Sleep Apnea Cures Without a CPAP

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Questions and Answers

If I had a sleep study done, why wasn't I given a CPAP?

I've had been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea when I was 14, but was never given a CPAP. Then in 2006 when I was hospitalized for Pneumonia, after seeing that I had SA and not using a machine, the attending scheduled me for a Sleep Study. This was done at an external Sleep Study Clinic and was scheduled a followup wit my attending two weeks later. When I went to that appointment, I was told to buy a Nebulizer Machine for my Albuterol treatments, but was never directed to to get a CPAP. About a year later, I tried to contact my attending and found that she had moved out of state and I am now just lazy to try and track her down. I am now seeing a new doctor, should I ask him? What can I do to see if I need a CPAP without being scheduled for another Sleep Study?

Notes: I am now 24

Posted by Naniwai
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A Sleep Study or Polysomnogram (PSG) is done to determine whether or not you have a sleep disorder. You should have been connected to various machines – the EEG or electroencephalogram, is a major part of a sleep study and measures and records four forms of brain wave activity – alpha, beta, delta and theta waves. The EMG or electromyogram, records muscle activity such as face twitches, teeth grinding, and leg movements. It also helps in determining the presence of REM stage sleep. The amount and duration of these activities provides the doctor with important information about your sleep. The EOG or electro-oculogram, records eye movements. These movements are important in determining the different sleep stages, particularly REM stage sleep. The electrodes are usually placed on the outer aspect of your right eyebrow and along the outer aspect below or beneath your left eye. EKG or electrocardiogram, records heart activities, such as rate and rhythm. Electrodes are placed on your chest. The Nasal Airflow Sensor, records breath temperature, airflow, apnea and hypopnea events. A sensor is placed near your nose and mouth. Chest/Abdomen Belts record breathing depth, apnea and hypopnea events. Elastic belts are placed around your chest and abdomen. An Oximeter records blood oxygen saturation. A band-aid like clip is placed on a finger. A video records body positioning and movements. A Snore Microphone records any snoring. An electrode is placed over your trachea, on your lower neck. Elastic belts are placed around the chest and abdomen to record breathing rate and effort from the diaphragm, as well as apnea and hypopnea events. A CPAP Titration is only required if sleep apnea is diagnosed or strongly suspected. Typically, this is a full night of study performed during a second night, but is sometimes performed during the last few hours of a split-night study. CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy is the first line of treatment for sleep apnea. The CPAP device delivers pressurized air through tubing to a nasal mask or nasal pillows, which are fitted around the head. The pressurized air acts as an airway splint. It gently opens the patient's throat and breathing passages, allowing them to breathe normally while asleep, but only through their nose! However, as you state that it was not used during your Study, it would indicate, to me, that sleep apnea was not diagnosed or suspected. At the end of your question you ask “I am now seeing a new doctor, should I ask him? What can I do to see if I need a CPAP without being scheduled for another Sleep Study?” You may only find the answer to your question if you actually ASK your new doctor any relevant questions. Surely you did not need to post this question on this forum to know that? No one has any knowledge of any report from your Study except your doctor who would access these details from your medical documents.


It is extremely important to obtain an accurate diagnosis before trying to find a cure. Many diseases and conditions share common symptoms.

The information provided here should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.

Hope this helps
matador 89.

Are Dr.'s over diagnosing sleep apnea to increase the profits of CPAP machine manufacturers?

I am suspect of sleep neurologists who keep pushing an apnea diagnosis as the problem (vs. Narcolepsy, for example) even if a sleep study shows differently. It seems each dr. Is located next door to CPAP machine rentals. I'm wondering if they are part owners or stock holders drumming up business. Just asking…
I've been to 3 drs. All said the same thing after stating the sleep tests only showed mild apnea. Sleep apnea is considered a sleep disorder and neurologists are usually the treating physician.

Posted by Queenie
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Well, without being too specific, I have a relative who worked his entire life for a pharmaceutical manufacturer. The funding for research he was doing in the early eighties was mysteriously pulled when they were very close to finding a cure for asthma. Naturally the company was a major manufacturer of asthma medications. Hmmm…..cure = no more profit.

I think there are many companies/people in healthcare that are very suspect. ALWAYS get a second opinion, or maybe ask a holistic professional just to get another viewpoint.

Edit: In view of your additional comments, it seems three opinions would warrant biting the bullet and trying the CPAP. My ex-husband (snoring was a contributing factor in our divorce) was diagosed after he remarried and loves his CPAP, if that helps.

Is there a cure for sleep apnea?

Posted by Tori
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It depends entirely on the cause. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. In obstructive apnea as the muscles of the upper airway relax, they collapse and prevent the individual from drawing a breath. Blood carbon dioxide increases and oxygen decreases and the brain awakens. The muscle tone in the airway returns and the individual falls asleep again. The muscles relax and the cycle starts over. This can happen hundreds and even thousands of times a night without the person even being aware that it's happening. The result is that the person never really gets to sleep and is chronically sleep-deprived. There are a few treatments for obstructive apnea: CPAP, which stents the airway open with air pressure; dental devices, which hold the jaw forward and prevent complete collapse of the airway; surgery (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty) which removes some of the soft tissue of the upper airway; tracheostomy, which bypasses the upper airway completely (and can be plugged during the day), and in obese patients, losing at least 20 pounds may cure obstructive apnea. Of all of the treatments available only CPAP and tracheostomy have been shown to be 100% effective (and CPAP only when used properly and titrated during a sleep study).

Central apnea is a neurological problem. During sleep, the brain stops sending impulses to breathe. None of the above treatments will cure central apnea because the problem is not in the airway, it's in the brain. Some medications can cause central apnea. The only treatment for central apnea is nighttime ventilation with a BIPAP or a ventilator through a tracheostomy. Very rarely is a trach used solely for apnea.

Mixed apnea is obviously a combination of the two problems and the treatment needs to address both factors; most commonly BIPAP is used.

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