Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sleep apnea cures

Sleep apnea occurs when there is a blockage in the airway in the back of the throat. Here is a rundown of basic sleep apnea cures.
  • The most popular and the one that a lot of people find difficult to adjust to is the CPAP machine. Continuous positive airway pressure pushes air into the throat at a rate that keeps the airway in the back of the mouth open. There are variations on the cpap such as the bipap and the apap. The differences are how the air is directed into the throat. 
  • Dental devices are sometimes used to keep the airway open. Usually dental devices are only used for mild cases of sleep apnea. 
  • Surgery is usually considered after the cpap fails. Three types of surgery are Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), Maxillomandibular advancement and somnoplasty. UPPP and the MAX surgeries recovery times are rather long and there isn’t any guarantees that it works.  
  • Losing weight will definitely help sleep apnea will help some people but not all because thin people can have sleep apnea also. 
  • There are off beat treatments like doing throat exercises and playing the didgeridoo. The theory behind this is to strengthen the muscles and tissues in the back of the throat. You can give them a try but there effectiveness is questioned. 


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  1. I've read quite a few of your entries. For all the trouble you've reported with using CPAP religiously, the blog appears to be short on details. It looks like you've moved into more of the "educating others" mode:-) It'd be interesting to know the chapter and verse of all seven sleep studies, for instance.

    I only had one (split night) and have used straight CPAP at a pressure of 8 for all of about 45 days. My machine shows an avg of 5 hrs/night and increasing every day, but for the last month or so, I've averaged 6-8 hrs/night.

    Using CPAP was horrifying, depressing and claustrophobic at times before I got over the hump at about 10 days. It truly gets better every day. I feel extremely lucky and have a friend who was supposed to have been CPAP-compliant for about the last 5 years. She has all but given up and has several coronary stents to show for it. (Though to be fair heart disease can be complicated.)

    It is the definition of peace of mind for me for the time being at least. I simply don't know where I'd be if it hadn't worked in my particular condition.

    I'm wondering if you've ever had a cardiac workup and if it plays into any of your CPAP/sleep apnea issues.

    I encourage you to try a pillows-type mask with a chinstrap. For now it works well for me.

    Good Luck! Don't give up!

  2. I appreciate the comment, you made some really valid points