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Asking for Help! [surgery vs. CPAP]
Asking for Help! [surgery vs. CPAP]
Hi all,

Apologies if this isn't the right place to ask this question, I have just come across this forum and hoped some of you may be able to help me.

I'm 24, I play sport/gym, and definitely not overweight. 

For the past 12-24 months I've had issues with my sleeping and breathing of a night - I'm a mild asthmatic and suffer from hay fever here and there, and I've always just put my sleeping issues down to that. But after a sleep assessment two months ago I was told I have mild-moderate obstructive sleep apnea.

In a search to find out why this has come about, I went to an ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT), who has informed me that my sleep apnea issues are due to nasal obstruction. He says I have enlarged/disfigured nasal turbinates and that I require surgery (septoplasty/turbinate reduction). Unfortunately the waiting list is potentially up to 12 months and he didn't really provide any information on how to manage/treat my sleeping issues in the meantime. 

I thought I would write in here to see if any of you had any suggestions on what I can do in the meantime for some relief? Apart from general remedies such as saline spray etc., is there anything else anyone recommends I try? My quality of sleep is bad - Im waking up multiple times in the night, and I'd love to get a full night's sleep for the first time in a while. 

Would a CPAP machine help in this circumstance? I would ideally like to avoid this option as much as possible but will consider it if it is likely to be effective and I have no other alternatives.

Please, any information and assistance would be greatly appreciated! I worry if i go on like this for too long I'm going to develop further health issues. 

Thank you for reading,
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RE: Asking for Help!
Ben - When you had your sleep assessment two months ago, why did the sleep center not recommend a PAP machine?

I'm a bit skeptical, going to a surgeon who recommends surgery as they answer.

There are apnea patients who have nasal issues (deviated septum, turbinates, etc) and use a Full Face Mast because they breathe through their mouth because of the nasal obstruction. Something to consider.

A bona-fide expert (there are several on this board) will come along soon and give you a better answer.
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RE: Asking for Help!
IMHO you should likely try a CPAP, ok, an APAP as that is the gold standard for treatment.
Surgery frequently results in immediate worse sleep and improves as you recover. Also a doctor generally tends to refer solutions that fit their specialty. Thus surgeons tend to suggest surgery. Also even if surgery produces a 'fix' it may be partial or may recur in a few years.

Please post a full (redacted) copy of your "sleep assessment".
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RE: Asking for Help!
The use of a nasal pillows mask can inflate the nasal airway and eliminate obstruction. Many people that are 'mouth breathers' find they can breathe freely through the nose when nasal pillows are used.
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RE: Asking for Help!
Thanks for getting back to me. 

Apologies - I probably didn't clarify that. My report did recommend a CPAP machine if issues persisted (I have posted my redacted report below to another member if you are interested in checking it out)

Yeah I've had a couple of people suggest surgery may not be absolutely necessary. I'm definitely going to pursue other less-serious means of treatment for the time being, and we'll see if I have any luck with that. 

Thanks for your help.
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RE: Asking for Help!

Thanks for getting back to me, 

Here's a redacted copy of my sleep report. Let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions.

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RE: Asking for Help!
I see all, ok most of your events are occuring in a series of clusters. This indicates that the likely source is positional, typically with you tucking your chin. Are you aware of doing this? The simple fix maybe simply adjusting your pillows. Using 1 vs 2 pillows, flatter or less firm pillows to straighten your neck while sleeping. Many use a soft cervical collar. In your case, because you do not have an APAP yet we cannot see what works. That would require another sleep test or acquiring an APAP.
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RE: Asking for Help!
Interesting - I had no idea I was doing this, but since you mention it I find that when I wake during the night, I tend to be hunched over with my head down, in a collapsed sort of position. I also sleep with two pillows, one of which is a very firm pillow. I'll try your advice Gideon, thanks so much for your help.
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RE: Asking for Help!
To OP - Cervical collars are easy to obtain over the counter and MUCH cheaper than a CPAP machine or surgery. Gideon has a link in his signature that will explain all about collars. There are different heights so be sure you get the right size.
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RE: Asking for Help! [surgery vs. CPAP]
I am surprised he would let you go straight to surgery. Normally they make you try the CPAP first. I have wasted lots of time and money on pointless appointments to confirm that I have sleep apnea (I knew that from my snoring) and to get a machine that I knew I could not use. Very frustrating.
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