Piercings used to be unusual. Anything other than pierced ears for women, that is. But these days, many types of piercings have become common, including nose piercings. As these become more common, we have to be aware how they might impact your ability to get a good night’s sleep–and how they might affect people sleeping nearby, whether that’s your significant other or a roommate.
So how will your nose piercing affect your sleep? Possibly not at all, but it might be significant.
Will a Nose Piercing Cause Snoring or Sleep Apnea?
One concern people voice before getting a piercing is that it might cause snoring or sleep apnea.
It’s possible that a nose piercing could make you start snoring. Snoring occurs when your airway is constricted, which creates a turbulent airflow that causes vibrations, which are heard as snoring.
A nose piercing could lead to a narrowed airway in the nostrils. Not only is the jewelry itself an obstruction, but the piercing could trigger swelling in the nostrils, especially if you have a septum piercing. The good news is that this impact will only be temporary. Unless something goes wrong, such as an infection or a serious allergic response to the jewelry, your piercing should heal quickly. The swelling will go down, and the snoring will return to what it was before. (Which, actually, may be worse than you think, especially if you sleep alone.)
Similarly, nose piercing shouldn’t cause sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when you airway gets completely closed against airflow. This can’t happen in your nostrils because you can always breathe through your mouth. Of course, this means that your piercing could cause you to breathe through your mouth, which might worsen snoring.
Piercings and CPAP
While a piercing won’t cause sleep apnea, it could potentially interfere with the most common treatment for sleep apnea: CPAP. CPAP, continuous positive airway pressure, works by forcing air into your nose and/or throat to keep your airway open.
Most CPAP users these days prefer some type of nose pillow or other nasal fitting. However, this might not be compatible with your piercing. The jewelry might interfere with the CPAP or the CPAP might irritate the piercing. CPAP might cause the area to dry out, making it more irritable. If the mask isn’t properly cleaned and maintained, it might also increase the risk of infection at the piercing site.
To make CPAP work with your piercing, you might have to change your mask style and use a humidifier. You should also make sure you clean your CPAP machine carefully to ensure it doesn’t put you at risk for infection.
Oral Appliances Won’t Affect Your Nose Piercing
If you have a nose piercing and sleep apnea, we can help. If you’ve tried CPAP and found it irritating, or are afraid that it will be a nuisance, we have an option that won’t affect your piercing.
Oral appliances are simple devices that fit in your mouth to relieve snoring (like the Zyppah® anti-snoring device) and/or sleep apnea. They hold your jaw in the proper position to keep your airway open. Since they don’t affect your nose, they won’t affect your nose piercing.