A Husband’s CPAP Struggle on The Morning Blend

A Husband’s CPAP Struggle on The Morning Blend
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Published on
November 29, 2021
Updated on
December 30, 2021

Dr. Kandula went on The Morning Blend TMJ4 to talk about Alan's story of CPAP frustration, and the alternative solution that simplified his life.

[Molly] Welcome back to The Morning Blend. Many people struggle to use a CPAP machine. Here's Tiffany with one man's story and how he found a better solution.

[Tiffany] Well, if you know someone who needs a CPAP machine to breathe at night, you've probably heard about their frustrations in trying to use the device. CPAP success is only 34%, which can lead to a lot of disappointment. In today's Sleep Well, Breathe Well series with ADVENT, you're going to hear a familiar story with Alan.

[Alan] My wife used to wake up or wake me in the middle of the night. If I would stop breathing, she'd elbow me and say, You're stopped breathing again. It's like, Well, don't wake me up, just let me sleep. I know I used to get a little perturbed with her and say, Don't worry, I will breathe eventually. She was my mother hen. She worries about me. I was a truck driver all my life. So around that time to DOT, my annual physical decided you're overweight and you have sleep apnea. So I had to go in and sure as heck, I had apnea. If I hadn't worn my CPAP mask, or if I would have refused to wear it, I would have lost my commercial driver's license and I would have been out of work. So you're stuck between a rock and a hard spot. If you sleep on your side, you break the seal of that mask, and if you just barely move that it breaks that seal. I could feel the air blowing past my face or my eyes, and it would bring me out of a sleep then I would move the mask around and stuff and it was aggravating. So there was a lot of cons to a sleep apnea machine. I had been wearing it probably about eight years before I came to ADVENT. The whole time that I was on the machine and I had no idea there was such a procedure for the nose. To me, I didn't have sinus problems. I just had breathing problems. But I guess when you think about it, there the same. The procedure just went boom, boom, boom, and it was all done. To me, it was amazing because I don't think I ever breathed that clear. They explained it right off the bat that after I was done with the procedure, I would require an oral appliance. The procedure first is to open up your sinuses. The oral appliance is so that your tongue doesn't close up your airway. The oral appliance is for while you're sleeping, you don't have to wear it during the day because you don't.- your tongue doesn't move back, so it's only for sleep time. From the CPAP to the oral appliance, there's no comparison at all. And the oral appliance is so much easier to get used to than that stupid face mask. I could have avoided a lot of cost from that $3,000 machine I had to have laying next to the bed with the hose wrapped around my head. I like a simple life and this has definitely made life a lot simpler for me. My wife doesn't wake me up at night. She hasn't said a word since I've had this procedure. She has not complained one bit about snoring or holding my breath or any of that. I'm happy with the procedure. I'm very glad I did it. I wish I would have done it 20 years ago.

[Tiffany] Wow. Dr. Madan Kandula joins us now because there are a lot of Alans out there. Good morning, doctor.

[Dr. Kandula] Good morning. Good morning. There are.

[Tiffany] That testimony is, I mean, touching. I think that hits home with a lot of people because they've experienced this like Alan. Eight years of dealing with this before he realized that there were other options out there. Is this common? Something that you see with patients that they struggle for so many years before they come to you?

[Dr. Kandula] Yeah. I mean, every day. IThat's what drives us to try to get the word out about the different options that are actually available. And you know, for Alan, it was eight years of struggling with the machine. You know, there was the preceding probably decades of struggling with a nose and throat that weren't working properly. And so, you know, the end of the day, a machine, if it's not working for somebody, it's frustrating, just as Alan mentioned, and there are so, so many Alans out there that are there listening right now.

[Tiffany] I mean, watching him put on the CPAP, he highlights how frustrating and uncomfortable and difficult it is. Obviously life-saving as well. So you need something. But I want to know more about these oral appliances because I think a lot of people will want to understand if that's an option for them.

[Dr. Kandula] Yeah, I mean, it certainly can be. A CPAP mask, a CPAP machine is something that somebody wears on the nose or the nose of the mouth that pushes air in the back of the throat to hold the back of the throat open. So that's one way of going about doing things. Another way of going about doing things is using an oral appliance, which is what Alan is using nowadays. It's just basically a retainer that you wear between your upper, your lower teeth. And as Alan was describing, it just pulls your lower jaw forward a bit. It's very mellow, very low key. It's not blowing air at you. It, for many folks who have mild mild to moderate sleep apnea, is just as effective and sometimes more effective than a CPAP machine. But most folks don't know that that's an option, and the reality is that most people never hear about that. They get shoved in this CPAP mask and machine. And as you said in your stats, for most folks, the machine doesn't work well for them. And yet they're constantly told, you've got to do this, you've got to do this. And it's just very, very frustrating for for so many people.

[Tiffany] Absolutely. And just hearing Alan talk about his wife being his mother hen and kind of looking out for him, I can imagine how scary it is to hear your partner stop breathing. And so before we go, because we're almost out of time, I do just want you to highlight how serious sleep apnea is and what happens if it does go untreated.

[Dr. Kandula] Yeah, I mean, it's it's massively serious. So you know, again, for somebody who has sleep apnea, what's happening is the body is stopping breathing when they're sleeping at night. The back of the throat is where that's happening. And so if that is happening to somebody, there's issues and impact that happens during the night. But then there's the byproduct of that that happens during the day. You know, feeling tired is just one part of that. But increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, depression, erectile dysfunction. I can keep going. Things that nobody really wants. But those are the issues that will come someday when you have sleep apnea, that's not being treated properly. So it isn't- Again, this isn't a nice to have kind of a thing. It really is a very, very important thing. And the reality is is there are multiple options out there and it's us finding the right fit for each person to get them where they need to be.

[Tiffany] I love it. Dr. Kandula. Thank you so much for joining us.

[Dr. Kandula] Thank you. Thanks for having me.

[Tiffany] And today, ADVENT has released some additional new patient appointments for Morning Blend viewers to be seen this week. Just go to ADVENTknows.com to schedule online in just 60 seconds. Most insurances are accepted and no referral is required. There's five southeastern Wisconsin locations Wauwatosa, Mequon, Oconomowoc, Oak Creek and Pleasant Prairie, and they also have offices in Appleton and the Chicagoland area.

First published by ADVENT on
November 29, 2021
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A Husband’s CPAP Struggle on The Morning Blend