Spring has bloomed and with it the pollen levels have reached some of the highest levels of the year.  For many people this is the time of year where breathing and snoring are at their worst.  The minute you lie down you feel pressure on your forehead and your nose clogs up.  If you snore it is loud and more disruptive than usual.  If you use a CPAP this is the time of year when you are most likely to give up using it. 


Finding solutions to these problems can be challenging.  You know you want to feel good and rest is an important part of that but you are not sure what you can do to help yourself.  There are a few things you can do that will help you. 

  • This is the time of year that you should make sure you change the filter in your heating and cooling system.  Using a HEPA filter maybe useful for those with severe allergies because it will capture more pollen, dust and mold spores. 
  • Use an anti-shed shampoo on your pets.  This is the time of year where they shed their winter coats and start to grow their summer coats.  You want to make sure that their dander is limited so as not to irritate your nose.
  • Make sure you are well hydrated.  This helps your body to function better and will help thin secretions. 
  • Using salt water to gargle or using a Neti pot may help some people as the salt water will help to decrease the swelling in your nose and throat.  You can also use a nasal saline spray to help keep your nose from drying out and keep swelling down.
  • Talk to your doctor.  The best solutions may be an allergy medication, but these can interact with other medications you are taking and you should always talk to your doctor before starting a new medication

If you are using a CPAP machine this is the time of year to think about cleaning your equipment.  The warm water that is in the humidifier is a great way to grow interesting things.

  • Your humidifier chamber and hose should be changed every 6 months.  In between you should be washing it once a week with soap and water and then soaking it for 20 minutes in 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts water.  Make sure you rinse it well or you will be smelling the vinegar all week
  • Your filters should be changed as well.  Different manufacturers use different type of filters so make sure you check with your DME company as to how often you should change your filter.
  • Turn up the humidifier if you are having congestion issues.  Higher humidity helps to reduce the swelling in your nose and sinuses making it more comfortable.  A home humidifier will not affect your machine.

Spring is a wonderful time of year but allergies can have an effect on your sleep.  It is important to take care of these issues earlier rather than later.  Sleep deprivation can have hazardous effects on your health and ability to enjoy the wonderful weather that spring brings with it.


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