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Reduced apnea, which alternative to CPAP?

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Reduced apnea, which alternative to CPAP?

Postby tolak » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:47 am

Hi. I've been on BiPAP since 2008, initially with moderate apnea. I've used it regularly, but we've had ups and downs. I sleep fairly well, but my sleep is irregular and the machine is a burden, socially and practically.

In the last 9 months I lost 60 lbs with diet and exercise and redid a split night study. In the morning I realized they didn't wake me up. During followup, my doctor said my apnea is significantly improved and is now very mild (I forget the numbers) to a point where it's not dangerous to sleep without the machine, but I would still not be fully rested. My airway is still somewhat restricted which interferes with my sleep, though actual episodes are very few.

My doctor says the simplest thing would be to continue using the machine. I'm eager to get off of it and asked for alternatives, and was suggested palatal pillars or dental appliance.

Today I met the doctor that installs the pillars. He examined me and said I might benefit from them, but that my tongue could be a factor as well. It's expensive at $3200.

I went over a few scientific papers mentioned on the Mayo clinic site (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pillar ... re/MY00516). I see that improvements were noted but further studies are needed. From searching here I see that the pillars procedure is controversial.

In contrast, it appears that the dental appliance is more established, but many people are struggling with it.

I'm frustrated by not being able to find authoritative and verifiable answers. What should I do?

Thank you.
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Re: Reduced apnea, which alternative to CPAP?

Postby Daniel » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:56 am

Congrats on the weight loss............great figures.

IMHO, the Pillar Procedure is expensive and from my own research I haven't been able to find any 'meaningful' results to prove success.

In the UK, ther guidelines body for the NHS (Nationasl Health Service) is NICE (National INstitute for Health and Clinical Guidelines) have stated that Pillar Implants are unproven and that they should only be used in 'clinical trials' and that patients should be advised of this in advance.

Oral Devices have improved by leaps and bounds. They are much neater and effective and easier to use.

If I was in your situation I think I would look towards the dental device.

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Re: Reduced apnea, which alternative to CPAP?

Postby Vicki » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:26 am

Try posting in the dental appliance section and maybe you will get some helpful advice from those folks as well.

Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
Marilyn Vos Savant

That which does not kill you makes you stronger-Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich must of had apnea.
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