Patient Comments: Sleep Apnea - Effective Treatments

What kinds of treatments have been effective for your sleep apnea?

Comment from: FarmAnimal, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 13

I was diagnosed 15 years ago with sleep apnea. It has been well controlled with a CPAP machine and got to the point where I couldn't sleep without it. About a year ago, I started getting very fatigued during the day. The pressures were checked on the machine and another sleep study was run. Everything was fine. Fine with me and the machine, but I was becoming more and more tired. Six months ago, I woke in the middle of the night gasping for air. I was on my CPAP, but I was totally out of breath. I went back to using oxygen with my CPAP and then only using oxygen. A recent test shows that I have transitioned into central sleep apnea. I had an exacerbation of my MS and it appears that a lesion has caused the change in the type of sleep apnea. I now use oxygen almost constantly and am looking at what is causing the problem and what the fix is. My thought is that it is either the MS or the medications that I am on for pain. It's my opinion that sleep apnea is the most misdiagnosed and undertreated condition in adults today. I've seen too many people who try and give up on the CPAP machine, but it is the one tool that can easily make the problem better. You look like an alien with the mask, but the sandman could care less what you look like at night.

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Comment from: no cpap please, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 26

I was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea 7 years ago and I stopped breathing for 11 seconds at a time according to the sleep study. I was unable to use the CPAP as the mask would fall off or the alarm would sound constantly. I had to sleep on my back as it was the only position where the mask would stay on. Several times I woke up gasping for air and I literally wet myself trying to get air. I stopped using the CPAP and I now sleep on my side. I seem to sleep alright at night. I noticed this with other patients as well. I wonder how often sleep studies should be repeated.

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Comment from: rheath007, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 13

I have recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea. Although I don't have a remedy, I perhaps have another cause that may need further research. I recently had a head injury that gave me a concussion. One evening, I had an episode while I was awake that resembled sleep apnea enough to make a neurologist send me in for testing. During this episode, I exhaled and then suddenly was not able to inhale. It was though I forgot how to inhale. It was very scary! I kept calm as I gasped for breath. After a few minutes, I began breathing again; however now, I seem to breathe in the Cheyne Stokes pattern. I hope this will be helpful to researchers; doctors and sleep apnea suffers. This may be helpful to discovering a new type of remedy.

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Comment from: budagirl, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 24

About five years ago, I started feeling tired and sleepy all of the time, especially when I was doing a lot of driving back and forth from my parents' home to my own while caring for them. I had my thyroid and iron checked to see if this was the cause of the tiredness. Then, one day, on the way home, I had a car accident. I apparently fell asleep at the wheel during the 5 p.m. rush hour and back-ended a car that was stopped. I don't remember much about the accident and apparently was knocked unconscious by the deployment of the airbags. I went to the doctor, and he referred me for a sleep study for sleep apnea. I was subsequently diagnosed with severe sleep apnea and was given a CPAP with a full mask. I made a rapid improvement with the use of the CPAP and have used it religiously ever since. I travel with it, nap with it, etc. I could have lost my life and caused others injury or death because of my unawareness of this illness. I love my CPAP and feel much more secure and relaxed when sleeping now. Now, I cannot sleep without it. People who suspect that they may have sleep apnea, or who know that they do, and do nothing about it, are accidents waiting to happen. It's better to use the CPAP than be charged with vehicular manslaughter or even involuntary manslaughter. I can live well with my CPAP but couldn't live with the knowledge I had caused someone injury or death.

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Comment from: minnie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

I am a Navy veteran diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. I want to tell other veterans that if they suspect sleep apnea, they should get tested at a VA hospital near them. They can get a free machine and supplies for the machine, if they test positive. They even gave me two masks (one with nose pillows and one full-face mask). I had no idea I stopped breathing 40 times in 60 minutes and only reached REM for 20 minutes out of 10 hours of sleep.

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Comment from: AzPopcorn, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 09

I was diagnosed with polycythemia which was brought on by COPD and sleep apnea 3 yrs ago and prescribed a CPAP. I can't believe the difference it has made in the quality of my life. It took me about a week to get use to having the mask on my face, but now I fall asleep immediately and often realize when I wake I'm in the same position I was 8hrs ago .

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