Sleep Centers of Middle Tennessee


Nasal Congestion

Problems with nasal congestion can have many different causes, ranging from allergies to non-allergic rhinitis. Nasal congestion can worsen obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), in that patients suffering from problems breathing through the nose often resort to “mouth breathing” during sleep. This type of breathing increases the propensity of the base of the tongue to collapse over the upper airway (or throat) area, thus causing an obstruction (or apnea) in the airway. Problems with nasal congestion can also result from the use of positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy for OSA. Addressing the issues with nasal congestion can improve a patient’s response to PAP therapy, and in some rare cases can improve OSA.