How do I get rid of my congestion?

For many sleep apnea patients, congestion is a regular occurrence, not to mention an annoyance. More often than not, it is caused when you don’t have sufficient humidification with your positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy. But, you should always consult with your health care provider about your treatment. They can help you determine if there are any underlying issues that need to be treated.


If you don’t have humidification paired with your PAP device and are continuously battling congestion during the night, the best thing to do is speak with your physician or equipment supplier about adding it to your therapy.

If you already have humidification, you may not have the temperature or humidity level high enough, resulting in insufficient moisture to keep your nasal passages clear. Adjusting your temperature or humidity is especially important if you travel regularly as you may need to adjust your device accordingly, depending on your altitude or environment.

Changing masks may also be something to try if you have chronic congestion or sinus issues. A full face mask, which delivers humidification through both your nose and mouth, may help alleviate some of your symptoms.

Other causes of congestion

Some sleep apnea patients may also have congestion caused by allergies, which can be relieved with medication. Dirty air filters in your device could also lead to congestion but can easily be resolved if you change the filter regularly. Over-the-counter nasal rinses can also be a good way to help alleviate congestion by eliminating allergens residing in the nasal tract. Your health care provider can determine if this should be added to your routine.

Remember, talking with your doctor about your symptoms and your treatment is the most important step you can take. Keep them informed if something changes so they can help resolve the issues with you.

This blog post contains general information about medical conditions and potential treatments. It is not medical advice. If you have any medical questions, please consult your doctor.

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