I would kill a man for a good night's sleep, if I had the energy
April 23, 2014 5:25 PM Subscribe
I have sleep apnea. I'm looking for non-surgical treatments other than CPAP and BiPAP—I've tried both, and neither works for me.
posted by escape from the potato planet to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea a couple of years ago. I tried CPAP, which simply traded one cause of restless sleep (the apnea) for another (having a goddamn Darth Vader apparatus strapped on my face). Then I tried BiPAP, which didn't fare much better. Try as I might, I haven't been able to make myself wear the masks on anything approaching a regular basis.
What's more, they don't really seem to work when I do wear them—sometimes, I feel worse in the morning. I've tried several different sizes and styles of masks. I've played around with different settings for the pressure and (on the BiPAP machine) the breath rate. Nothing helps. I just can't stand breathing on the machine's terms and cadence, instead of my own.
I really need to get this shit under control, though—the effect on my quality of life, and the knock-on effects on my health, are intolerable.
So: I know there are new-ish options out there that aren't based on airway pressure. What I don't know, for any given option, is:
—where it falls on the continuum from "this is a bleeding-edge experimental therapy" to "this is a fully commercialized product";
—how widely available it is (i.e., can any old country doctor prescribe it, or is it only available in certain markets or to certain fancy hospitals?);
—whether it's typically covered by insurance (I have Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which seems to be pretty good).
FWIW, my ENT thinks that my obstruction is mainly caused by the soft tissue in the back of my throat, and I think he's right.
Basically, I'm trying to figure out what the most realistic option(s) are to pursue next. I asked my ENT about the new/emerging options, and while he wasn't dismissive, he also didn't seem very interested in discussing them. (I am considering finding a new ENT.)
You are not my doctor. I know that every case is different, and that what worked for you might not work for me.