Patient Question of the Month:
I've been experiencing nasal congestion and discomfort at night while using my CPAP. What can I do to alleviate this?
About 50% of patients experience difficulties with stuffiness and congestion which is usually due to a nasal reaction to the airflow. These symptoms often decrease with continued use. You might also experience: itching, runny nose, nose bleeds, and nose dryness.
Some treatments you may want to consider include:
- Making sure your humidifier is working as it adds moisture to the air minimizing the irritation to the nasal lining. Saline nasal spray or gel can further help with moisturizing the nasal passages.
- Using Nasal/Sinus Irrigations using prepackaged solutions and irrigation bottles (such as SinuRinse), or using something like a Neti Pot.
If these don't help, talk with your doctor about:
- Nasal sprays (eg: Flonase, Nasacort, Rhinocort, Nasonex) which have anti-inflammatory effects and can reduce swelling and congestion.
- Oral antihistamines such as Claritin, Benadryl or Allegra, etc as these can be especially helpful in individuals with allergies.
- Oral Decongestants such as Sudafed.
What to do When You Have a Cold
CPAP use can be problematic when you have a cold, especially if nasal congestion and/or cough are severe. Decongestants can be helpful temporarily, but if symptoms are severe and refractory, then going without CPAP for a few days may be the only option.
Questions? Please call us at 888-867-8840 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.