If you’ve read this column for any length of time, you know that I write about the everyday struggles as a pulmonary fibrosis patient. Congestion is a rather embarrassing topic for me to discuss, but here I go …
I have it a lot. I get congested even when I don’t have a cold or symptoms of allergies, such as itchy eyes. It’s quite perplexing and difficult to deal with at times. Sometimes it feels like I can’t breathe in enough oxygen through my nasal cannula because I’m so congested.
I’m on 8 liters of oxygen per minute sitting, and use liquid oxygen which doesn’t dry out my nose. I blow my nose a lot to expel the “crusties” that make it hard to breathe.
Some things I do that help a little:
- Put on a mask for a while to get my levels up;
- Sniff Dymista nasal spray (Rx) in the morning and at night to open up my sinuses;
- Use a cool mist humidifier at night;
- Clear out my sinuses with a hot shower.
And there’s one thing I just discovered that helps a lot:
I recently bought a SinuPulse Elite Advanced Nasal Sinus Irrigation System off the internet. It’s kind of like a Neti Pot, but a lot less messy. I irrigate each side of my nose with saline solution (I can make it myself with distilled water and non-iodized salt) while standing over a sink. It works well to loosens up what is clogging up my sinuses, making it a lot easier to blow my nose and breathe again.
The instructions say you can use it twice a day, but I’ve found this dries my nose out too much. I only use it at night before I go to bed, and use an over-the-counter saline nasal spray to help with this.
I’m grateful to come up with a solution that helps, but needing to put in so much effort into breathing can be tiring at times.
How about you? I’d love to hear from you!
Do you struggle with nasal congestion when you don’t have a cold? Has your doctor explained why this happens? What do you do to breathe easier when congested?
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Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.
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