Sunday, November 20, 2011

Giving in to sleep apnea

I was first diagnosed with sleep apnea about 12 years ago. I knew that I was a loud snorer because my wife often complained about it although I didn’t know that it was sleep apnea at the time, in fact I wasn’t sure what sleep apnea was exactly. But it wasn’t just the snoring that caused me to seek help I was also very tired during the day. I had other health issues that I thought would be more manageable if I had more rest. So I went for help.
My doctor sent me to a specialist who set up a sleep study for me.  After my first sleep study it was apparent that I did indeed have OSA. I was given a CPAP mask to use and as I have written many times before it didn’t really help much. After the first CPAP disaster I waited about a year or two before trying it again. This time it was with a different doctor who sent me to another sleep study. Once again it was shown that I had sleep apnea and another CPAP (BIPAP) was issued to me. Once again it didn’t work; frustrated I didn’t go back to the doctor for about 2 years.
I guess all in all I have been to at least 5 specialists and 6 sleep studies. After all that I still have sleep apnea but I do know a few things, one the CPAP doesn’t work for me and two I will probably require surgery at some point in the future to correct (hopefully!) my sleep apnea.
The journey with sleep apnea can be long and filled with disappointments but that doesn’t mean that you should just give in entirely. Although I haven’t found the right path to be free of sleep apnea I will continue to look and hopefully you will too.
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  1. Hve you considered using oral appliances for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea treatment with oral appliances is new in India but they have been available in western markets for decades. Consider using the EMA for sleep apnea treatment as it is the most effective oral appliance. Hope you get good help with this. Good luck.

  2. I was wondering why CPAP did not work for you? It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on that.

  3. Hi cenkaytekin,
    I couldn't get used to the air constantly blowing down my throat which caused my throat to be dried out the next morning. I also tried cpap with humidifiers but they really didn't help much either.
    The last ent that I saw told me that with the size of tongue and the shape of my face the only option that I really had was surgery (MAX)
    And from what I have read that type of surgery isn't always successful and the recovery period can be quite long.
    thanks for the comment