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syzygy
 
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sinus infection

Postby syzygy on Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:32 pm

I know a lot of people have posted about sinus infections and CPAP. In my case, I don't think that CPAP caused my sinus infection; in fact, I didn't even know I had one until a CT scan showed I did. I suspect I've had the infection since before I started CPAP more than a year ago.

I am now on antibiotics, and have been on and off for 2 months. I'm wondering whether to temporarily suspend using the CPAP until the infection clears up. I'm definitely able to achieve deeper sleep with the CPAP, but it's till not great, and after experimenting with and without it the past couple of days, use of the CPAP definitely seems to be exacerbating the sinus infection. I had a second CT scan after 6 weeks of antibiotics, and that indicated that the infection was still there, so I'm wondering if the CPAP has been hindering my recovery. It's also true that I don't really feel any better on CPAP than off it. It's clear that there are significant tradeoffs with regard to using/not using the CPAP.

I would be interested in hearing any thoughts from people who have been in similar situations. Please note that since my sinus infection was probably not caused by CPAP, I'm not looking for advice about cleaning my equipment, important though such things are.

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jamiswolf
 
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Re: sinus infection

Postby jamiswolf on Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:42 pm

syzygy.
First, I love your username. Regarding continuing cpap in light of a sinus infection, I'd say no. My understanding is that a sinus infection...or a predisposition to sinus infections is a contraindication to cpap. Get your infection treated and then, only with ENT approval, resume cpap.

Sometimes a sinus that tends to get infected repeatedly needs surgical intervention to enlarge the opening to facilitate drainage. I have had this done. Now, no problems and no difficulties with cpap.
Jamis

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BlackSpinner
 
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Re: sinus infection

Postby BlackSpinner on Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:54 pm

Use a full face mask to diffuse the pressure a bit. Play with your humidity. You need sleep and O2 to heal. My sinuses have been much better since using a cpap machine.

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chunkyfrog
 
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Re: sinus infection

Postby chunkyfrog on Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:04 pm

If you have any question about using cpap with your infection, check with your ENT.
Oxygen and deep sleep will contribute to healing, but there may be reasons either way, depending on your individual case.
We can relate personal experience; but if you have access to a doctor's professional medical advice,
that is usually preferable, since we cannot see your entire chart.

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syzygy
 
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Re: sinus infection

Postby syzygy on Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:05 pm

Thanks everyone for your replies. Consulting with an ENT for further clarification seems prudent. I have an appointment with a sinus specialist in a few weeks and will make a point of asking what he says about continued CPAP use. In the meantime, I'll probably hold off using it (I went something like 8 months without missing a day, so compliance isn't a problem for me). Depending on how I feel, I may experiment with the options that have been suggested.

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Emilia
 
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Re: sinus infection

Postby Emilia on Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:57 pm

I'd suggest that if you are going to go without cpap after 8 months of use, you should either sleep in a recliner chair or do something to prevent yourself from sleeping supine in the bed. You will probably be a lot more tired w/o cpap so be prepared for that along with some brain fog. I hope you can get in to see the specialist fast.....

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syzygy
 
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Re: sinus infection (and humidifiers)

Postby syzygy on Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:34 pm

Okay, so I do have one more question. I'm torn between feeling lousy from sleeping with the CPAP and having it mess up my nose and feeling lousy from sleeping without the CPAP and getting less restful sleep. I think I'll give it a go with the CPAP and higher humidity and see what happens. So my question is this, for Resmed users: what humidifier setting do you tend to use (patient, auto, or manual)? I haven't used manual up to now, perhaps to my detriment. The manual goes up to 6, and I'm thinking of just leaving it at the highest level at 80 degrees. Thoughts? Experiences?

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pickuptruck
 
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Re: sinus infection

Postby pickuptruck on Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:07 pm

Humidity levels make a huge difference to the sinus. To clear up drainage you have to find your correct level of humidity. Room ambient humidity makes a huge difference. Go up and down with the humidity level until you find the level your sinus needs. :D

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LSAT
 
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Re: sinus infection

Postby LSAT on Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:11 pm

Go to your pharmacy and get a NeilMed sinus wash. Use it every night before masking uo. Then set your humiditu to med/high. You will be surprised how much better you will sleep.


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archangle
 
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Re: sinus infection

Postby archangle on Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:55 pm

LSAT wrote:Go to your pharmacy and get a NeilMed sinus wash. Use it every night before masking uo. Then set your humiditu to med/high. You will be surprised how much better you will sleep.


If you're having problems with infections, ask your doctor first. Sinus Rinse is great in general, but it might carry the infection to places you don't want it.

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syzygy
 
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Re: sinus infection

Postby syzygy on Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:49 pm

Yes, that's what makes this challenging to deal with. I read in a book that one should irrigate every day. I thought my sinus infection was cured, so I started using my NeilMed every morning. Sure enough, things got worse, and when I returned to the doctor, a second CT scan said that not only did I still have a chronic sinus infection, all my rinsing seems to have exacerbated the situation. Now I'm not really sure whether or not to irrigate and/or use my CPAP. No one single doctor seems to have a large enough picture of what's going on. I'm hoping the added humidity with CPAP will help; if it doesn't, I'll have to stop for a while.


archangle wrote:
LSAT wrote:Go to your pharmacy and get a NeilMed sinus wash. Use it every night before masking uo. Then set your humiditu to med/high. You will be surprised how much better you will sleep.


If you're having problems with infections, ask your doctor first. Sinus Rinse is great in general, but it might carry the infection to places you don't want it.

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Perrybucsdad
 
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Re: sinus infection

Postby Perrybucsdad on Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:55 am

About a month after I started using my CPAP, I got what I thought was a bad cold. Went to the doctor (actually the ENT who is treating my apnea) and he examined me and said I had a sinus infection. Not a severe one, but none the less I had one. He had asked how often I was cleaning my mask and other items and I was honest with him and told him I wasn't. He didn't say outright that my not cleaning the items caused the infection, but he made it a point to me that it could cause this. He stated that bacteria loves warm and humid environments and the cpap hose and mask were great breading grounds for this.

So just my little reminder to make sure you keep your items clean.

John

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Java Time
 
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Re: sinus infection

Postby Java Time on Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:40 am

syzygy wrote:In my case, I don't think that CPAP caused my sinus infection; in fact, I didn't even know I had one until a CT scan showed I did. I suspect I've had the infection since before I started CPAP more than a year ago.

I am now on antibiotics, and have been on and off for 2 months. I had a second CT scan after 6 weeks of antibiotics, and that indicated that the infection was still there, so I'm wondering if the CPAP has been hindering my recovery. It's also true that I don't really feel any better on CPAP than off it. It's clear that there are significant trade offs with regard to using/not using the CPAP.

Please note that since my sinus infection was probably not caused by CPAP...

syzygy,

First of all, continue to work with your doctor as you have mentioned. Also, since you are saying "It's also true that I don't really feel any better on CPAP than off it", I'd encourage you to STAY ON CPAP until you see the doctor. If you are on CPAP it is for a reason and if it isn't making it worse, I'd sure keep using it! :D

If you want some medical guidance prior to your doctor appointment, call and ask to speak with your doctor's nurse who may have suggestions to help you until you can get in to see the doctor.

syzygy wrote:I would be interested in hearing any thoughts from people who have been in similar situations.

I'm sorry to hear about your sinus issue and have a lot of empathy for you.

About 18 months ago, I was having breathing issues which were waking me up due to a feeling that I couldn't get enough air while I was sleeping.

This eventually led me to an Ear/Nose/Throat doc who sent me off to check for structural sinus issues, infection, allergy, acid reflux, sleep apnea. He said don't be surprised if you have a combination of things. Over the course of a year, various specialists, allergy tests, sleep study and a CT exam, I found out I had all of the above including a sinus infection that he said I'd probably had for years. Various antibiotics could not kick my sinus infection and I ended up with sinus surgery to open my sinuses up and allow my sinuses to drain better. That finally seemed to end the sinus infection.

I started CPAP 3 months ago in response to "severe" sleep apnea.

Because of the variety of issues, I've found I have to do several different things to keep my sinuses clear at night and the CPAP comfortable to use. Unfortunately, you may need to experiment a lot as well. I have made my CPAP experience much better by trying small adjustments for an entire week and keeping what works and stopping what doesn't. Only change one thing at a time or you won't be able to figure out what is helping. For congestion and sinus pressure, I have experimented with a variety of over the counter decongestants and allergy medications, but those will only help symptoms of a sinus infection, not the root cause.

I felt what appeared to be a sinus infection coming on a couple of weeks ago:
1) I was able to alleviate some of the pressure and runny nose by using double-saline packets in my 8oz NeilMed sinus wash bottle. This seemed to help at first, but unfortunately it didn't end the congestion and after a few days it started drying and chapping my nose quite a bit, so I went back to single dose twice per day.

2) What did work really well for me, was adding 2 tablespoon (1 ounce) of a product called Alkalol in the evening to my 8oz NeilMed sinus wash (along with the normal saline packet). It really clears things out and seems to keep me clear so I can sleep better. This combination did an incredible job of breaking everything up and clearing out my nasal passages. I bought Alkalol on the recommendation of a person on this website. The pharmacist where I purchased it said there was an ENT in my town that sent all of his patients in for Alkalol, for use in their daily sinus wash and for after sinus surgery. Alkalol does not seem to be very common and I had to have the pharmacist order it for me.
http://www.alkalolcompany.com/index.php ... is-alkalol

I don't know if the Alkalol will help you, but it sure helped me.

3) The other product that was strongly recommended to me was Mucinex (generic is widely available and is known as guaifenesin). I bought it, but haven't had to use it yet.

Good luck and I hope you find a fix soon!

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Last edited by Java Time on Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:04 pm, edited 5 times in total.
If you are struggling with congestion, it helped me to add Alkalol to my daily sinus rinse. This reduced my congestion and allows me to breathe freely with my CPAP mask. CPAPtalk post about Alkalol use here: viewtopic.php?p=665255#p665255

syzygy
 
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Re: sinus infection

Postby syzygy on Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:38 pm

Thanks for a useful and informative post, Java Time. It sounds as if you and I (unfortunately) have a lot in common. There's a book called "Sinus Survival" (don't remember the author's name) in which the author lumps sinusitis, sleep apnea, gerd, and asthma into an inclusive meta-condition called CAID (chronic airway inflammation disease). Even though the author doesn't seem to know much about sleep apnea, it's still a good read.

I like your approach to finding what works and what doesn't. That's what led me to suspect that there was more to my situation than just sleep apnea--I was very methodical and tried everything I could think of over a period of months. Nothing worked. I finally concluded that it would be worth investigating my sinuses, and I'm really glad I did.

I just spoke to my sleep doc, and she said I should suspend CPAP until I resolve my sinus issues. I wouldn't be surprised if I, too, end up having surgery. Did you have FESS? Are you happy you did?

I just ordered some Alkolol. Let's hope for the best...

Java Time wrote:
syzygy wrote:In my case, I don't think that CPAP caused my sinus infection; in fact, I didn't even know I had one until a CT scan showed I did. I suspect I've had the infection since before I started CPAP more than a year ago.

I am now on antibiotics, and have been on and off for 2 months. I had a second CT scan after 6 weeks of antibiotics, and that indicated that the infection was still there, so I'm wondering if the CPAP has been hindering my recovery. It's also true that I don't really feel any better on CPAP than off it. It's clear that there are significant trade offs with regard to using/not using the CPAP.

Please note that since my sinus infection was probably not caused by CPAP...

syzygy,

First of all, continue to work with your doctor as you have mentioned. Also, since you are saying "It's also true that I don't really feel any better on CPAP than off it", I'd encourage you to STAY ON CPAP until you see the doctor. If you are on CPAP it is for a reason and if it isn't making it worse, I'd sure keep using it! :D

If you want some medical guidance prior to your doctor appointment, call and ask to speak with your doctor's nurse who may have suggestions to help you until you can get in to see the doctor.

syzygy wrote:I would be interested in hearing any thoughts from people who have been in similar situations.

I'm sorry to hear about your sinus issue and have a lot of empathy for you.

About 18 months ago, I was having breathing issues which were waking me up due to a feeling that I couldn't get enough air while I was sleeping.

This eventually led me to an Ear/Nose/Throat doc who sent me off to check for structural sinus issues, infection, allergy, acid reflux, sleep apnea. He said don't be surprised if you have a combination of things. Over the course of a year, and various specialists, allergy tests, sleep study and a CT exam, I found out I had all of the above including a sinus infection that he said I'd probably had for years. Various antibiotics could not kick my sinus infection and I ended up with sinus surgery to open my sinuses up and allow my sinuses to drain better. That finally seemed to end the sinus infection.

I started CPAP 3 months ago in response to "severe" sleep apnea.

Because of the variety of issues, I've found I have to do several different things to keep my sinuses clear at night, so the CPAP is comfortable to use. Unfortunately, you may need to experiment a lot as well. I have made my CPAP experience much better by trying small adjustments for an entire week and keeping what works and stopping what doesn't. Only change one thing at a time or you won't be able to figure out what is helping. Some things I have experimented with for congestion are different over the counter decongestants and allergy medications, but those will only help symptoms of a sinus infection, not the root cause.

I felt what appeared to be a sinus infection coming on a couple of weeks ago:
1) I was able to alleviate some of the pressure and runny nose by using double-saline packets in my 8oz NeilMed sinus wash bottle. This seemed to help at first, but unfortunately it didn't end the congestion and after a few days it started drying and chapping my nose quite a bit.

2) What did work really well for me, was adding 2 tablespoon (1 ounce) of a product called Alkalol in the evening to my 8oz NeilMed sinus wash (along with the normal saline packet). It really clears things out and seems to keep me clear so I can sleep better. This combination did an incredible job of breaking everything up and clearing out my nasal passages. I bought Alkalol on the recommendation of a person on this website. The pharmacist where I purchased it, said there was an ENT in my town that sent all of his patients in for Alkalol, for use in their daily sinus wash and for after sinus surgery. Alkalol does not seem to be very common and I had to have the pharmacist order it for me.
http://www.alkalolcompany.com/index.php ... is-alkalol

I don't know if the Alkalol will help you, but it sure helped me.

3) The other product that was strongly recommended to me was Mucinex. I bought it, but haven't had to use it yet.

Good luck and I hope you find a fix soon!

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jamiswolf
 
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Re: sinus infection

Postby jamiswolf on Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:48 pm

Hi Syzygy,
I had a traumatized right frontal sinus from baro-trauma (diving). After that, I was plagued with a sinus infection every time I got a cold. I went in for ENT surgery primarily for nasal septum repair and the Doc enlarged the opening to the sinus at the same time. Truthfully I don't know what technique he used.

That was 15 years ago and I've not had a sinus infection since. Just thought I'd give you a success story for surgical intervention.
Jamis

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