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Alternatives to CPAP Therapy
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welshmike Offline

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Post: #1
Alternatives to CPAP Therapy
[Moderator Note: This post originally appeared in the Success Stories thread. I've moved it here because it's a discussion about sleeping positions and alternatives to CPAP therapy]


(12-15-2013 05:38 AM)zonk Wrote:  FYI, the title of this sticky " Your Personal CPAP Success Story - Post Here"
For any CPAP related matters, if you don,t mind posting in a separate topic below the stickies ... please
Thanks for understanding
It is a long time since I last posted here and sorry zonk for my earlier inappropriate use of this sticky thread.

My success story continues ... without using my APAP machine.
I have not been using it since late February and instead have been wearing my backpack stuffed with rolled up towels to keep me sleeping on my (RH) side.
I've been told that I no longer have sleep apnoea, do not snore in my sleep and more importantly my atrial fibrillation episodes that used to occur on average every 9 days have completely stopped.
I am wondering if there is a better alternative to the advice given by sleep apnoea professionals to use CPAP/APAP devices and would like to find out if sleeping on ones side is a better alternative for some or many sufferers.
So I'm going to create an online poll to gather input from apnoea sufferers about their sleeping positions, use of CPAP/APAP devices and success or not of the treatment. The data will be gathered anonymously so no one will be identified.
Please let me know what questions you would like to appear in the poll.

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Cousins
07-20-2014 03:04 AM
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Sleepster Offline
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Post: #2
RE: [split] Alternatives to CPAP Therapy
(07-20-2014 03:04 AM)welshmike Wrote:  My success story continues ... without using my APAP machine.
I have not been using it since late February and instead have been wearing my backpack stuffed with rolled up towels to keep me sleeping on my (RH) side.
I've been told that I no longer have sleep apnoea, do not snore in my sleep and more importantly my atrial fibrillation episodes that used to occur on average every 9 days have completely stopped.

Do your sleep study results indicate that you had apnea only when sleeping on your back? If not, I would consider that more reliable than what somebody told you. Also, you could set your machine in CPAP mode at the lowest possible pressure ( 4.0 cm H2O) and then look at your AHI.

Quote:So I'm going to create an online poll to gather input from apnoea sufferers about their sleeping positions, use of CPAP/APAP devices and success or not of the treatment. The data will be gathered anonymously so no one will be identified.

I never notice myself sleeping on my back. I don't know any way to be sure, though, without being watched.

The back pack is a good idea.

One alternative to CPAP therapy is a dental appliance. And there's a new one out that makes use of an implant to stimulate the muscles around the airway. There's playing that didgeridoo thing. There are several different types of surgery.

Statistically none of the alternatives have anywhere near the effectiveness of CPAP therapy. For the vast majority of people they are alternatives when CPAP therapy is not tolerated.

Quote:Please let me know what questions you would like to appear in the poll.

That depends on what you want to achieve by asking the questions.

Sleepster
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
07-20-2014 03:03 PM
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archangle Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Alternatives to CPAP Therapy
Even if side sleeping "cures" you now, apnea usually worsens over time and you may start having apnea when sleeping on your side.

If you give up CPAP for side sleeping, keep an eye out for the return of sleep apnea later.

Also be careful that you're really cured of apena by side sleeping, and not just fooling yourself or making it a little better, but not good enough. Plenty of severe apneacs deny that they have any apnea at all, so there's no really sure thing test other than an actual sleep study.

Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
07-20-2014 04:12 PM
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zonk Offline

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Post: #4
RE: Alternatives to CPAP Therapy
(07-20-2014 03:04 AM)welshmike Wrote:  My success story continues ... without using my APAP machine.
I have not been using it since late February and instead have been wearing my backpack stuffed with rolled up towels to keep me sleeping on my (RH) side.
Only if your apnea was mild to begins with and only when you sleep on your back (positional apnea)
In more severe cases, the airways collapse no matter what position you sleep

If you ever have to go to hospital for some surgery, make sure to tell the doctors and the anesthetist about your sleep apnea history
(This post was last modified: 07-20-2014 05:48 PM by zonk.)
07-20-2014 05:38 PM
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becker44a Offline

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Post: #5
RE: Alternatives to CPAP Therapy
(07-20-2014 03:04 AM)welshmike Wrote:  It is a long time since I last posted here and sorry zonk for my earlier inappropriate use of this sticky thread.

My success story continues ... without using my APAP machine.
I have not been using it since late February and instead have been wearing my backpack stuffed with rolled up towels to keep me sleeping on my (RH) side.
I've been told that I no longer have sleep apnoea, do not snore in my sleep and more importantly my atrial fibrillation episodes that used to occur on average every 9 days have completely stopped.

Have you had a new sleep study that indicated you no longer have sleep apnea?

How do you know you don't snore? If this is what you have been told by a bed partner, remember that they are asleep for a good part of the time that you are.

Re the Afib, are you wearing a cardiac monitor? Is there any actual evidence for this conclusion?

(07-20-2014 03:04 AM)welshmike Wrote:  I am wondering if there is a better alternative to the advice given by sleep apnoea professionals to use CPAP/APAP devices and would like to find out if sleeping on ones side is a better alternative for some or many sufferers.

The CPAP/APAP devices provide the most effective therapy for those who can and actually do use them.

I also use a backpack to avoid sleeping on my back, as my Sleep study showed that supine position is 20 times worse than side position for me. Even with the backpack, every so often, I have a bad night, or part of a night where I have some events, usually in a cluster. I only know this because I use my S9 Autoset EVERY NIGHT. I also download and review my data daily. Eventually, I'll probably reduce the frequency of downloads, but for now, the S9 is documenting what happens while I am asleep.

Unless you have other instrumentation to record what is occurring in your sleep, you are just guessing.

Recommendation: use your S9 Autoset, even on minimal pressure, to document what is going on while you are asleep. It is not as accurate as a full sleep study, but it is a lot better than nothing. If you have difficulty tolerating CPAP therapy, use it periodically as a spot-check. That should indicate whether you are on the right track or not.

Good Luck on your journey. . .

A.Becker
PAPing in NE Ohio, with a pack of Cairn terriers
07-20-2014 07:08 PM
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welshmike Offline

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Location: Hampshire, UK

Post: #6
RE: [split] Alternatives to CPAP Therapy
(07-20-2014 03:03 PM)Sleepster Wrote:  Do your sleep study results indicate that you had apnea only when sleeping on your back? If not, I would consider that more reliable than what somebody told you. Also, you could set your machine in CPAP mode at the lowest possible pressure ( 4.0 cm H2O) and then look at your AHI.

I never notice myself sleeping on my back. I don't know any way to be sure, though, without being watched.

The back pack is a good idea.

One alternative to CPAP therapy is a dental appliance. And there's a new one out that makes use of an implant to stimulate the muscles around the airway. There's playing that didgeridoo thing. There are several different types of surgery.

Statistically none of the alternatives have anywhere near the effectiveness of CPAP therapy. For the vast majority of people they are alternatives when CPAP therapy is not tolerated.

I took a video of myself over night last year before it was confirmed that I has sleep apnoea and was horrified that I could see and hear that I was stopping breathing many times and then starting breathing again with a load snort.
So I went and saw my GP and now have an APAP device to use.
I believe that the reasons I have had sleep apnoea are:
1. I have a severe overbite
2. I have broken my nose several times playing Rugby causing a deflected septum and have had two septoplasty operations.
3. I am a mouth breather and snored while asleep.
4. My natural sleeping position has been on my back.
I have recently taken a video of myself overnight while wearing my backpack, not using the APAP device and sleeping on my side.
The recording showed that I breathed normally and there were no snoring or snorting sounds.

I believe that the only cause for my sleep apnoea is the collapse of the soft tissues in my throat that occur only while I am sleeping on my back.

A bonus of being free from sleep apnoea is that my regular episodes of atrial fibrillation have stopped.

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Cousins
07-21-2014 03:11 AM
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welshmike Offline

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Post: #7
RE: Alternatives to CPAP Therapy
(07-20-2014 07:08 PM)becker44a Wrote:  Have you had a new sleep study that indicated you no longer have sleep apnea?

How do you know you don't snore? If this is what you have been told by a bed partner, remember that they are asleep for a good part of the time that you are.

Re the Afib, are you wearing a cardiac monitor? Is there any actual evidence for this conclusion?

The CPAP/APAP devices provide the most effective therapy for those who can and actually do use them.

I also use a backpack to avoid sleeping on my back, as my Sleep study showed that supine position is 20 times worse than side position for me. Even with the backpack, every so often, I have a bad night, or part of a night where I have some events, usually in a cluster. I only know this because I use my S9 Autoset EVERY NIGHT. I also download and review my data daily. Eventually, I'll probably reduce the frequency of downloads, but for now, the S9 is documenting what happens while I am asleep.

Unless you have other instrumentation to record what is occurring in your sleep, you are just guessing.

Recommendation: use your S9 Autoset, even on minimal pressure, to document what is going on while you are asleep. It is not as accurate as a full sleep study, but it is a lot better than nothing. If you have difficulty tolerating CPAP therapy, use it periodically as a spot-check. That should indicate whether you are on the right track or not.

Good Luck on your journey. . .
I have recently taken a video of myself overnight while wearing my backpack, not using the APAP device and sleeping on my side.
The recording showed that I breathed normally and there were no snoring or snorting sounds.

It was very obvious to me when my heart went into atrial fibrillation, AF, usually around 5am and I get woken up in a sweat. The AF had continued for between 36 and 48 hours when I could feel my irregular pulse and felt sick and weak before sinus rhythm returns.

I first used my APAP in December last year. For the first two nights I slept on my back and the ResScan software showed that I was having severe sleep apnoea in that position. Thanks to advice from this forum I then slept on my side using a backpack to keep me there. The ResScan software showed a significant decrease in apnoeas and no obstructive ones.
Within 30 days my apnoeas were deemed controlled by my consultant.

Indeed I cannot tolerate CPAP therapy but will do a spot check this week using my APAP and put up with my Resmed Quattro air full face mask.

Thanks for the good wishes.

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Cousins
07-21-2014 03:38 AM
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welshmike Offline

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Post: #8
RE: Alternatives to CPAP Therapy
(07-20-2014 05:38 PM)zonk Wrote:  Only if your apnea was mild to begins with and only when you sleep on your back (positional apnea)
In more severe cases, the airways collapse no matter what position you sleep

If you ever have to go to hospital for some surgery, make sure to tell the doctors and the anesthetist about your sleep apnea history

I'm confident that my apnoea has been positional.

Thanks for the advice about informing hospital doctors. My dentist already knows about my history of postional apnoea and also my atrial fibrillation.

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Cousins
07-21-2014 03:42 AM
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welshmike Offline

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Post: #9
RE: Alternatives to CPAP Therapy
(07-20-2014 04:12 PM)archangle Wrote:  Even if side sleeping "cures" you now, apnea usually worsens over time and you may start having apnea when sleeping on your side.

If you give up CPAP for side sleeping, keep an eye out for the return of sleep apnea later.

Also be careful that you're really cured of apena by side sleeping, and not just fooling yourself or making it a little better, but not good enough. Plenty of severe apneacs deny that they have any apnea at all, so there's no really sure thing test other than an actual sleep study.

Thanks for your post. Please see my post #6

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Cousins
(This post was last modified: 07-21-2014 03:50 AM by welshmike.)
07-21-2014 03:47 AM
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