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Has anyone had success with ONLY a soft cervical collar?
#1
Has anyone had success with ONLY a soft cervical collar?
Out of curiosity, my question is as the title states.

Someone on here suggested that I try it for my possibly mild apnea, so I ordered a few based on reviews from members here.

Last night I slept most of the night with a towel under my chin lifting it up. I think based on the numbers that when it stayed there, then it did help me. Not sure though.

Hence my question.

If there is any thread link that you can direct me to, that would be great.
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#2
RE: Has anyone had success with ONLY a soft cervical collar?
The problem with trying non-CPAP alternatives is there is no solid method to determine if it is working. You could use an oximeter but that alone is not enough, not really. You'd have to do five or more night s without a collar to get a baseline. Then go five or more nights with the collar to have data to compare. How you feel each night also counts, but there's just too many variables that go into how you "feel" after sleeping for it to be considered a true data point.

IF you know you snore with your mouth open
IF you know you sleep with your chin tucked
the PERHAPS it would work
PaulaO

Take a deep breath and count to zen.




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#3
RE: Has anyone had success with ONLY a soft cervical collar?
going by the info in your avatar, it appears (to me) you haven't been diagnosed with OSA. You just think you may have "mild" SA.

if that's the case, then there isn't a baseline to check against, especially since most folks in here get their data from oscar.

if you are predominantly a back sleeper, then chin tucking could be causing your snoring. in that case, a cervical collar could certainly help.

would it completely eliminate it??? that would be for you to see. if you have been diagnosed with OSA, then trying something without a machine is a crap shoot, imho.

anecdotally, the cervical collar helps me. i start to sleep on my side, but inevitably end up on my back. it's just way more comfortable for me that way.

since adding the collar, my positional apneas have been diminished. some nights i don't even record any events at all. but i still use the machine. i was debating trying a night without the machine, but i'm sure my results wouldn't be nearly as good...or measurable at all.

the collar i use is the caldera releaf, btw.
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#4
RE: Has anyone had success with ONLY a soft cervical collar?
You could do a two night at-home sleep test. The first night without the collar, the second night with it.

I've tried a similar experiment using an Apple Watch. Given the watches limitations, objectively I do not see any significant data difference between nights with no CPAP and no collar compared to a night with no CPAP and wearing a collar. From a subjective "how do I feel" perspective, there is no real difference either. Qualitatively, I cannot say for certain that I experienced a better or worse nights sleep with either case. I do know that I snore without CPAP as it also shows on the Apple Watch noise chart.

It was something I was curious about as well so tried it using what tools I had available.
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#5
RE: Has anyone had success with ONLY a soft cervical collar?
I tried it on recommendation from the members here when I posted my sleep study with zero nREM events and big clusters of events in each REM segment. The first night I slept really well and thought I had found a non-PAP alternative. Three or four more and it became clear it was insufficient to meet my needs on its own.

They're not expensive, there's nobody stopping you from trying it on your own. As stated above, you are unlikely to get any hard evidence on whether or not it's working.
Look, I'm an engineer, not a doctor! Please don't take my opinion as a substitute for medical advice.
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#6
RE: Has anyone had success with ONLY a soft cervical collar?
so here's a good example of what effect the collar has on my sleep (with the machine on).

the initial stretch of time was recorded when i forgot to put the collar on before going to sleep. all the "activity" i believe are positional in nature. the second and third time sections are when i put the collar back on. 

i'm still not sure i'd want to try sleeping with just the collar and no machine, but i may give it a try some night.


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#7
RE: Has anyone had success with ONLY a soft cervical collar?
I would suggest, may be possible way test your theory? If trial wearing a Collar with machine, but simultaneously lower machine pressure? baby steps .5 pressure at time, while monitoring  for AHI Positive / Negative AHI, of variation?  Continue wearing Collar while also reducing pressure until stage begins some stage uncomfortable of low pressure yet AHI average has maintained to that previously required the higher pressures with machine and without collar?
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#8
RE: Has anyone had success with ONLY a soft cervical collar?
Yes, I did decide to test this theory myself.

Having asked the question, I have been trying to answer it myself. The answer for me is that aq collar makes a huge difference for me in the number of drops I have during the night.

My total 3% drops went from 35 to 45 down to 2 to 5 during the seven hour night.

First of all, I have not been diagnosed with sleep apnea yet. I see a doctor tomorrow and will ask his opinion. My wife a very experienced RN says I may have it but does not think they will prescribe a CPAP machine. (BTW she is a home care nurse who sees alot of patients with CPAP and is shocked at how many do NOT use their machine despite having lung and heart conditions.

Second, I have tried ten different pillows (as in the kind you lay your head on) while also using the Velpeau collar (see below). I found that a pillow does make a difference. The alleged cervical pillows that have a dip in the center for your head to rest in actually made my numbers worse even if I had a collar around my neck. They forced me to sleep on my back, and then my drops increased. After trying ten pillows, I went back to my "old" pillow which is a memory foam pillow with no dip for the head. I am still going to try a couple of different kinds.

Third, I have tried some different cervical collars, and so far the Velpeau collar has worked for me so I probably won't try any more.

Fourth, my measuring tool has been my Wellue ring. Compared to my finger pulse ox and my other EMay reader, it is as accurate as they are. I like that it gives me a rating which may or may not mean anything, but still it is a nice way to rank my nights. For instance, prior to any collar, my rating was in the lower and mid 8 range. Now I consistently rate a 9.8 or 9.9 out of ten every night.

Since I asked this question and started this thread, I have used three different cervical collars and a towel.  All of them were better for me than nothing around my neck or under my chin. One stood out as best for me.

I tried a towel. I tucked it under my chin in a ball and and slept on my side. This helped and was what led me to trying a cervical collar.

I tried the Caldera collar, but it was not as stiff under my chin. I found myself pushing down on it in my sleep, and this caused my O2 to drop more often.  Although the number of drops was much less than without a collar, it was not as good as I wanted.

I then tried another collar (can't remember the name), but it was not as good as the Caldera.

Now I have been using the Velpeau collar for the past week and a half. It is stiffer and has been a big help.

Again, my Wellue ring now has me down to two to five 3% drops during the whole night whereas before any collars, my totals drops were 35 to 45 3% drops for the night. Most nights I get zero to one 4% drops during the night.

Prior to the collars, my O2 would drop as low as 81% (albeit for a very short time) once or twice a night, and the alarm would wake me up. Now it rarely drops below 88 or 89 for any of the nights with a collar, and if it does then only for a few seconds and maybe once a night. 

My oxygen average has been staying at an average of 93%. Not sure if that can be increased. My daytime average (when I did a recording) was 96% .

My wife watched me sleep and recorded my snoring (without me knowing. No, I never woke up). She says I do softly snore (her words) and then stop. She tapped my ox ring when this happened and did see my O2 go up after the stop. She also said that I tuck my chin down when I sleep. This is what I thought and is why the cervical collar helps me. It forces me to keep my head straighter.

So, this is my answer thus far. I am hoping to find better answers such as a pillow that helps keep me on my side while I sleep.
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#9
RE: Has anyone had success with ONLY a soft cervical collar?
First, highly second the use of the Wellue O2 Ring as a good measure of success. I have 3-4 years worth of my nightly data and all of my experiments that have given me confidence in it. I have mild-moderate OSA. With CPAP, my Wellue Sleep Score is 9.8-10.0. When my nasal pillow strap is getting stretched loose, it starts to drop so I know to replace it. With no CPAP, my score is 7.5-8.5, with many O2 drops, and usually groggy and maybe a light headache in the morning.

I'm curious if you have any update on how the cervical collar is working on its own. I'm about to try one.

I'm always seeking a travel alternative to CPAP and/or a solution or cure! For the past 3 years or so, when I travel I use a SnoreRx MAD (mouthpiece) instead of lugging the CPAP machine. With that mouthpiece, my score is 9.0-9.5. I've worn it as long as 4 weeks straight with good results, although it's caused my jaw to be more flexible now, which sometimes leads to it hanging open a bit while sleeping and some mouth breathing when I'm using the CPAP. So, I'm always open to trying other solutions. 

Other things I've tried that haven't helped include nasal stents, Afrin, and a small buckwheat neck only pillow. Things I want to try include this cervical collar and mouth/tongue exercises using an app like SnoreGym.
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