SleepQuest is proud to say that 91% of our patients have achieved compliance and are enjoying an improved quality of life. Our high compliance level is largely due to our fantastic Sleep Care Specialists who specialize in working with people suffering from sleep apnea. Over the years we’ve come across some common problems that keep a patient from becoming compliant and general questions patients have when starting PAP therapy. In this series of blog posts we will explore these problems and give you tips on how to fix them.
You’re having trouble tolerating your nasal cushion or nasal pillow mask due to congestion.
Are you using a heated humidifier with your device? If not, we would suggest contacting the treatment provider you worked with to let them know that you need a humidifier to use with your device. What might be happening is the positive air pressure is too dry, so it’s drying out your nose. When your nose dries out you can get a congested feeling or even get a bloody nose. We highly recommend using a heated humidifier with your device so that you have humidified positive pressure; the body will tolerate humidified air pressure better than dry air pressure.
If you are using a heated humidifier with your device, then we would suggest increasing the humidifier setting. This will increase the heat in the humidifier chamber, which will then create more humidification. If your humidifier is currently set at one, we suggest going to three. Try using your PAP device at that setting for a night. If you wake up in the middle of the night congested, try increasing the setting a little more. Humidification is a patient comfort; some people need more humidification than others. Humidification was designed to prevent the patient from drying out in the nose and back of the throat while on PAP.
Perhaps you have tried humidification in the past and have not been successful in the past due to rainout in the tubing. This happens because the ambient temperature is cooler than the heated air passing through the tubing, which creates condensation. Luckily there are a few solutions for this. Newer devices come with heated tubing that prevents rainout from occurring with humidification. Hose covers are also available for purchase, which works as insulation for the tubing and helps prevent rainout. Increasing the ambient temperature is also a way to prevent condensation from building up in the tube.
We hope you found this tip useful. Check back next month for another common PAP problem and solution.