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Why people suffering from ENS don't generally sleep well and how to improve their sleep ?

Empty Nose Syndrome can affect your sleep in some ways.
Some people wake up after one or two hours because the nose becomes dry.
But I think that the first reason ENS affects our sleep is because it creates central sleep apnea.

So what is central sleep apnea ?

It is a respiratory problem which occurs when a person who suffers from this condition is sleeping. The respiratory reflex who is commanded by the brain is reduced or is completely stopped when the person falls asleep. In general this problem is due to a brain problem (brain tumor, cerebral vascular accident ..) or heart problems.

Why ENS causes central sleep apnea ?

In ENS case the nasal turbinates are completely or partially cut. Then, the mucosa doesn't correctly react to the air entering in the nasal cavity and this lack of sensation reduces the respiratory reflex. The brain is no longer informed about the breathing and it creates a disorganization.

Dr Houser has published some years ago an interesting paper about the link between ENS and Central Sleep Apnea.

Apparently there are two sensors which inform the brain about the breathing.

Mechanical sensors feel the pressure created by the air passage in the nasal cavity. That's interesting to note that the narrower the nasal passage is, the higher is the velocity and the pressure.

The temperature sensors feel the difference between the temperature of the mucosa and the temperature of the inhaled air. It also works with the phenomenon of evaporation of the mucus. When you inhale, the air is normally dryer than your mucosa, so the thin mucus film is evaporated at the air contact. This evaporation cools the mucosa by the changing state of the water (mucus), from liquid to gas.

That's why in order to have better feeling we should find a way to increase the pressure, the temperature of the mucosa and the moisture.

What can we do to reduce this problem ?

Things that don't require surgery

  1. Improve the nasal air flux, the humidity and the temperature of the mucosa with a piece cotton put in the nasal cavity.
  2. Humidifier or live in a humid climate.
  3. CPAP or servo ventilation

Things that require surgery

Cartilage implant for improving the nasal air flux, the humidity and the temperature of the mucosa

In other posts I will speak about the solutions that don't require surgery. But of course, an implant can also be a good solution.

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2 comments on “Why people suffering from ENS don't generally sleep well and how to improve their sleep ?”

  1. Interesting stuff - keep up the good work and thanks for putting this together!

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