Sleep Apnea and treatments

Discussion in 'Health and Medical Topics' started by scratch, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member

    I am currently considering what my options are for relief from a sleep disorder. About 15 years ago, I went to an ENT doctor and was diagnosed with a mild case of sleep apnea. I feel exhausted most of the time from not getting a good nights sleep, I don't remember dreams at all. I had a sleep study done, I was wired up with sensors and watched by a technician all night. My body tried to wake up 120 times the first four hours, I slept like a baby the last four hours when I was hooked up to a C-PAP machine, which basically is an air pump that forces air into your lungs.

    I had the throat surgery done, which basically was cutting out my tonsils and other stuff. The doc swore that I would feel great and feel like a new man with all the extra energy I would get, but it didn't happen. Sleep Apnea is caused by your jaw relaxing when you fall asleep and your tongue blocks off your air passages. Your brain makes your body wake up to breath, so you don't get a good nights sleep. I have a mild case, some people have it a lot worse. My options are to be hooked up to a C-PAP machine, where you wear a mask and air is pumped into your lungs while you sleep. The doctors make a lot of money off of this, my wife just had a sleep study done and they billed insurance over $6000. The other option is to have an oral appliance made. A mold is made of your teeth and gums, then a mouthpiece is made by a lab that keeps your lower jaw in line with your upper, hopefully this will keep your tongue from falling back to block air going to your lungs.

    I didn't like the ENT that did my original surgery and I didn't appreciate the sales tactics that were used in my sleep study to get me to go with the C-PAP machine. I was told I had a mild case, so I passed on it at the time. Now, I am tired all the time from my age and the increased work load. I know a lot of people that use a C-PAP machine and love it, but I really don't want to be hooked up to a machine. I was talking to my dentist the other day while delivering to his house, he would love to make a mouthpiece for me. Right now I don't know if our insurance will require another sleep study to be done.

    Anybody with my same problem?
     
  2. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    I've been using a CPAP machine for more than 15 years.
    The energy increase and ability to concentrate was immediate and substantial.
    You can buy the CPAP machine not going through the doctor and save money.
    The supplies through the doctor are outrageous.
    I get Lantz to write me an Rx.
     
  3. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    I had my tonsils taken out 10 years ago or so and that helped a lot. We switched to sleep number mattresses and that helped more. The other thing that helped was to stop watching the clock in reference to when I should get to bed because I thought I need X hours of sleep to get up for work. Now if I'm not tired I don't force it. If its close ill get into bed, set the timer on the tv and watch a movie till I nod off. The alarm gets me up and I'm good. If I make the mistake of falling asleep to early my body sleeps what it wants the wakes me up too early and I'd struggle to try and go back to sleep which was the wrong thing to do. So now I go to bed when I think I'm tired, if I wake early I get up and do something. I prob average 5-7 hrs a night but as long as I feel good then it's ok by me.
     
  4. cynic

    cynic New Member

    Including commute time, I work over 80 hours a week between UPS PT and my day FT job so what little sleep I get is precious. I'm a firm believer in Vitamin "A" (ambien) to help me get my sleep time in as I'm running from one job or another to get some sleep.

    I have a very thick neck so am a prime sleep apnea candidate, at first I blamed the ambien but after a sleep study it was clear a CPAP was necessary. I hate, dislike, despise, cuss the very existence of the CPAP machine but the sleep I get is of a much higher quality and from what studies indicate, will also extend my life. So I can work even more. :knockedout:
     
  5. BSWALKS

    BSWALKS Easily Amused

    Think a sleep study is in store for me. I figured i was always tired because I work so much. Along with being tired, my memory is shot, & comprehension skills suck. Feels like I'm always in a fog. I know I wake up constantly all night. Hopefully I'll see immediate results like hoaxster said he experienced.
     
  6. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    The big things that help me sleep and using light blocking shades, ceiling fan on high, a/c bumped up in the summer, earplugs, and last a eyeshade. I used to sleep face down all the time but I've found the pressure on my eyes from the eyeshade lets me sleep however most comfortable.
     
  7. BSWALKS

    BSWALKS Easily Amused

    Things that help me are the fan, losing weight & turning the tv off- used to leave that on most nights. Helped a lot but still ALWAYS tired. It sucks.
    As far as ear plugs & eyeshades, No can do, I'm afraid of what my wife might do.
     
  8. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    Nature is cruel.

    I always thought that when my kids left home and we were retired that I could sleep in as long as I want to.........

    For some reason I wake up some nights at 2:30 A.M. for no reason except that I'm done sleeping. The TV is
    loaded with info-mercials at that time. Cruel !!
     
  9. gingerkat

    gingerkat Well-Known Member

    I had a mild case for a few years. I also had a deviated septum and needed to have that fixed since I couldn't breathe during the daytime. Once I had my septoplasty and tubinectomy, my sleep apnea seemed to get better. Now I just suffer from psychological insomnia - oh well, thats life...
     
  10. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    Now I just need a cure for the "going out blind on a bulked out package route" nightmares.
     
  11. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member

    Well, I struck out on my plan with my dentist on getting the oral appliance made. I used up my insurance money for the year so I will have to wait until January 1st if I want to go that route. He said that sleep apnea falls under medical instead of dental when his office called Central States, although he could make the mouthpiece which is the same one used to treat TMJ. I go to my regular doctor for my hypertension in eight days, so I will discuss it with him. Often sleep apnea causes high blood pressure, a lot of people can come off their medicine if they can get proper sleep. In my wife's case, the pulmonary specialist she went to said the sleep apnea causes her to have too many red blood cells because of a lack of oxygen, so she will probably be able to come off meds if she gets a C-PAP machine.
     
  12. cynic

    cynic New Member

    scratch - did you ever get the mouthpiece made from your dentist? If so, does it help? Thanks!
     
  13. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member

    No, I was talking to my doctor about it and he said they seldom work. I might wait until the first of the year and try one when insurance will pay for it. My doctor is also on a C-PAP machine and loves it. My wife finally got one for herself and has been using it for a month now. She feels better and a lot of her headaches have gone away. She got used to it fast and has no trouble with it.
     
  14. I drink a few beers after work..always sleep well!....only fell crappy when I go to work! Nothing to do with my sleep!..lol
     
  15. cynic

    cynic New Member

    Thanks for the info. I have trouble sleeping on my back ('cept in a recliner...) so that's where the CPAP hose becomes an issue for me as a "stomach sleeper". Going to have to figure out a way to get comfortable sleeping in bed on my back because there are so many horrible things my doc told me about not using it. The guy must not want me to sleep! Apnea could cause enlarged heart, raised blood pressure, kill brain cells from lack of oxygen, increase headaches/migraines, enough right there to make me figure out a way to deal with the hose.

    For those of you that play Halo - I feel like one of the "grunts" with their masks on when I do wear it!!
     
  16. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    I know you are just kidding but drinking prior to sleeping if you have apnea only makes it worse.
     
  17. I have to disagree..thats the only way I can put up with.............................working 4 the devil!...sorry ,please please dont take any medical advice from me!
     
  18. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member

    I have an appointment with a Pulmonary Doctor next month, so I will probably have another sleep study done and try out a C-PAP machine. This doc is good and its hard to get in to see him. It was frustrating and took a while to get the one for my wife, her first study didn't work well so she had to take it over. I tried her machine for a few hours one morning, it wasn't too bad.
     
  19. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member


    This is suppose to be a family friendly site!
     
  20. I had the pleasure of sleeping on one of those high density memory foam beds last year in a hotel and I have to say that I actually woke up feeling good.
    They are expensive, but maybe the "toppers" are worth a try.
    The CPAP, ear plugs, eye shades, are great. Like being in a sensory deprivation tank.