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How many of you have issues with your tongue falling back?

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singingkeys +0 points · over 5 years ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

I had 4.7 AHI on my sleep study with 50 breathing events over 2.75 hours for the whole study. Unclassified events. No significant drops in SPO2 both in the study and in my own checks at home with my SPO2 monitor at home. All night showed that my levels only drop down to low to mid 90's on average and seem to stay consistent around 94/95. If I do stop breathing completely, it isn't for long enough to significantly drop my SPO2 levels on the sleep study or SPO2 monitor throughout the night.

So basically there have been certain nights and mornings when I was actually asleep, but somehow my brain as awake the second I started making an odd sound. Every time I hear this fairly loud and unique sound that wakes me up, I instantly think it is me "air puffing" out of the very far right corner of my lips like I'm blowing a kazoo or something. Just that tiny little area maybe 0.25 inches is where the air comes out in the corner. My lips do not blow out anywhere else. However, as soon as I wake up and try to reproduce that sound that I thought was air puffing out of the corner of my lips, it never sounds like what I've heard. I've awaken before when it felt like my throat was partially closed over and I could tell the strain in trying to breathe when I woke up. Even though I was awake, my body was still physically asleep/tired to the point where I could close my eyes and drift off to sleep while feeling my tongue slowly fall back to the back of my throat until I could actually make it relax and close over my airway completely. I'm starting to suspect my tongue and the noise may be either gasping awake when it shuts over completely or the breathing causing a noise right before my tongue shuts over the airway completely. My tongue is pretty big/wide and gets even wider when I get teeth marks all the way around it and it swells up a little because I'm probably pressing it down a lot into my teeth to get it out of the way of my throat when I'm sleeping.

I'm still working on getting my APAP prescription for the Air Sense 10. I've looked online for various methods to keep the tongue in place and attempt to verify that it is in fact my tongue. They have suction devices that go on the end of the tongue to grip it all night. That can't be comfortable. A lot of people said their tongue actually stretched out, got sore and made the problem worse than before using the device. I know that APAP will most likely fix this and I'll know soon enough when I try it. Apart from the dental device (I don't want that because it moves teeth a lot and I've had a lot of previous dental work), does anything else exist that one can put into the mouth to keep the tongue from falling back? Like some kind of mouth guard with a tongue depresser or something? Just wondering if I'm all out of options for that. What has worked for those of you with a big tongue? I'm still open to the possibility that I may have UARS, but my nasal airways seem pretty clear and my tongue has been a culprit since my youth with those teeth marks all the way around. Since I was a kid, canker sores frequently developed directly in the center of the teeth marks on my tongue. That's the area that basically got wedged in between whatever two teeth that part of the tongue came into contact with and sometimes this was in 2-3 places on different sides of the tongue. It isn't specific teeth, the marks go all the way around and are sometimes a full set of both top and bottom teeth. Almost always the full bottom and sometimes marks from the top. Oddly enough, when I mentioned it the other day, my mother noted that she thinks she has a pretty big tongue, too. I don't think she has issues with sleeping, however. I guess it is just genetic or something?

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