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What are the alternatives to CPAP?
#11
Guys, I am not debating about the alternatives being death if I don't use CPAP. That was not even my question. My question was what are the alternatives or will there EVER be alternatives in the future that will replace CPAP as medical science continues to advance rapidly?

Hope I am a bit more clear as I think some of you are thinking that I was asking what happens if I dont use my CPAP. I know I will die if I dont use my CPAP but as I said, that wasnt my question.

Or maybe I should have ask, what are the options apart from CPAP that does not include death?

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#12
(02-24-2014, 12:12 PM)PaulaO2 Wrote: Yes, it is a pain in the ass. Yes, it is annoying, ugly, noisy, disruptive, and the concept of using it for the rest of your life is depressing as hell.

But the best alternative to CPAP? Death. Slow death from a myriad of illnesses and conditions ranging from various organ failure to heart issues. No, it isn't a scare tactic. It's a fact. Google that, too.

My AHI when I was first diagnosed was 68. That means that at least every minute I was going through this. Sometimes twice a minute. All night. I don't see the CPAP as being a problem. I see it as being a life saver. Yeah, it's a pain to travel with. And yes, the mask can mess up my hair and leave marks on my face that often last all day. Who cares?! I'm awake and alive.

I wasn't even thinking about any of these while I wrote my post up nor was I being negative about CPAP. I couldnt care less about my hair getting mess up and so forth. But my questions wasnt about the pros and cons about CPAP, it wasnt even about CPAP.

I was merely asking if there were alternatives, I wasnt bagging out the CPAP.





(02-24-2014, 01:48 PM)herbm Wrote: Yes, I didn't mention those other alternatives: DEATH or BAD HEALTH then DEATH.

I wasn't talking about the alternatives of not using CPAP leading to death. I was talking about what other devices/surgeries that can help cure the problem.
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#13
(02-24-2014, 12:22 PM)trish6hundred Wrote: Hi boar,
The first thing I would suggest is to try a different mask. Sometimes it takes many different ones 'til you find what works for you. Just keep trying, don't give up.
There are dental appliances and there are several surgeries which are pretty painful from what I have read.
In both cases, (surgery and dental appliance,)most of the time, people have to wind up using CPAP to treat their sleep apnea.
Edit: There is another alternative called provent, but that, if memmory serves, is for mild sleep apnea. End Edit.

Then, there are a couple other newer alternatives, such as some sort of implant, and something called the Winx, but they are pretty new and I don't think enough is known about those newer alternatives yet.
Hope this helps and make sense, hang in there for more suggestions and information, best of luck to you.

Thanks Trish, this is what I was talking about in regard to alternatives but from my research through google, seems like none of them are effective.


(02-24-2014, 05:12 PM)jgjones1972 Wrote: No reason to give up hope...some day there will likely be some kind of surgery, implant or less intrusive device that works as well as CPAP. That day hasn't come yet though and for the vast majority of us the procedures that exist now are quite a lot of pain for very little (if any) gain.

My Doc told me that he couldn't recommend any of the current surgical procedures to treat OSA and that was good enough for me to put the thoughts of a quick, easy fix out of my head and focus on adjusting to CPAP, for now...but I haven't given up hope for the future. After all, he did say "current".

Thats what I was thinking as well.
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#14
(02-24-2014, 07:23 PM)mjbearit Wrote: Okay, sorry to pick on you Boar, that was more for everybody and I just put it on your thread!
Good luck with your therapy, and if you have questions or need help, Please speak up! I promise, despite my rant here, no one will yell at you!
Mike

No need to be sorry, Mike. You are entitle to your opinion and i have no problem with it but as I said, I probably should have rephrase my rant a bit better.

People can yell if they wish to. I cant control what people say or do.

I will continue to use my CPAP as required but at the same time, I was just curious about the potential if there are any alternatives or anything in the making.

As I said, I am not bagging out CPAP. I just want to know if anything else exist that is effective as a CPAP.



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#15
(02-25-2014, 06:02 AM)boar Wrote: Guys, I am not debating about the alternatives being death if I don't use CPAP. That was not even my question. My question was what are the alternatives or will there EVER be alternatives in the future that will replace CPAP as medical science continues to advance rapidly?

Hope I am a bit more clear as I think some of you are thinking that I was asking what happens if I dont use my CPAP. I know I will die if I dont use my CPAP but as I said, that wasnt my question.

Or maybe I should have ask, what are the options apart from CPAP that does not include death?

read post #4 where I listed some treatments I had read about (I did not list every surgery that is available or every dental appliance that is available). Then, you can google American Sleep Apnea Association and/or you can google "treating sleep apnea alternatives to cpap therapy
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#16
Boar, just get tough and DO IT. I'm on month 7 and I have to say at my lowest point I was pretty disgusted and discouraged. BUT I also love life and want to do lots more things and being strong and healthy is necessary. I'm not ready to turn into an old sick man.

My beginning on Cpap was not an easy one. I had most of the typical problems as everyone else. I hate to say cpap has become boring to me, but in the last few weeks I am hardly aware of it. It's part of my routine. To me it's a little like learning to wearing contact lenses. It feels like sh@t at first, but after a while you are hardly aware that you have them on.

I even have periods when I don't check my data for several days and I used to be obsessed with it. I'm sure that's a function of experience. Now my AHI is always less than 1.0. I think you have not given it enough time and/or patience.
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#17
I had a cousin tell me her brother-in-law couldn't use CPAP because he was a mouth breather so he was having surgery the next day. I had heard he 'would not' use his CPAP not long after I had been diagnosed. Awareness is so important!

Besides telling my cousin that just wasn't true and people who breath through their mouths use CPAP all the time, I mentioned it to my sleep doc in passing. He cringed and told me the surgeries offered do not have a good percentage of success. I had already read that here. I wish I had had time to contact my (other cousin's) husband before he had surgery. I have my doubts that he gave CPAP much of a chance and he probably didn't know tricks of the trade to make it work. Wish I could have talked with him before he had surgery. This forum has been invaluable in the success stories, advice, tips, encouragement, camaraderie.

I did not want to get checked for sleep apnea. I knew it would mean a machine and had heard colleagues who had been diagnosed several years ago. They made it sound like the end of the world so I had a negative outlook on it. I tried a lot of other over the counter options and an expensive oral device (that I hated). None of them worked for me. Since beginning therapy and having read a lot about it, CPAP is the best and most successful option at this time for treating Sleep Apnea.
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#18
(02-25-2014, 06:27 AM)boar Wrote: I will continue to use my CPAP as required but at the same time, I was just curious about the potential if there are any alternatives or anything in the making.

As I said, I am not bagging out CPAP. I just want to know if anything else exist that is effective as a CPAP.

There are alternatives. However, any of the dental mouthpieces have to be made for you (I believe I heard about one that was similar to a sports mouthpiece that you used boiling water), the majority of these are not cheap, and with a lot of insurances you are on the hook for this, especially if you already had the primary therapy (CPAP) paid for by them. I have heard very few people say that these really worked for them and of those who say they did, no one has told me that they had another sleep study done to see if the dental appliance actually did make a difference! There are also surgeries. Keep in mind that surgeries are permanent, and from what I understand, quite painful, with a moderate to slim chance of success. This is also a pricey alternative. I even read on person swearing that they could teach you how to tone the muscles in your soft palate area to stop this from happening. Of course this person wanted a lot of money and offered nothing in the way of success. It is out there, you just need to use Google and do your research. I wish you luck, but whatever path you decide to try, don't forego treatment, and whatever treatment you try, be sure it is actually working and not just placating you. There are a lot of snake oil salesmen out there!
As always, YMMV! You do not have to agree or disagree, I am not a professional so my mental meanderings are simply recollections of things from my own life.

PRS1 - Auto - A-Flex x2 - 12.50 - 20 - Humid x2 - Swift FX
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#19
My sleep doc said that the dental appliance usually only worked for mild cases of OSA.

He also said (before my sleep study) that he would write that prescription if my OSA was mild and we wanted to try that. (Insurance would then pay but this varies by company and policy.)

Sweet Dreams,

HerbM
Sleep study AHI: 49 RDI: 60 -- APAP 10-11 w/AHI: 1.5 avg for 7-days (up due likely to hip replacement recovery)

"We can all breathe together or we will all suffocate alone."
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#20
Provent is still around (kind of). The product is now being sold under a new name (with only slight modifications) over the counter as a "stop snoring" aid - an utter failure as a treatment for OSA as far as I can tell and I'm guessing it is every bit as (in)effective at stopping snoring.

Something that isn't mentioned very often is the Pillar Procedure:

Definition
By Mayo Clinic Staff

The pillar procedure is minor surgery intended to relieve habitual snoring and treat mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially serious disorder in which breathing is interrupted repeatedly during sleep. Both snoring and obstructive sleep apnea may result from a relaxation of muscles at the back of your throat.

The pillar procedure involves surgically placing small polyester rods in the soft palate. Each implant measures 18 millimeters (mm) in length — slightly less than an inch — and 1.5 mm in diameter. The subsequent healing of tissue around the implants stiffens the soft palate, thereby reducing relaxation and vibration of the tissue. The pillar procedure is usually done in your doctor's office with local anesthesia.



I don't know anyone who has tried it and I haven't checked into it for myself because my OSA is severe, but I'm thinking that something along these lines might prove effective in the future.



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