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Sleep Apnea treatments don't help

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SincereRoseIbex3113 +0 points · over 7 years ago Original Poster

I am a college senior with sleep apnea. For me, it makes it so I can't focus, i have no energy to do things I like, much less need to do. I am miserable and stressed all the time. I do not know what to do. I have not been formally diagnosed, but I have reason to suspect I might also have insomnia. I tried using sleep aids, such as ambien, but they didn't help me fall asleep. All they did was make me extremely groggy when I got up in the morning.

I tried using the CPAP, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not fall asleep with it. The mask freaked me out and the noise the machine made kept me awake. On the rare occasion I actually started to fall asleep, I immediately felt the need to get up to go to the restroom. After what felt like hours just staring at the ceiling, I would give up each night. And then I ran out of time to use it. The insurance company didn't care that I was trying to get used to this bizarre feeling machine while going to school full-time. I didn't meet their time requirements, and they were kind of rude about it.

After some time, I again met with the ENT who initially got me set-up with the sleep-study, and he recommended an oral appliance. I met with a dentist who would make it, and he basically said it would cost a ton of money. My mom did some research, and she recommended I try the Zyppah before buying a custom made one, just to make sure I could fall asleep with it. I ran into the same problem as the CPAP, no matter how hard I tried, I could not go to sleep.

Apologies, this part gets a little gross. It causes hyper-salivation, which I thought I could handle. The guy who makes it said it would go away after some time, but failed to say when that would be. I tried sleeping on my side with it in, but my pillow and side of my face kept getting soaked. I tried sleeping on my back with my head tilted back. I almost choked. I even threw up 1 or 2 times while attempting to fall asleep with it. I actually cried a few times because I was so tired and just wanted to be done with sleep apnea.

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wiredgeorge +0 points · over 7 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Welcome, You had a doctor recommend a course of treatment and had your mother recommend a course of treatment. You followed your mother's suggestion to keep costs down and it doesn't seemed to work. I would go back to the ENT specialist and talk about this and let him know what has happened to you since he made his initial recommendation. I am sure that with the expense of college these days, large medical bills are not pleasant to think about but in the long run, your health probably dictates following the advice by medical professionals. It might not hurt to see a second doctor for another opinion if you are not convinced the ENT was 100 percent dead on with his recommendations.

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DanM +0 points · over 7 years ago Sleep Enthusiast Support Team

Hi SincereRoselbex3113. I'm sorry to hear you have had such struggles with sleep apnea. Unfortunately, your story is much too common among those of us who suffer with this diagnosis. Some people are fortunate enough to adjust to treatment very quickly, and it takes months for others. Some patients are never able to tolerate CPAP and use oral appliances or other forms of treatment. I agree with wiredgeorge that you should go back to your physician and discuss the problems you have had with treatment. Sometimes having your physician speak to your insurance company can help as long as you are persistently attempting to use treatment. Have you tried wearing CPAP while you are awake and doing another activity (while not actually trying to fall asleep)? I had a terrible time with treatment in the early days, and it was recommended to me that I take my CPAP machine into the living room in the early evening and practice wearing it while watching television. This really worked for me and helped me adjust to the feeling of the mask and the air pressure. I don't know how long ago you tried using CPAP, but new machines are also very quiet. Mine sits on my nightstand, and I hear no noise at all. If you are hearing noise, maybe discussing this with the equipment provider might be helpful. Is the noise from the machine, or is it air from the mask? Masks are designed with exhalation holes to help get rid of exhaled carbon dioxide, but some are much more quiet than others. There might be a combination of things that can help you adjust to therapy. Best wishes, and please let us know how you are doing!

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