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Dryness or congestion

Is your nose feeling a bit stuffy or dry?

This can be caused by a cold, sleeping with your mouth open or air leaking from your mask during therapy.

Nasal congestion is common during CPAP therapy.1 It can lead to a dry or sore throat, a dry or runny nose and sometimes nose bleeds.

It can also cause air to leak out of your mouth during CPAP treatment.

Suggestions for relieving a dry or stuffy nose

Research has shown that nasal symptoms during CPAP therapy can be largely prevented by using a humidifier.1 You may need to adjust your humidifier to help prevent nasal congestion, as well as dry mouth or throat. Refer to ‘How to Adjust your Humidifier' in your Library.

Tip: Don't forget to fill up your humidifier with distilled water every night to avoid waking up with a dry mouth or throat.

  • If you use nasal pillows or a nasal mask, try to switch to a full face mask. It covers your mouth and reduces the problems that can occur when air escapes through your mouth. You may find it helpful to have a full face mask on hand for times when you feel stuffy.
  • Use a simple chin strap to support your jaw and stop it from dropping while you sleep. You can buy one from your provider.
  • Decongestant nasal sprays can help to keep your nasal passages open. Ask your clinician or pharmacist for guidance and information.

When to check with your clinician

If you still have nasal congestion after trying these suggestions, it's time to talk to your clinician. They will consider all the possible causes and work with you to find a solution.

1 Richards GN et al. Mouth leak with nasal continuous positive airway pressure increases nasal airway resistance. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1996;154:182–6.



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