accounts. This is for real. Went from over-the-nose style face mask to in-the-nose face mask, thinking that might help. Actually it got worse, and constant. So now I use allergy meds everyday (2 sprays and one otc item to lubricate dry nasal passages - Neilmed. And I have yet to sleep through the night. New plan: going back to the over-the-nose type, thinking that something in the nose is irritating. All in all, this has pretty much disrupted my life. It would be nice to feel the touted good effects of the CPAP.
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Re: terrible sinus problems with nasal pillow cpap

Postby jac7139 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:34 pm

i have same problem with cpap,tried all masks,now on tap 3 ,had new sleep study one week ago no better/ just want sleep
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Re: terrible sinus problems with nasal pillow cpap

Postby robysue » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:38 pm

xangira,

It sounds like your problem might be non-allergic rhinitis. And sometimes all the treatments for allergic rhinitis wind up making the congestion even worse when you are dealing with nonallergic rhinitis. Google nonallergic rhinitis and you'll get some hits.

The "wind" from the CPAP might be the trigger. Particularly if the congestion goes away during the daytime.

Some questions:

Are you using a heated humidifier? If so, what's it set to? You might find that turning the humidifier up or down may help.

Do you have problems all the time as in 24 hours a day? Or do the problems get better in the morning and through the day, only to return when you start using the nasal sprays and the Neilmed Sinus Rinse bottle and/or masking up for the night?

Pre-CPAP did you ever have any problems with the nose on windy days? What about really wet, humid days?

And finally a suggestion: If the root problem is that the CPAP is drying out your nasal passages and increasing the humidity doesn't help, then you might want to use Ayr Gel or Lansinoh applied directly to the sore, dry tissues inside the nose. Think of these products as "chapstick" for the inside of your nose. You need to protect the tissue from the CPAP air which is chapping it. None of the allergy stuff is providing a layer of protection for your tender, chapped nasal passages.
current settings Min EPAP = 4, Max IPAP = 8 and Rise time = 3

8/1/2010 sleep study results:
AHI = 3.9 [AHI = (#OA +#CA + #H w/desat) per hour]
RDI = 23.4 [RDI = (#OA +CA + #H w/desat + #H w/arousal) per hour]
Dx: Moderate OSA
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Location: Buffalo, NY
Machine: PR System One BiPAP Auto
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Humidifier: System One Heated Humidif
Year Diagnosed: 2010

Re: terrible sinus problems with nasal pillow cpap

Postby MattH2525 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:37 pm

I have had the same awful experience. Unbearable itching, burning sinuses, watering eyes, sneezing like crazy.
Here's what I have found.
USE DISTILLED WATER ONLY!!!!!
NOT bottled spring water, DISTILLED. It is a little harder to find, but it is essential.
Empty and wash it with soap every day! Also essential.
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Re: terrible sinus problems with nasal pillow cpap

Postby bhmcd-sleep » Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:19 pm

I am sorry you are having these problems, but I am so happy to hear that someone else is experiencing these symptoms. The description of your problems fit mine exactly. I have never sneezed so often nor so consistantly. The burning sinuses are the worst! The eyes watering and the nose running are beyond belief.

I even fit your timeline. Thought I was remembering wrong. The nasal pillow worked so well for a couple of weeks that I thought my problems were due to other changes in our home. Drove my husband crazy considering and eliminating possibilities. I too took a break from the nasal pillow for 2-3 nights and the problems subsided so I tried it again one night and I am right back to being miserable. It has got to be the nasal pillow and I would prefer not to go back to the partial mask which worked fine for 3 weeks, but it was difficult to sleep without waking to adjust the mask.

Have you found any solutions?
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Re: terrible sinus problems with nasal pillow cpap

Postby tcgm1964 » Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:44 pm

Well, after reading posts now I know I'm not alone! I started using my CPAP machine this week. The night before last a sneeze woke me up and snot was dripping like crazy out of my nose (the humidifier was cranked up to the highest setting to try to warm up the air because the night before my nose was too cold). I removed the mask. Yesterday morning I was sneezing a lot and ALL DAY my nose was dripping and itchy watery eyes. Yesterday I dusted my night table (because I have a dust allergy) and removed the humidifier. Last night I woke up with a sneezing attack like none I never had before in my life...must have sneezed 35 time in a row...and my nose was sooooo dry that it was like pins and needles and tickly to breathe through my nose. Now this morning I feel terrible! Watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing. My husband has been using CPAP for about 10 years and the only problem he had was in the beginning getting use to having the mask on his face and learning how to breathe with the air flow....and now he sleeps like a baby! Years ago one night we lost power and he couldn't use his CPAP and he said it was the worse sleep he had since starting using CPAP. I'm freaking out because I have surgery in 2 days and they want me using my CPAP after surgery! I can't imagine how painful it would be to have a sneezing fit with incisions!!
Last edited by tcgm1964 on Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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