Friday, February 02, 2007

CPAP blues

Yesterday I had severe sinus problems. Today, my nose is an angry red mess. Tomorrow, and for the next week, my nose will seem like in belongs to a leper as it sheds sheets of dead skin brought about from using a box and a half of Kleenex in less than a 24-hour period. And I fear having to consult Michael Jackson's plastic surgeon for rhinoplasty.

This has been happening a lot lately, three times in the last month and a half to be precise. And I think I now know why.

I have sleep apnea, and have been using a CPAP appliance for the last six years. I have never felt 100% comfortable with the mask which is fussy to wear and produces annoying little air leaks unless I lie certain ways. Now in October my respirologist upped the pressure to 14 inches of water, which means a force equivalent to a wind tunnel fan is blown up my nose for 8 hours a night. Recently, this has been exacerbated by the extremely dry air in the house caused by Arctic winter conditions.

The last time I went to a sleep lab, I was clocked at having an "event" (usually waking up) every 75 seconds. This means that without the CPAP device I never reach deep sleep, but bob in and out of REM sleep all night long. Although it is not unpleasant being in dream level sleep throughout the night, my body cannot get the restorative Delta-level sleep needed for good health. And my blood pressure increases.

So abandoning the CPAP therapy is not an option.

I have also experimented with a full face mask (covering both nose and mouth), but by breathing through my mouth I wake up in the morning with a mouth so dry that my inner cheeks are welded to my teeth. The respirologist also feels that the full mask is not as effective as one which just covers the nose, but at least I find it doesn't create sinuses so active that I can almost see them expand and contract underneath my skin.

I googled my symptoms, I can see I am not alone in this dilemma, and the one consistent anecdotal theme expressed by fellow sufferers is to use a heated humidifier attachment to the CPAP device. Having gone through 4 kleenex just to write this short post, I'm at the point I'd try just about anything.


Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

I have a water tank on mine - that helps. I also keep a bottle of water next to the bed so when the huskies wake me up for "Dawn Patrol" I can take a couple swigs. I do wish the mask would seal better. I try keeping it clean, I think the plasticly stuff they use to create the seal isn't up to the job. I am at 14 as well...

6:25 PM  
Blogger nanuk said...

I used to use a passive humidifier, but I think with the serious dryness in the air here I'm going to use a heated one. My old man uses one, and has good success with it.

9:24 PM  
Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Mine has a feature to heat the water, but is usually so hot here I don't like to use it - you make sense though, as warm air carries more moisture...

Through all those exercises I slept under a desk during "attacks" in my gas mask - it wasn't a total waste after all as I took right to the CPAP. At least I don't have to wear the suit, booties, gloves, and hood!!

3:51 PM  
Blogger Qayaq said...

Having discovered beer and bars, we eventually got to hany out at Beacon Arms. The hotel management did not pretend to know we were there just to smoke cigarettes and forever keep the waiter returning over and over. Just as we were getting rowdy, we piled out of the joint at 11:05. Someone hailed a taxi and we piled into it intent on harassing the bars on the Quebec side where they closed at 1:00. It was ether the taxi or leave the hotel shortly before 11:00 to catch the last bus. What mattered most was the beer, of course. On and on we went: we must have been a fine bunch to deal with from the sober taxi driver's side.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Rhinoplasty Los Angeles said...

Am I eligible for a rhinoplasty procedure even though Im positive for Hepatitis b.? Although I had it for only two years and it's not severe.Does it it affect my eligibility.THANKS!!!

4:31 AM  
Anonymous writing service company said...

I think acute sinusitis is generally precipitated by an earlier upper respiratory tract infection, usually of viral origin

8:08 AM  

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