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Suggest treatment for blocked nostril and sleep apnea

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Posted on Mon, 18 May 2015
Question: I have had problems with blocked right nostril at night. Used to wake up about 3.00 am completely blocked and the only way to unblock was getting up and walking around. I have a Sudafed spray which I use occasionally because I know prolonged use is not advised. In the last few weeks I have been told I have a heart problem and am swollen up with fluid. I cannot walk more than 2 yards without becoming extremely breathless and am due to see a Cardiologist. I cannot lie down as I feel I am suffocating (I have asthma as well)so sleep propped up. My nasal congestion has become worse and affects both nostrils and happens now within 5 minutes of lying back in bed. The only solution is to get up and move around and it clears like magic. I have a number of chronic conditions (I'm 72) and am suffering from depression and have considered suicide quite frequently as I cannot live like this. I cannot sleep both because of my breathing and nose and am averaging 3 hours sleep in 24 hours and most of that is sleeping sitting up in a chair. I'm too scared to use the Sudafed in case it makes things worse. Please help, I'm desperate. I just want to go to sleep and not wake up I feel so bad. I just want to be able to breathe.
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Answered by Dr. Nishad BN (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Most likely obstructive sleep apnea.

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for asking HCM.

I have gone through your query. Your problem can be most likely due to obstructive sleep apnea from upper respiratory block. Your nasal block can be due to deviated nasal septum or other structural problems with nasaopharynx.

A thorough examination by an ENT specialist will help to rule out the condition. Such problems if long standing can cause cardiac problems. So a correction surgery can be done after discussing with your ENT specialist.

Another possibility of allergic rhinitis also should be ruled out. In such case steroid nasal sprays will be helpful.

If you are obese try to loose some weight. This will improve your condition to some extent. You can also raise the head portion more with extra pillows. Sleeping side ways also might be comfortable. Suicide is not a solution for anything. Think positive. Consult an ENT specialist initially.

Hope this may help you. Let me know if anything not clear.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
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Dr. Nishad BN

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 5440 Questions

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Suggest treatment for blocked nostril and sleep apnea

Brief Answer: Most likely obstructive sleep apnea. Detailed Answer: Thank you for asking HCM. I have gone through your query. Your problem can be most likely due to obstructive sleep apnea from upper respiratory block. Your nasal block can be due to deviated nasal septum or other structural problems with nasaopharynx. A thorough examination by an ENT specialist will help to rule out the condition. Such problems if long standing can cause cardiac problems. So a correction surgery can be done after discussing with your ENT specialist. Another possibility of allergic rhinitis also should be ruled out. In such case steroid nasal sprays will be helpful. If you are obese try to loose some weight. This will improve your condition to some extent. You can also raise the head portion more with extra pillows. Sleeping side ways also might be comfortable. Suicide is not a solution for anything. Think positive. Consult an ENT specialist initially. Hope this may help you. Let me know if anything not clear. Thanks.