I have been a regular to sleep apnea forums for a while now. I had severe sleep apnea until a month ago, and the reason I am writing this post is because I promised myself that if I ever get cured, I am going to spread the word to help others. Also, the treatment option I took, I could not find many resources online for it.
I am a 25 year old male. I had been a fairly good sleeper until I was 22 years old. (I have always been a snorer). After that, for no good reason, my sleep started getting worse. In 2 years, my condition progressively went downhill. I would wake up with tired dry eyes, go to work and fall asleep in important meetings. At one point in time, I slept for an hour at work everyday of the month. Sleeping on the job not only got me in trouble at work, but also started causing me pains in my neck because I would fall asleep in weird postures with my head literally hanging off my body. I would fall asleep watching TV, or studying or anything. My wife would have to sleep on the couch everyday because of my loud loud snoring. My mother finally forced me to get help. That's when I saw the doctor.
My mom had taken a 5 minute clip of my sleep on a video enabled cell phone. The minute she showed it to the doctor, he determined I had sleep apnea with 30+ second spells. He immediately sent me for a sleep study. He looked at the results and told me I needed a CPAP machine with pressures north of 15. I tried the CPAP, my sleep quality increased marginally however it was not comfortable at all, and I do not mean uncomfortable as in how it is for most people. I simply had a hard time breathing even with the CPAP. The air just wouldn't go in or come out of my mouth like it was supposed to.
After the lack of success with the CPAP, I went and consulted an ENT. He looked inside my mouth and said I had very large tonsils. Also, my septum (bone in the nose) was a little bent and was causing obstruction in my breathing. He immediately scheduled tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy procedures for me for the coming fortnight. He said what I might have is upper airway obstruction which might be causing sleep apnea. He said this might or might not cure the problem, but he believes there is a good chance that it's the tonsils that are blocking my airway and not letting air in and out of my mouth like it is supposed to. I was desperate and willing to try anything.
The doctor took my tonsils and adenoids out, but did not to anything to straighten my septum. He said instead of using a "shotgun approach" where you do everything and if the problem gets fixed, you do not even know what caused it, he is going to do a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy and see the results. My tonsils were the size of a ping pong ball each! Imagine breathing with 2 ping pong balls in your mouth. Also my adenoids were medium sized, which is big in my opinion because they usually disappear by the time teen ages end. The surgery was a 40 minute procedure.
The night before my surgery was the last apnea night of my life, and I didn't even know it then. The surgery went well, even though I hurt. But from the first night on, I could tell a difference. I could finally breathe! I still snored a little but that was attributed to my swollen Uvula. I slept like a baby after that.
Here is a list of things that changed, from before and after my surgery. Yes, I am suggesting that sleep apnea causes these and the treatment should take care of these.
1. No more daytime sleeping or drowsiness! (Even when I get only 3 hours of sleep at night)
2. No more apnea spells.
3. Whole lot of energy all day.
4. No more getting up in the middle of the night to pee.
5. Less tired body and eyes, more concentration.
6. No more neck problems.
The reason I wrote this was because I got cured and nowhere on the net could I find a definite answer or case study where any adult got help from Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.There is tons of websites about apnea in kids getting treated with Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy but most sites say that it is ineffective/less effective in adults. Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy was my cure. I am not saying that this will work for everybody, but you must take in account that the CPAP is not the only cure. My first doctor, a respiratory specialist told me that my tonsils have nothing to do with my apnea. THE DOCTOR WAS 100% WRONG. Sleep apnea is not an abnormality of any organ, it's an obstruction, but left uncured it can cause abnormalities in various organs which can lead to fatal results. Good luck and may God be with you.
Here is my email address. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me. It is my desire as well as my burden to help others. I promise to reply. firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a before after pic of my tonsils