Patient Comments: Sleep Apnea - Effective Treatments

Question:

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

Comment from: FeelBetter, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 22

I have central sleep apnea, and I cannot wear a CPAP mask (deviated septum, claustrophobia, etc.), but I can do oxygen. Oxygen therapy at night while I sleep has changed my entire life. I am now rested, body aches and pains are gone, and my mental clarity is better than ever. I am no longer stressed or have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). If your doctor resists after finding that the CPAP machine just is not for you, find another doctor. Oxygen therapy works!

Comment from: Fletchy, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 15

I was diagnosed with sleep apnea 5 years ago when the girlfriend I had at the time remarked that I stopped breathing in my sleep. I had been feeling lethargic in the afternoons for a long time so I went for tests. I ended up with a CPAP machine that adjusts as required and haven't looked back. I've thought about surgery but after having a bad experience when getting a benign lump removed from my tongue I am reluctant to go down that road. Perhaps losing some weight may help but then that is not so easy to either as you age. I am so glad I went for the tests and made the change.

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.

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.

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.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 18

There is a 'chin band' to hold your chin up which helps with sleep apnea.

Comment from: Whu1973, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 12

I have just been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and am awaiting a CPAP machine. My general physician advised me to contact the DVLA about my condition but I'm concerned they will stop me driving as this is part of my job, and I have never been affected by tiredness whilst driving for this to be a problem.

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.

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.

Comment from: Nancy J, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 22

Five years ago, I was exhausted to the point of sleeping almost all day. I was 54, not overweight, didn't have a thick neck, in other words I didn't fit the profile. My doctor was amazed by this. I thought my allergies were causing this excessive sleepiness. My doctor tested for allergies and set up a sleep apnea test. I ended up with severe sleep apnea, woke up 44 times an hour with no REM sleep. I have a CPAP machine and literally couldn't live without it. It only took three days to get use to it. I have to have it adjusted to go higher because at first I could only tolerate up to 10. Now I'm up to 15 for the last four years. I am exhausted again, so I am seeing my doctor to see about adjusting it again. While researching why my daughter was sleeping 16 hours a day, I found that diabetics (which she is) are more prone to sleep apnea. We had her tested right away and it was positive. Hers was not obstructive, and she does not have it anymore. I'm not having surgery, and I don't mind the mask at all. You must think of the consequences. It's a small price to pay to live an active live. We need more education on sleep apnea because people do not realize the risks of having it, and it can be stopped easily. Others in the sleep apnea test walked out and went home without finishing it. I can't imagine they really knew what they were doing to themselves and their families. Whether you fit the profile, get checked. It could be worth your life.

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 .

Comment from: PatiO91, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 13

I am overweight, and I was having problems sleeping. My new pulmonary doctor had me go through this horrible sleep test, which was so uncomfortable that I don't think anyone could have slept. Afterword, they told me I had sleep apnea. I am now on my fifth CPAP mask, and I still can't sleep comfortably. In fact, when I wear the mask, I am more miserable than I was before. Most of the time, I end up throwing it off after an hour or so. My nose gets ice cold (even though I have raised the heat level to 4), and my mouth gets horribly dry. Many times I wake up choking and scaring my poor husband. What is really strange is that my once-medicated blood pressure problem has gone away. I no longer am on blood pressure medication. I'm at my whit's end.

Comment from: Yellowbirdie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 08

I just discovered I have severe sleep apnea. I am 39 years old and my blood pressure is 150/100 with medication. I found out I generally stop breathing for 28 seconds, and the longest is 35 seconds. The doctor has yet to talk to me until I am done with the CPAP test.

Comment from: cna4it, 45-54 Male Published: February 23

My fiancé has sleep apnea. I'm concerned about him not getting enough sleep. He claims he uses his bi-pap unit at night before he goes to bed, but I have witnessed him taking it off after sleeping for four to six hours. I believe he needs a better fitted nasal mask, but he tells me the mask is OK. I say different because the sounds of air leakage around the mask it can't be a good seal.

Comment from: Ed, 45-54 Male Published: February 13

I used to suffer from severe obstructive sleep apnea. I stopped breathing 50 times an hour. I had UPPP surgery five years ago, and it's the best thing I ever did. My quality of life improved drastically. Now my wife can get a good nights sleep since I no longer snore.

Comment from: Flower, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I have had sleep apnea for at least 10 years and with weight gain it has gotten worse. My ENT doctor suggested removing the tonsils and the bell-like top part of the mouth. I did that with great pain and it did not help, I had previously tried the mask, and due to severe anxiety, could not leave it on for more than a few seconds. I have tried the nose strips and have even resorted to putting a piece of tape across my lips at night to keep my jaw from dropping to no avail. I feel that if I could get a headband kind of apparatus that would hold my chin up, that might work, but don't know where to obtain one. I really worry about my sleep apnea but don't feel there are enough options out there for me to try.

Published: June 09

I am 44 yrs old. I discovered I have high B/P at the age of 40, and have been on medicine that has controlled it for the most part. In the past 2 yrs. I've had a lot of PVCs or Palpitations, I had an echo/stress test, the outcome was normal. They call my PVC's idiopathic PVCs, they happen for no known reason, maybe too much caffeine, or stress or too much sugar. I take Metaroprol, a beta blocker and it has pretty much controlled them to a point. I work for a DME company and we provide Oxygen and CPAP's to Patients. I suggested to my Heart Dr. about myself having possible Sleep Apnea. I had a sleep study done and checked positive for very severe sleep apnea. I am now on a CPAP machine and am starting to feel much better. It helps me sleep more peacefully, and not as many awakenings! Not as many palpitations either, but I'm still on High B/p and beta blocker MEDS for now. I feel more refreshed more energy. I was barely functioning before the CPAP! I can't believe how many apneas I was having, and my Oxygen level dropped dangerously low. I did an oximeter and my oxygen level was up with the CPAP therapy! If you suspect this condition, get checked!

Comment from: Mark, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 05

I was diagnosed with central sleep apnea by a specialist without the sleep study as it is not available in my country. The doctor prescribed Nuelin SA Tablets made by 3M which in the first few weeks was like a wonder drug. I went from working a 2 - 3 hour day to being able to work a 12 hour plus day. However after 4 months now I am struggling a bit again, not sure if it is stress or that my system has adjusted. If anyone has tried any other medication or life style changes to help I would greatly appreciate the information. I am male, 38. I don't drink or smoke and the only other issues I have are slow pulse 50 to 60 beats a minute and I suffer from migraine headaches.

Comment from: dmoore, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 05

I had a sleep study several years ago and was told I had Sleep Apnea and had 50 per minute. I was given a machine and sent home. I cannot sleep with this machine. I feel like I am drowning and gasp for breath. The constant air through my nose dries out my sinus and causes bleeding and pain. I am the only one who cannot use this machine.

Comment from: fejarang, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 01

I have sleep apnea and am on a CPAP. I do not like it. It has helped my apnea I don't fall asleep all the time and have much more energy. I would rather have surgery if it is available than where the CPAP the rest of m life. I will be talking to my doctor about this I am only 52.

Comment from: debby, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 27

I suffer with sleep apnea badly and have done for years. I'm always on the look out for new products that may help. I've tried CPAP I think it can help a lot, but I started using Melatrol and it really works.

Comment from: Abby, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 05

I was diagnosed several years ago with sleep apnea when my blood pressure acted up. I currently sleep in a recliner, with a CPAP and oral appliance. This has not been great but helps some. I have looked into surgical treatment.

Comment from: higalo, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 16

I just had an operation done to remove parts of my throat to relieve sleep apnea. In my opinion, it was a very painful recovery, but it is worth it in the long run.

Comment from: Tasha, Female (Patient) Published: October 06

I would wake up in the morning tired and listless, I knew I had to get out and exercise, I was just about falling asleep during meetings at work and my concentration levels were at an all time low. Due to the lack of exercise I started to gain weight and the problems just increased. My partner was complaining about the snoring and not wanting to put my relationship at risk contacted my GP. He diagnosed me with mild obstructive sleep apnea, but suggested I try a mandibular advancement device or dental appliance. There are quite a few that can be purchased online but I tried the SnoreMEDs snoring solution and it really worked for me so give it a try.

Comment from: John, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 06

I have severe sleep apnea, my oxygen levels go down to 60%. I use CPAP this has improved my quality of life considerably. I have more energy than I used to have. I feel refreshed after sleeping with CPAP. I used to feel lethargic at work now I am more energetic at work and my work performance has improved a hell of a lot. My work suffered because of my sleep apnea. I work on the Intensive Care Unit as a Clinical support Worker at my local University Hospital.

Comment from: harley, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 06

I was diagnosed with sleep apnea 2 years ago and was given a CPAP machine. I would pull the mask off during my sleep and I also did not like the contraption on my face. I have since lost 44lbs and still remain sleepy. My doctor says I have sleep apnea and I say I am sleepy due to medication. What should I do?

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