I was diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea a little over a year ago and have been using a CPAP machine since then. However, I don’t like it as I will wake up during the night with my mouth feeling as if someone shoved cotton down my throat. Not only that, it is uncomfortable to wear so much so that I have thrown it off during the night without even realizing until I wake up the next day. Any advice would be a great help to both me and my wife because without the machine I snore very loudly. Thanks.
If you have not tried another mask, that would be the first step. For me this is one of the most important decisions. I was lucky in that I had access to many masks. A good DME or support group may be able to help here. Doctors that have their own sleep labs can do this. Of course, it is different for all.
I have never “liked” my CPAP machine but have come to tolerate and enjoy the better health it has given me. Zarb is right in suggesting you try experimenting with different masks until you find one that you can be comfortable wearing. I have been lucky to have good support and help from my doctor and DME supplier. Also using a Humidifier with my machine has helped me a lot. Don’t give up. It may not be easy but the rewards are great.
I am learning how to tolerate it. The worst problem I have is waking up with a bad case of cotton mouth. I also wake up at least once during the night and am awake for at least an hour.
I am a dentist working in dental sleep medicine. There are actually many people who are struggling with their CPAP machines. Human beings are so different individually. Some people really love their CPAPs, some are tolerant of it for their greater good, and some just can not stand it. I would put the long-term compliance rate at about 50%. I deliver oral appliances to treat OSA. Good ones are quite successful at treating mild to moderate OSA and can work for some people with severe OSA(about 30%). Admittedly, I get a skewed sample of the people who have not succeeded with CPAP, but my patients tell me that the oral appliance experience is WAY BETTER than CPAP. No comparison. I don’t know why there is not more consideration of oral appliances as an alternative, but there isn’t. a.b.luisi,d.m.d.
How do these oral appliances work and how much do they cost?
Hello spiritwalker, When an apneic patient falls asleep the mandible(lower jaw) tends to fall open and backward. This forces the tongue and soft palate to collapse back into the airway and to block it. Remember that the tongue is attached directly to the mandible. The most effective oral appliances work by keeping the mouth closed and by moving(protruding) the mandible forward by a few millimeters. This is enough to prevent the tongue and soft palate from blocking the airway. The CPAP machine uses pressurized air to splint or blow open the airway like a balloon. There is no pressurized air with the oral appliance, thus more comfort. OA prices vary widely. An effective, but light duty appliance like the MyTap can be had for as little as $600. Dentists usually bundle the appliance as part of a total package. The package can go from about $1400 to $2400-$3000. If you use a nationally recognized"celebrity specialist" it could hit $6000. Shop and compare.a.b.luisi,d.m.d.
For me, it’s not a matter of whether I like the machine/mask/etc. or not.
Bottom line, it simply doesn’t work for me.
It does not help me sleep. I do not awake well rested while using it.
I am a dentist working in dental sleep medicine. I have had patients who say the same thing about their CPAPs. They use it, their AHI numbers are at a good, low level and they still do not feel like they get a restful night’s sleep. My theory is that the entire CPAP experience is just too intense for some people on the more sensitive end of the scale. Typically, these types of people do better with oral appliances because it is just a gentler, quieter experience. a.b.luisi.d.m.d.
I don’t believe that oral appliances will work for central sleep apneas.
When you are wearing your CPAP mask, do you feel any air coming from around the edges-- an air leak of sorts?
It depends on which mask I use.
If I use any nasal pillows, then yes, I absolutely get leaks which my CPAP measures. If I use the nasal mask or the newer Dreamwear style mask then no, no leaks.
You are correct. Oral appliances do not work with central sleep apnea. I assumed that you had OSA. However, for people with intractable mask leakage problems or who can not tolerate straps around their heads, a TAP oral appliance can be used to secure a TAP-PAP CS device. This device seals against mouth leakage intra-orally and holds nasal pillows securely and without leakage without any straps. This may or may not lower the intensity of your experience below your acceptable thresh-hold. I must admit, however, that with CSA, the use of a PAP machine seems inevitable at this stage of technology. a.b.luisi,d.m.d.
My condolenses goes out to you and your wife, keep looking for the new moldable comfort mask in the making. Once this mask is on the market, China will have complete control over manufacturing sleep therapy products, and the American mask makers will run for cover, toss old moldy out-dated equipment, and COPY CHINA.
@RWilson What is the company manufacturing the new moldable comfort mask? You can contact me at my email: tshumard AT comcast dot NET (spelling it out due to robot nuisances )
The new company that manufactures the comfort mask is Carboshii out of Begiieng sp. Should be on the market very soon. (Sooner the better!) RW