Re: Ear and Sinus Trouble
- From: Jim Carr <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2008 20:24:53 -0700
Steve Freides wrote:
They make a dental appliance, custom-fitted to you, that can provide some relief. The purpose, as I understand it, is to do what you describe, pull the lower jaw forward. That technique, BTW, is part of what we teach in the lifeguard class to help open an airway. I know you said you've been classified as severe and they usually don't recommend the dental appliance in those cases, but just in case you didn't know about it, might be worth a try.
I was recently turned on to it. You're right, I'm not the best candidate, but I intend to pursue it further when this mess is over. To be honest I can deal with the CPAP. If my septum were straight, I probably wouldn't pull it off in my sleep like I sometimes do now. If I have any swelling or dripping in my nose, I pretty much can't use it.
The reason I say a straight septum would probably help is when the above happens, I can push the tip of my nose with my finger to make the septum straighter. Most times that would be good enough for sleeping.
The other part we teach is to tilt the head back when the person is lying on their back. (It's the first choice move, but you can't do it if you suspect a spinal injury so you go with pulling the lower jaw up in those cases.) I got rid of a lot of my symptoms by switching to a thinner pillow and making something of an effort to keep my head in a good position. If your apnea is severe - mine is moderate - maybe this doesn't do enough.
That's great advice (you snorers pay attention). I do that already. I have a few different things I do to improve my head position.
A course of treatment that's often overlooked, and I think this is a real shame, is caffeine. They use caffeine to treat premature babies with what is essentially sleep apnea, and I've found it can work for me, too. My own sleep apnea management includes a sort of check of my state of fatigue. If I'm just dog tired, I'll have a cup of coffee a couple of hours before bedtime and actually sleep better. My wife has noticed, time and time again, that when I'm very tired, what you might call over-tired, my sleep apnea becomes much worse.
A stimulant to help you sleep better...that's a new one. I'll give it a shot. I have some other sleep issues (what is this? Oprah?), the biggest of which is delayed sleep onset/phase syndrome. See http://www.stanford.edu/~dement/delayed.html for the lowdown.
Combine apnea with a circadian rhythm about as accurate as a Greenday tab from the web and you get a guy who posts messages to newsgroups at odd hours.
Another thing, sort of related to the above, is exercise. For some people, a general improvement in physical fitness can help with those vaguely-defined things like posture and muscle tone, but it can make a difference for some people. For that matter, less vigorous things like Qigong, Tai Chi, Yoga, even Pilates can help. Anything that offers potential to realign things has at least a chance of helping. And although I've never been to one, a chiropractor might be worth considering.
Short of having some sort of mechanical problem with your body, when is exercise *not* good for you? When I was heavy into lifting weights I read all sorts of books and articles on the subject. What drove me nuts was that study after study with older/elderly folks showed that exercise, especially strength training, helped just about any ailment they tracked. Yet we see so many of those folks popping all sorts of pills and using devices to make walking easier.
Now, before I get bitched out as being insensitive, I *know* some people really need that stuff. I know it's hard. But studies have shown that lots of people get off the meds and the devices. They feel better. They do more. And it's pretty much free.
I'll step off of my soap box now. Exercise does help. There's really no magic bullet for what ails me, but that's no reason for me not to get incremental improvements with a shotgun approach, preferably a 410.
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- From: Steve Freides
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