This is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, The 7 Day Sleep Apnea Solution: Get the sleep you need and the life you want. Please feel free to make comments and suggestions. If I select and implement your suggestions, I’ll acknowledge you in my book.
Jason is a 35 year old teacher, who had been struggling with poor memory, lack of energy, and severe snoring which was keeping his wife from sleeping. His medical doctor suggested a sleep study, which revealed moderate obstructive sleep apnea. He then underwent a CPAP titration study, and within the first week after using CPAP at home, he told me that his had his life back.
Suzy is a 49 year old painter, who noticed that her sleep quality has been progressively getting worse over the past 4-5 years. She doesn’t snore, but never feels like she’s slept for more than 2-3 hours despite getting 8 hours of sleep. She’s on an anti-anxiety and high blood pressure medications. A sleep study revealed that she had only mild sleep apnea. When she tried CPAP for the first time in the lab, she had a panic attack, and ripped off the mask. After multiple visits with her sleep physician and after trying three different masks, she was able to use CPAP for longer periods of time. Three months later, she tells me that she thinks she’s sleeping better, because she’s not as anxious anymore.
These are some of the hundreds of CPAP success stories that I hear from patients every year. Some people take to CPAP like fish to water, others have to go through a period of struggles and adjustment, and some can’t use CPAP no matter how how much they try.
Despite all the different options for treating OSA, CPAP remains the most widely prescribed and most widely accepted form of therapy. It’s been around since its’ invention by Dr. Colin Sullivan in the early 1980s and the easiest option to try, since most insurance companies will typically cover CPAP if you have a sleep apnea diagnosis.
Up until the 1980s, tracheotomy (making a hole in the lower part of your neck through the windpipe) was the only available treatment option. The uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) procedure for the soft palate was first introduced in the United States by Dr. Fujita, also in the early 80s.
Dr. Sullivan is an Australian pulmonologist who reportedly reversed a vacuum cleaner motor and attached the patient up to the blower with very primitive materials. Since that time, CPAP technology has matured to become the standard of care by the medical community. It’s commonly referred to as the “gold standard” treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea. Despite all the pros and cons of CPAP, it’s an option that all sleep apnea sufferers should consider, especially if you have moderate to severe levels of sleep apnea.
Next: CPAP Basics