Oral appliance

I’ve had sleep apnea for about 25 years. I accdepted the fatigue and never took care of it due to ignorance of it’s harmful effects. After a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis and a 50 pound weight loss, I still had sleep problems. Whenever I have been intubated for anesthesia, the docs have a difficult time. It seems to be as much an anatomical issue as compared to a weight issue.

I’m a mouth breather, so I swallowed enough air on cpap to make me very nauseous. The bipap was one of the worst experiences of my life - the closest I can imagine to being on a ventilator. I experienced an anxiety attack immediately after.

I’m currently using an oral appliance that realigns the jaw to open up the airway. It works fairly well but has not eliminated all episodes of desaturation. I can’t add more spacers without having jaw problems during the day.

Does anyone out there use an oral appliance and what is their experience/satisfaction using it?

Hi, the only thing that I have heard about, which is meant to have been discovered and invented down here is a tongue thingy. Personally I have no idea if it works and I am not sure how it relates to what you are currently using…

It’s meant to work with obstructive Sleep Apnea and should prevent snoring

Hope this information works for you…
Personally I have given up on the machines and suggested operations… nothing seems to work too well for me…
Take care

My opinion, based on experience is that the appiance you speak of
will work with effort (learning curve to keep the thing in) to cure snoring.
However, for moderate to acute apnea it does not work; just too much
soft tissue to block the breathing passage. The other downside is
that it is a one size fit all. That, coupled with really good
salivary glands made it a non starter. I should add that I did sleep
somewhat better, but not like with a cpap machine.
With cpap and a 1 week learning curve I only wake up once a night, no
longer doze during the day, have huge increases in energy and the
outrageous bags under my eyes have gone from steamer trunks to modest
age wrinkles. I’m sold.
Having said that, I wish I had had one of those aveo tongue things 30
years ago when the only problem was snoring.
Back in the day I considered an operation. Glad I didn’t do it. The
literature suggests either no change or short term change at best.
It’s not that I love hooking up to the machine every night; I
don’t. But, it has changed my life.
If there was a woman in my life who was turned off by the machine,
I’d wish her the very best of British bloody luck and move on.
Fortunately my sweetie thinks it’s amusing and has now problem
pulling one of the plugs out of my nose and whispering sweet nothings
in my ear.
At 05:04 PM 6/22/2007, you wrote:

hi knightbob and derek

thanks for your comments.

the appliance i use is custom molded, so there is not a problem with it coming out during the night. i feel like the character “jaws” from the james bond movie. it’s got two clear molded plates held together by hardware and orthodontic rubber bands. it can be adjusted to pull trhe lower jaw forward more until the air passage stays open.

it was a bit pricey and insurance paid about half. with a little perseverance and patience by the sleep dentist, insurance finally paid for all but a co-pay. pretty cool, huh.

saliva is aother issue. i do a lot of swallowing until falling asleep. but i was always a drooler while asleep, so not a huge problem.

only fellow apneaics (made up word) and partners thereof understand and won’t be grossed out by the direction of this post.

happy dreams.

Ah drooling. Well that is not a problem with a cpap, but my 7 month
experiment with the Aussie rubber tongue device was a site to
behold. Regrettably it did not solve my problem as measured with a
number of occimetry tests. I was lucky that I have a good friend who
runs a sleep lab so he was willing to indulge my experiments with a
variety of anit-snoring, anti-apnea things to see what was
happening. If a normal person has an oxygen availability/sleep
interruption index of 5 (this is good), mine was something like
65. None of the things I tried altered that appreciably. I don’t
know what the numbers translate into exactly but, high number bad,
low number good.
After about six weeks with a cpap with a small learning curve in the
middle as I changed from a mask to one of the nostril thinggies, my
occimetry number dropped below 10. I still think I have a bit of a
ways to go in becoming one with the machine, but what a difference it
has made in my life.
Tonight I am going camping, so I will have only the cpap without its
associated humidifier.
I looked into a variety of battery power options. Some of the
companies sell battery packs with associated wiring harnesses and
nifty tote bags for the princely sum of $395US. A little research
revealed that (in the case of my machine) the battery is a 12 volt
14.4ah sealed lead acid battery. $395???
So, off I go to my local Battery Direct store. My options were a
12ah gel battery at $51Cdn or an 18ah gel at $65 Cdn.
Either would have worked just fine. BTW a 14.4ah battery will on
average give a user 26 hours of cpap use before drained and requiring
complete recharge.
I chose the 18ah battery for my purposes.
It took me about 1/2 hour to solder a 4.5mm plug onto some 18gauge
wire and two circular battery tabs on the other end. Hooked it up
and it works fine.
Assuming 8 hours of operation a night I could theoretically get 5
nights use before it required a full re-charge.
I have no intention of using it that way. At most I might be using 3
nights without a recharge.
After tonights experiment I will make a master harness for the
battery and then 1 of the cpap and another to charge the battery off
of my motorcycle.
That part with involve a little timing experimentation since I need
to figure out how many hours of motorcyle charging will charge up a
given depletion of the battery (since the aux. outlet on the bike
won’t have an automatic cutoff like battery chargers would have. No big deal.
Can you tell I’m excited about this.
At 07:22 AM 6/23/2007, you wrote:

Thanks Derek,

You saved me some money and pain.

Derek sleep-apnea-cpt4583@lists.careplace.com wrote:

I was diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea last spring and started using an appliance in June. My specialist warned me that it didn’t work for everyone. I had no real problems adapting to the appliance. (I had a lot of orthodontistry done when I was a kid.) But I didn’t notice any real difference until we were as far forward as we could go and even then it wasn’t enough. I will soon be switching to a CPAP.

It was quite expensive and my health plan at work didn’t contribute anything. Fortunately, I’m in a position where I could afford it and I will probably still get some use out of it when I am travelling. But to be truthful, it was very disappointing.

Another consideration… A friend of mine used one for some time and developed jaw problems and tinnitus, which she attributes to the oral device. She moved to another city so didn’t receve the ongoing monitoring from her specialist. So perhaps the problem could have been avoided.

I had a similar experience in N.Y. getting an oral devise it’s a sham total
worthless. Yes it has one purpose to get these so called “Specialists”
$1500-$2000. There is a reason why Insurance companies don’t pay for them because
it’s fake.

I wouldn’t put it that strongly. I have a friend who uses an appliance and it has worked fine for him. And my friend who developed tinnitis liked the appliance very much before she started having problems with it. I’ve now started with the CPAP machine and it is not an easy thing to get used to, nor is it doing me much good yet.

Given the expense, my suggestion would be that using the appliance is iffy if you have anything more than a mild case of sleep apnea. And if you do use it, be sure to follow up with your specialist and/or dentist and/or massage therapist, especially if you have any tendency to jaw or neck problems.