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Gary, Volunteer Mentor
@gman007

Posts: 470
Joined: May 18, 2016

CPAP problem

Posted by @gman007, Tue, Jan 23 9:44am

I am curious about a problem I am having with my CPAP for the first time in the 15+ years I have been wearing it. I have suddenly started swallowing a lot of air during the night and can’t seem to find a solution. My pulmonologist would like to raise my pressures, but I can not tolerate the increase. I have tried a full mask, a chin strap, Biotine(?) gel to keep my mouth more moist, but nothing has worked to this point. I wear my mask religiously as I know of a friend of a friend who was awaiting a sleep study and quit breathing during the night and did not styart back. If anyone has any experience with this problem, I would sure like some input.

REPLY

Hi, @gman007 — I’d like to introduce you to a few Connect members who have experience with CPAPs and may have some thoughts for you on the challenge of swallowing a lot of air at night while wearing it: @oldkarl, @jimhd, @vickiw, @beatricefay, @libraryms, @flor and @deyo5656.

What issues are you experiencing, Gary, with swallowing all this air while wearing the device?

@lisalucier

Hi, @gman007 — I’d like to introduce you to a few Connect members who have experience with CPAPs and may have some thoughts for you on the challenge of swallowing a lot of air at night while wearing it: @oldkarl, @jimhd, @vickiw, @beatricefay, @libraryms, @flor and @deyo5656.

What issues are you experiencing, Gary, with swallowing all this air while wearing the device?

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My brother thinks this is a hilarious mental image, but I feel like a Macy’s balloon when I wake in the morning. I actually prefer a bit of fatigue to the stomach full of air. It has been explained that my mouth gets very dry because of my diabetes and some of my other medications and I swallow to activate my salivary glands and when I do, I am swallowing air. I drink some ginger ale and after about two hours I seem to reach equilibrium, but that is a lot of wasted day. I have tried every type of mask as well as the chin strap and can not tolerate pressures higher than what I have always been on and that does not get my apnea score as low as my doc would like.

@gman007

Gary, I was a mouth breather all my life because I didn’t have airflow in my right nostril and limited flow in my left. I had surgery around 15 years ago, found I had a deviated septum. After surgery, I was so excited to be able to breathe freely, like if I used Afrin.

I used a full face mask on my CPAP for a long time, but changed to a BIPAP with nasal pillows. I wore a chin strap for years, but a few weeks ago I decided to try doing without it, and my wife hasn’t complained about noise.

I use Biotene mouthwash at bedtime for my dry mouth, and I keep a spray bottle of it on my night stand, so when I wake up not being able to swallow because of my dry mouth, I shoot a squirt or two on my tongue. It really does help.

Jim

Thanks Jim. I will give both of these a try and hopefully with the same results.

Hi @jimhd and all — I hope you are doing OK. I am curious about your deviated septum and surgery that fixed it. I've always had issues breathing through my nose. My left nostril seems always plugged up and my right one isn't much better so I've been a mouth breather most of my life. I have moments when I can breathe through my nose and it does feel great. When I was diagnosed with sleep apnea the doctor asked what I thought the problem was and when I told him my nose seems to always be plugged up he did a quick exam and told me I had a deviated septum – the left nostril is out of whack (or whatever they call it). I asked if surgery would take care of the sleep apnea and he said it wouldn't help so I kind of dropped it. I'm wondering if I should pursue it and if it would help with the CPAP breathing.

Any suggestions?

Thanks, John

@johnbishop Hi John: I just thought I would weigh in on this question about surgery for a deviated septum. I've personally known of several people who had this surgery hoping to cure their problems with breathing and nasal problems. I've never known of one who had the kind of results promised. They all seemed to be at about the same place after surgery. I hope that you will find some more positive responses here on Connect.

@hopeful33250

@johnbishop Hi John: I just thought I would weigh in on this question about surgery for a deviated septum. I've personally known of several people who had this surgery hoping to cure their problems with breathing and nasal problems. I've never known of one who had the kind of results promised. They all seemed to be at about the same place after surgery. I hope that you will find some more positive responses here on Connect.

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Thanks Teresa @hopeful33250. That would be my biggest fear. From what I've heard the surgery and recovery are pretty painful, so if the results are not that good I'm not tempted to have it done.

@johnbishop

Thanks Teresa @hopeful33250. That would be my biggest fear. From what I've heard the surgery and recovery are pretty painful, so if the results are not that good I'm not tempted to have it done.

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@johnbishop – the deviated septum surgery I had in 1997 did help my breathing. I don't have sleep apnea, so can't speak to that aspect. The first couple nights post-surgery were a bit ugly with trying to get the pain managed and sleeping with all the packing and in an armchair (they wanted me more upright for a couple nights). It was worthwhile in my case, however. My allergist was the one who referred me for the surgery, as my allergies already challenged normal breathing for me.

@lisalucier

@johnbishop – the deviated septum surgery I had in 1997 did help my breathing. I don't have sleep apnea, so can't speak to that aspect. The first couple nights post-surgery were a bit ugly with trying to get the pain managed and sleeping with all the packing and in an armchair (they wanted me more upright for a couple nights). It was worthwhile in my case, however. My allergist was the one who referred me for the surgery, as my allergies already challenged normal breathing for me.

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@lisalucier Nice to hear a good report, Lisa! I suppose it depends on the type of problem and the skill of the doctor.

@johnbishop

Thanks Teresa @hopeful33250. That would be my biggest fear. From what I've heard the surgery and recovery are pretty painful, so if the results are not that good I'm not tempted to have it done.

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@johnbishop @hopeful33250 I have had that surgery myself, it was recommended as possibly being helpful for my debilitating migraines. It did nothing for them, but I do not recall it being particularly painful and recovery was quick. It was just basically a waste for me though.
JK

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