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Curious what other options besides surgery for sleep apnea if CPAP is not option due to co-morbid claustrophobia

by Joanne

Curious what other options exist, besides surgery, if CPAP is not option for treating sleep apnea in the case of a person who's claustrophobic and refuses mask. What if said person has a history of benzodiazepine addiction, and is on klonopin for sleep?

Kevin: Hi Joanne, I'm not a doctor, however I can mention a few things to you that I've come across. For one, some CPAP machines exist now that are significantly smaller in size than they were years ago. They are more like tubes that go into your nose than full-fledged masks. Would that make things easier for you?

That said, there are a number of other treatment options besides surgery and CPAP. Treatment tools include oral appliances that help move the jaw to an area that can help keep the airway open, and nasal devices like Provent that help open breathing passages.

But sometimes the most effective treatments can actually be strength and exercise related. For example, as crazy as it may sound, playing the didgeridoo has worked wonders for some by strengthening neck muscles, making it easier for them to keep the airway open during the night. Weight loss in general can also make a big difference for some people's snoring sleep apnea.

There are several different factors that can contribute to one's sleep apnea, so if you can figure out what the main factors causing your apnea are, you can more effectively choose a treatment other than CPAP that will actually make a difference for you. But, if it comes down to it and alternative treatments are not working, I heavily encourage you to try out one of the smaller CPAP devices. The choice could be that or a heart attack after years more of suffocation every night.


(Please keep in mind that I am a student of sleep science and not a medical doctor. Please take any thoughts I give with my background in mind.)

Comments for Curious what other options besides surgery for sleep apnea if CPAP is not option due to co-morbid claustrophobia

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Nov 30, 2015
Sleep apnea NEW
by: Anonymous

I am 81 years old and live do I know if I have sleep apnea.

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