Oral Appliance Therapy for Snoring
My Snoring Almost Cost Me My Fishing Partner
Don had suffered from snoring and chronic fatigue for years. His snoring became so bad that it was interfering with his one of his favorite things to do…travel.
Don and his wife Pat would often travel with their good friends Jim and Marty. Their adventures have taken them to Minnesota for fishing and Hawaii for some amazing sightseeing. On these trips, the couples would often share a two-bedroom condo and the sleeping quarters were close. “My snoring was so bad that no one else could sleep! It almost cost me my traveling partners!” says Don.
Four years ago, on a trip to Australia, Don described how awful it was to be on a plane for 20 hours, needing to sleep, but feeling guilty about snoring so loudly that he was disturbing the other passengers.
After being diagnosed with sleep apnea Don was prescribed a CPAP. “I used the CPAP for a year,” says Don. During the year Don and his wife traveled to Germany. “It was really difficult to drag the CPAP from place to place and on the plane,” he continues. The voltage changes and receptacles were also problematic.”
After using the CPAP for a year Don had a surgery to remove the extra skin in his throat and clear his nasal passages. This worked for a few years but the snoring and sleep apnea returned.
Don knew he needed to find a better solution for his snoring and sleep apnea. “I had heard about the oral appliance offered by a local Koala Center for Sleep Disorders. I talked with someone who worked at the office as well as a patient who had been treated successfully with the appliance,” says Don. I was convinced to give the oral appliance a try.
Oral Appliance Therapy has proven to be a very viable and scientifically based treatment option for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine issued a statement in the 2006 journal SLEEP that Oral Appliance Therapy was approved as a first line of treatment for those suffering from mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea and is proving to be effective for severe cases as well. The purpose of the oral appliance is to hold the jaw in a position that allows the airway to remain as open and firm as possible during sleep. Oral appliances are similar to athletic mouth guards, but less bulky and completely non-invasive. Oral appliances are covered by most medical insurances and Medicare.
After wearing the appliance Don’s wife noticed a difference immediately.
“After a few adjustments I am now sleeping very well,” says Don. “My wife loves the appliance too and I’m not getting elbowed in the ribs anymore!”
A year ago, after being treated with Oral Appliance Therapy, Don and Pat, Jim and Marty, took a trip to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu, Peru. He traveled by air on 8 different planes as well as traveling by bus. Don kept a satchel of snacks and his oral appliance on him at all times. “I was so grateful to have my appliance because if I needed to sleep while traveling I could do so without the embarrassment of disturbing the other passengers,” says Don.
Since wearing the appliance I now have more energy and can truly enjoy my traveling experiences!” Don continues.