The View From Your CPAP

A reader writes:

I've been reading your posts about sleep apnea with interest.  A few years ago, I too had terrible breathing problems.  If I laid on my back, my airway would be gradually occluded until I strangled myself and woke up with a panicked start.

Three years ago, I began practicing yoga, which has gradually re-aligned my head, neck and shoulders.  I know "spine alignment" sounds like a bunch of hippy-dippy bullshit, but take it from this red-blooded (usually bearded!) rationalist: it really does make a difference. 

The View From Your CPAP

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Our CPAP stories can be found here, here, here, here, here, here and here. A reader writes:

Wow, so many responses, some filled with relief, some filled with despair, some filled with legit medical advice from professionals, but most of all, you got responses from people who are alive and well. Survivors, you could honestly say, in multiple ways. Untreated sleep apnea has caused many fatalities, strokes, and other critical issues related to a lack of adequate oxygen to the brain. Snoring, fatigue, and needing 10 hours of sleep every night just to function the next day are all serious issues that require serious measures.

My long story short, I had been dumped by girlfriends, had friends yell me awake in my tent on camping trips, and even had a neighbor mention my snoring.

The View From Your CPAP, Ctd

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A reader writes:

Here's one example of someone who is a lean, muscular, fit apnea patient: Percy Harvin of the Minnesota Vikings.  Mr. Harvin apparently was suffering from severe migraines that affected his ability to perform on the field.  He's listed at 5-11, 184 lbs. and is one of the fastest players in the NFL. I have no doubt that weight can contribute to sleep apnea.  However, as Mr. Harvin's experience demonstrates, there are plenty of other causes.

Another writes:

One reader commented that surely diet and exercise would be the most effective way to treat sleep apnea, since it is so often caused by obesity. Not true on several counts.

The View From Your CPAP, Ctd

A reader writes:

I am respiratory therapist and set people up on CPAPs all the time.  It truly is amazing how many people are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and find some benefit from CPAP therapy.  The main problem that I encounter is that during their sleep study they are told that they will sleep much better as soon as they get their CPAP.  I tell all of my patients that it take a minimum of 6-8 weeks before they will truly be comfortable with the CPAP and sleep with it on all night.  Some never get used to it, and for them, surgery is an option.  But as Americans, we want relief right away.

Another writes:

I'm an otolaryngologist and head/neck surgeon, and I just read the post "The Dish At Ten: The View From Your CPAP" and there were some potentially misleading statements. 

The View From Your CPAP, Ctd

A reader writes:

A wife's perspective here.  My husband was very overweight, and snored a lot, but I always figured he didn't have sleep apnea because he had so many dreams and I thought dreams only came with deep sleep.  But what dreams they were.  He was often in a fight, or tackling someone in a football game, and once even slugged me hard in his sleep as he was dreaming of fending off an attacker.