Sleep apnea has different options for treatment or surgical options that can cure it completely for some. Over the past almost 20 years, I’ve tried a lot of different treatment options and truly hated the CPAP.
Treatment options for CPAP
I considered surgery but was told that success for removing throat tissue was low and I still might need my CPAP.
I tried having an oral appliance made to keep my airway open and it was supposed to help with teeth grinding and TMJ as well. It ended up on my forehead instead of my mouth after several adjustments.
The Inspire device is another option but because of my weight, I’m not eligible for it.
While I’m at peace with the CPAP being the only option right now, I’m still constantly searching for something that 1 day allows me to fall asleep regularly without having to strap something to my head.
New options for me
While I’m trying my best with my CPAP, I have been looking at other options. I’m currently waiting on a new sleep study to be done to see if a BIPAP might be a better option. When using the CPAP, sometimes it feels like it’s stopping me from breathing like I’m breathing out and it’s pushing air down to where I choke and wake up.
The second option I have been considering is mandibular advancement where the jaw would be moved to allow more space in my narrow airway. I’ve discussed it with my doctor and decided it’s worth considering. However, we will have to keep in mind that my vary narrow and small airway may not be 100% effective. This option sounds painful but if I would no longer need the CPAP it would be worth it. I’m currently on a waiting list to get into an ENT that performs this procedure.
The third option I’m considering is somnoplasty. This procedure helps by removing excess tissue through radio frequency energy. I am not quite sure if it would help and the ENT that I’ve seen so far does not do the procedure.
The final option would require me to lose 120 lbs to get the Inspire device. It sends a small signal to stick your tongue out when your airways are blocked. This is an outpatient procedure and for people who qualify, it has a good success rate.
Conclusion: keep looking for more options
Until I can find something better, my CPAP and I are stuck together. I’m hoping for the day that I can travel without carrying my CPAP or just be able to get in bed and lay down and go to sleep. The CPAP is 1 way to treat sleep apnea after trying several other treatment options.
I will ideally continue to keep looking for more options that do not include the pain, pressure, and necessity of a mask. Even if I do require a mask, I want to find the most comfortable option available. COVID-19 has made it hard to get into doctors with limited hours and fewer appointments, but I will continue to wait to weigh out all of the options.
Have you tried any treatment options other than the CPAP? If so, have you found success using something else? Please share a comment.
Do you feel stigmatized by sleep apnea?