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Too Young For Sleep Apnoea?
Hi all, new member here, sorry if I post this incorrectly and for anything else!

I'm a 20 year old female and I was diagnosed with sleep apnoea a few months ago (my number is 9). I've been using a CPAP machine ever since and I just can't get used to it. My friends and family are supportive but I find it awkward and embarrassing. The discomfort I feel using it is still as intense as the first night and I rarely make it through a full night without yanking it off. I'm healthy otherwise and have a BMI of 21, so I've been told that I must just have a small throat. My symptoms are quite severe tiredness and constant nightmares. I've never met anyone else with sleep apnoea here in Ireland. I've heard of an expensive gumshield-like device that can be used as an alternative, but could anyone give me any further advice or recommendations for alternative products? The thought of using the machine for the rest of my life when I'm so young depresses me.

Many thanks,

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(07-16-2015, 06:59 PM)colleenbrigid Wrote: I'm a 20 year old female and I was diagnosed with sleep apnoea a few months ago (my number is 9). I've been using a CPAP machine ever since and I just can't get used to it.

Well, how would you feel if while you slept someone put their hands around your throat and strangled you nine times every hour? Sleep apnea means that you are doing that to yourself. Do you really want to go back to strangling yourself for ten or fifteen seconds once every seven minutes? Or do you want to find some way to stop doing that to yourself?

Even very young children can have sleep apnea, though most people who get it are old. You drew the short straw and, untreated, you could lose twenty or thirty years of your life, and make what you do get a lot more painful. Pretending it isn't there won't work. You will die earlier than you need to after a good deal of painful bad health.

The good news is that you have a chance to avoid all that damage and live a long healthy life. But you have to decide that you need to stop strangling yourself.

It can be hard to adapt to the CPAP therapy, but it isn't impossible. For one thing you have to be proactive and make sure you get treatment that will work for you. Go back to your doctor or equipment supplier and insist on getting some help in making this therapy work for you. That is your right. If they won't help you, find someone who will! This is life or death here - in fact it's more than life or death because without good therapy you will go through many years of needless suffering.

Read this forum - every thread you can. Learn how other people have coped with their problems with PAP therapy.

Well, it's your life and you are free to ignore my advice of course. But you won't be free of the pain and suffering from making the wrong choice and giving up.

Life has given you a bad deal. It isn't going to go away by pretending it isn't there. You'll have to deal with that bad deal one way or another.

Ed Seedhouse

Part cow since February 2018.

Trust your mind less and your brain more.

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Welcome to the forum!

Stay the course, the PAP therapy does get easier in time. Sleep-well
Lex Cool
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There are a number of pediatric patients that have more severe sleep apnea. That's pretty tough for a young Irish girl, but I guess it's the cards you were dealt. As a young person, you need peer support as well as good advise, and it's great your friends and family are supportive. It's a shame you have to deal with this, but surgical solutions are painful and rarely fully successful in eliminating the need for CPAP, and jaw advancement mouthpieces are generally not a long-term solution and not much less invasive.

Your apnea problem is mild at this point, and it's good to have intervened early. The best suggestion I can make is to get a nasal interface that is comfortable, quiet and minimal. If available in Ireland, the Resmed Airfit P10 for her is the lightest, quietest I have experienced. It's still CPAP but comfort counts.
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Welcome Colleen, CPAP is the gold standard treatment for Sleep Apnea unfortunately it is difficult but worth it in the long run. Many of us have had this illness all our lives and it has taken it's toll on us. I just wished I had been diagnosed at you age or earlier. The last 5 years since I have been on CPAP have been the best in my life and I can no longer sleep without it. Please try and stick with it as sleep apnea only gets worse. CPAP is a treatment not a cure and as you know you will have it for life but it is much better than the alternative which are illness's like depression, stroke, heart attack etc or in some cases premature death. Good luck and please ask more questions so we can try and help you.
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Great advice from everyone who has responded to your post. Read everything and take it all to heart. Things will get better, how soon nobody here or anywhere can tell you. Everyone is different every-situation is different. Just keep the course.
For free Medicare assistance for your state check out this page. http://www.seniorsresourceguide.com/dire...onal/SHIP/
or here http://www.medicareinteractive.org/
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Hi colleen,,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I know CPAP can take some getting used to but I encourage you to stick with it.
You are very fortunate to have support from your family.
Hang in there for more responses to your post and don't give up, ask as many questions as you need to understand your therapy.
Much success to you.
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(07-16-2015, 06:59 PM)colleenbrigid Wrote: I've been using a CPAP machine ever since and I just can't get used to it. My friends and family are supportive but I find it awkward and embarrassing.

It is awkward and embarrassing to have to rely on a medical device to do something as basic as sleep. There are things you can do to help yourself get adjusted. Without help your condition will get worse and will eventually kill you. With help you will enjoy a much better quality of life.

Dental appliances are an alternative to CPAP therapy, but they are far less likely to work.
Apnea Board Moderator

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I was almost deaf at your age, so I get it. I was lucky to get my hearing back after an experimental surgery at (21) and the goal was to stop pain, not return my hearing. The hearing came back over the next 10 years.

So, it sucks, but it gets better over time. I know you don't think so now, but it does. I would find Type 1 diabetes far more intimidating, but kids and teenagers get through that too. Who knows? There may be a better solution down the road.
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Colleen in high school I was very active and just plain skinny. Back then they thought I had narcolepsy but when tested was negative. OSA was never considered back then (and the cpap machine hadn't even been invented!) as fit young people don't have OSA Dont-know Now after 40+ yrs of struggle I have finally figured out I had sleep apnea since my teen age years. Worse yet when I first learned 4 yrs ago I needed a pap machine I was too stubborn to accept gracefully I needed a machine and my health and mind have suffered terribly for my obstinance.

Please read Ed's comments as many times as it takes to sink in. I and the people who loved me have been though hell with this malady and I pray you decide to master pap therapy. I am much better in the last couple of months since I collapsed and was forced to accept pap therapy. I am still having problems finding a mask that will work for me but I will NOT go back to my miserable pre-cpap life!

I wish you well.
I use my PAP machine nightly and I feel great!
Updated: Philips Respironics System One (60 Series)
RemStar BiPAP Auto with Bi-FlexModel 760P -
Rise Time x3 Fixed Bi-Level EPAP 9.0 IPAP 11.5 (cmH2O)
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