FAQ - Apnea
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How well does a tonsillectomy cure sleep apnea?

I have sleep apnea and have a tonsillectomy scheduled for later this year. How well does this fix sleep apnea?

Tonsillectomies alone do not 'cure' sleep apnea. Surgical remedies for sleep apnea usually are for those patients that do not respond well to other treatments, usually surgery is a last resort.

The correct term for the surgery is called a Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, it removes parts or all of the uvula, soft palate, tonsils, adenoids, and pharynx. Its success rate is about 50%. Basically its a coin flip.

The tonsillectomy could work, only if its enlarged. Same goes with the other parts that I listed above. The enlarged tissue(s) tend to obstruct your airway when you sleep, especially when you lie on your back.

I would recommend getting a second opinion and see if your doctor would recommend a sleep study performed on you. Also check with your insurance if it is covered.

Usually, sleep apnea can be resolved with diet and treatment using a CPAP machine (Continous Positive Airway Pressure). It can significantly improve your sleep.

Good luck and have a good night's sleep!  (+ info)

How do you turn the pressure down on a Sleep Apnea Machine?

I have Sleep Apnea and need to adjust the air pressure on the machine. I have lost my insurance and can not afford to have it professionally adjusted. If you know how please answer this question. Thanks!

There are 275,000 different kinds of machines... Ok, not really. But there are so many different kinds, you should include the make of machine. However, a lot of 'home machines' are locked in to a specific setting by the company and cannot be adjusted - without knowing how to unlock it.

And, why do you think the air pressure needs to be adjusted? Without a formal sleep study, it's almost impossible to know what pressure you need.  (+ info)

How can you get a sleep apnea test done without any insurance?

My fiance has sleep apnea and needs a sleep test done so that he can get the machine to help make it better. He has no insurance as he is out of work. We have been trying to find free sleep tests in Ohio but have had no luck.

alot of medical research companies have free testing for certain types of illnesses. Go to the NIH website. That is National Institue of Health. Or contact a medical school or a University hospital associated with one.  (+ info)

What do you know about sleep apnea surgeries?

I hate the mask (as many people do). I have severe obstructive sleep apnea. I am considering surgical options but I've been told the only one that may work for me is the mandibular advancement (when they break your jaw and move it forward). Has anyone had this before? What were your experiences? Did it work? Do you know of any other surgery that may help? Oral appliances?

I had a mandibular advancement back in the day when they still wired your mouth shut for 6 weeks. (Many surgeons now opt for a screw and plate closure along with tight rubber bands that allow more mouth movement and a little more eating options!)

I did have about a year of orthodontics before I could have it done, incidentally, so it was not a quick fix by any means.

The surgery itself sounded far worse than it actually was. The most pain I had was like a dull headache in my jaw area. Pain management was not a problem at all. I did miss eating what I wanted and lost significant weight. (What I would do to have that happen now!!!) I missed yawning the most, though!

It did fix my sleep apnea completely. I have never even snored since. It was well worth it for me.

My 5 year old had tonsils and adenoids removed for the same reason (sleep apnea) with good results as well. I had previously had that surgery, and it was much more painful than the mandibular advancement.

I hope this helps! Best of luck to you!  (+ info)

What are some books I can read to research the mental issues caused after a person has sleep apnea?

I am doing an assignment on the mental conditions caused after a person is diagnosed with sleep apnea. This means what type of issues they mentally encounter as a result of sleep apnea (such as depression, changes the must do in their environment etc.) And I would like some literature to read and information that Sleep Apnea causes that most would not be aware to know about.

there are tons of sites dedicated to sleep ( after all you spend like 1/3 of your life doing it.)

jsut google " sleep book"
or "sleeping disorder"

you will have more than you can read .  (+ info)

How long does it take to recover from throat surgery for sleep apnea?

I recently had throat surgery for sleep apnea. My throat is exptremely sore, especially when I swollow. How long will this last?

I had a client who had the same surgery you describe and it took her about 6 weeks to finally feel normal. Take care of yourself and get as much rest as you possibly can - this will help your body heal. You'll probably feel some residual from the surgery (depending on how sensitive you were to the anesthesia they gave you) for about another month or two.  (+ info)

What is the best solution for sleep apnea?

I have sleep apnea but Im sure i do not want to use a c-pap or an a-pap machine. Just looking for the next best solution.

Someone else already said it, but it should be repeated. Get the CPAP.

I never thought I would be able to sleep with one. For about a year I told myself that it would not help me sleep, that it would make it more difficult for my wife to sleep, that it would be uncomfortable...

The very first night I used CPAP it felt a little akward, but by the end of the first week ALL of my symptoms had disappeared. It has been three years now and I have no more headaches, no more muscle cramps, no more waking up several times a night with horrible heartburn or horrible sweating. My blood pressure and cholesterol have returned to normal. In one week I went from a 25 year old in danger of having a heart attack to a well rested guy who can just enjoy life again. I cannot even begin to explain how much better you will feel.

Get the CPAP and try it for a week. Just 7 days. If you can't do it, talk to your doctor. There is a surgical procedure that can reduce apnea, however less then 30% of the people who have it see any significant change and most people must have the surgury repeated throughout their lives to stay symptom free.

Most importantly, do not ignore this condition. If you do you will continue to gain weight, the headaches will get worse. Your blood pressure will continue to skyrocket. You will develop holes in your stomach and esophogus from the acid. You will have a potentially fatal heart attack. Left untreated and supervised by a doctor this condition will kill you.

Get the CPAP.  (+ info)

Is sleep apnea a condition your born with or can u develop it?

I used to sleep through the night without waking up most of the time. Now I wake up maybe 3 or 4 times a night. I never get restful sleep. I also experience a lot of sleep paralysis. Could this be linked to sleep apnea?

What Is Sleep Apnea? Are you feeling sleepy all the time? Do you snore? Is your doctor having a difficult time treating your high blood pressure? If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, then you might have Sleep Apnea (also called Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA).

Sleep Apnea is a condition involving pauses or decreases in breathing during sleep. It is usually due to airway collapse. This collapse occurs in the nose and/or the throat - anywhere from where air enters the nostrils to the back of the tongue. Imagine a straw collapsing when trying to suck on a thick milkshake. Frequently, this airway collapsibility problem is inherited and starts in childhood. In the daytime, it is not a problem because there is good muscle-tone in the airway and the brain monitors breathing. But at night, the throat muscles become relaxed and the brain is not as attentive to the airway. So on inhalation, the airway walls can either completely collapse or significantly narrow. This is a problem because 1) the body must struggle to breathe and 2) the brain has to 'wake up' to reopen the airway.

These frequent awakenings lead to fragmentation of nighttime sleep. You may not remember them because they are so short. In fact, patients with sleep apnea can wake-up more than 30 times an hour and think that they slept uninterrupted through the night. Since sleep must be continuous and consolidated in order to be restorative, a number of cognitive problems can occur with sleep fragmentation: daytime sleepiness, memory problems, concentration difficulties, emotional instability, irritability, slowed reaction time, and most importantly, an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents.

There are also cardiovascular consequences of this constant 'struggling to breathe.' This puts a strain on the heart and blood vessels, leading to increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

Finally, there are social implications to Sleep Apnea. The snoring associated with sleep apnea can disrupt the sleep of others. In fact, one study showed that when a person treats his/her sleep apnea, the sleep partner gets the equivalent of one hour more sleep per night.

Sleep apnea is a progressive disease and often gets worse with age. Weight gain, alcohol, and other sedating/relaxing substances exacerbate it.

Who Gets Sleep Apnea?

A common misconception is that only overweight men that snore loudly have sleep apnea, but the facts are:

1) Sleep apnea can occur without snoring
2) Thin people can have sleep apnea
3) Women can have sleep apnea
4) Children can have sleep apnea

In other words, anyone can have it. Even skinny women. Even children.

I Think I Might Have Sleep Apnea, How Do I Find Out If I Have It?

Make an appointment with your primary care physician, or if your insurance allows it, go straight to a sleep specialist. If your physician thinks you might have sleep apnea, then he/she can refer you for a sleep study or comprehensive sleep evaluation.

How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?

There are four main categories of treatment for sleep apnea: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), Surgery, Oral Appliances, and Behavioral Modification.

The most effective way to treat sleep apnea is with CPAP. CPAP is a mask worn over the nose attached by a hose to an air compressor. The air compressor gently and quietly blows room-air into the nose, which 'stents' the airway open, preventing airway collapse. This is the most effective way to treat sleep apnea, and all patients diagnosed with sleep apnea should at least try it before considering other options.

Surgery can be an effective way to treat sleep apnea. A number of different procedures can be performed. These range from nasal septum repair to jaw reconstruction. Talk to your doctor about whether surgery is the right option for you.

An oral appliance is a device made by a dentist or an orthodontist designed to pull your lower jaw forward. By pulling your lower jaw forward, the tongue is pulled away from the back of the throat. If your airway obstruction is occurring behind the tongue, then this can be an effective way to treat your sleep apnea. The treatment of sleep apnea with oral appliance should be a coordinated effort between the sleep physician, the dentist/orthodontist, and the patient.

Behavioral modifications can help in the treatment of sleep apnea, but are usually the least effective. These include such techniques as weight loss, sleeping on your side, and avoiding alcohol before bedtime.

None of these treatment options is ideal, but they all can be useful in treating sleep apnea and resulting in more restful sleep. With risks like heart attack and stroke, you should do everything you can to get your sleep apnea under control. If you think you have sleep apnea, contact your doctor or go to a sleep center. It could be the best decision you ever made.
By: Scott Fromherz
Ar  (+ info)

Is there any other way to treat sleep apnea than using the mask?

I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea recently and have started using the C-Pap machine at night, but i find that i wake up in the middle of the night and take it off because i can't seem to use it right when i roll over . It's frustrating. I just want to sleep thru the night. Any suggestions?

oral appliances like retaner looking things and stuff, surgeries and such but the cpap is most effective.

You may need a new mask. Did you get a fitted properly for the mask, there are a ton so just a pick of small medium large doesn't cover it sometimes, as for the tubing and rolling over My respratory therapist puts a hook above her bed for the tube.  (+ info)

What other problems could be mistaken for sleep apnea?

I have many symptoms of sleep apnea but my sleep study shows that it is not an issue. I am tired all the time, no energy or motivation. Depression and anxiety are a major problem. I wake up many times a night feeling like I cannot catch my breath, like my chest is very heavy and not getting enough air/oxygen. What other conditions could cause these symptoms?

Did they check your limb movements while you were in for the sleep study? Periodic Limb Movement Syndrome & Restless Leg Movement Syndrome can both create excessive daytime sleepiness, as can Idiopathic Hypersomnia.

Depression and thyroid problems should also be ruled out. Sleep issues can affect mood and depression issues can affect sleep. It's often difficult to tease the two apart.

Because of the breathing problem, allergies and asthma should also be looked at as the potential cause.  (+ info)

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