CPAP versus Surgery -Contd
What is CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)
A CPAP unit blows air into your nose using a small air compressor. A facemask or a set of nasal plugs is used to deliver air through your nose. The pressure of the air is adjusted to give adequate airflow to the nose to allow you to breathe vital oxygen supply and air into your lungs.
Most doctors automatically prescribe CPAP for sleep apnea patients and they find it impossible to use. They find the mask uncomfortable and unnatural. Turning over in bed, and having ones movements restricted by the hose make it worse. CPAP users suffer countless problems when using the machine like headache, dry mouth, sinusitis, nasal congestion and claustrophobia. Most CPAP has no battery back up and in power outage; they wake up in the middle of night. Carrying the mask and machine where ever you go is another hassle, also not able to use it while traveling in train or flight make it difficult for business travelers.
Ones self-image of wearing the mask and hose looks like an “elephant man”. The sex life is miserable. It is not at all romantic or sexy to wear this in young and old alike!!!!! The children often get frightened.
Because CPAP is to be worn for the rest of a patient\’s life the compliance in use reduces drastically in 60% of patients according to some survey. If you don\’t use it everyday, your life could be in jeopardy. One get CPAP dependant rest of their life and even the brain stem centers which control breathing becomes less active.
In my opinion, it is only indicated in those where surgery cannot be performed, like old invalid patients.
Any alternative treatment
Many of the websites that were promoting CPAP so aggressively are owned by CPAP manufacturers or retailers. Please understand CPAP is not the answer for everyone, there is alternative treatment and cure.
Obstructive sleep apnea can only be cured by removing the obstruction. That is the main objective for which complex surgical procedures are selected. There is no tailor made “one “surgical procedure that can cure the OSA.
Laser Surgery for OSA and Snoring
LAUP, Partial Tonsillectomy, Tongue base reduction, Septal correction, LAPT, Removal of Adenoids and Tonsils in children are the common procedures done by Laser or Coblator by me in Jubilee Hospital. Most patients get 80-90% cure in first stage, rarely one need to do revision after a year. Patient selection is important. First of all conservative treatment is tried before doing surgery. Pre anesthetic and Cardiology consultation is mandatory, unless they give me go ahead, I wont undertake the surgery.
Surgery is NOT painless, but the pain can be controlled by analgesics, of course the patient\’s pain threshold varies from patients to patients. No voice change, no permanent nasal regurgitation is ever seen in my experience over 15 years of doing surgery in thousands of patients.
The Snorers and Sleep apnea sufferers have no other choice but to use either CPAP or undergo surgery. There are nearly 200 Snore cure gimmicks available in the market, claiming hundred percent cure for the patients, but all just a waste of time and money.
Sleep study at Home
Snorers and OSA patient must get a sleep study if possible.
An overnight sleep study requires you to spend the night in a sleep Lab. But you may have a hard time sleeping in the new environment.
A home sleep test uses a portable-monitoring system that is small enough for one to use at home. The system consists of a small recording device, sensors, belts and related cables and accessories. The technician applies the sensors to your body and turn on the recording device before going to sleep. The sleep recorder gathers important data as you sleep in your own bed. A home sleep test can be as accurate as an overnight sleep study in detecting OSA.
A home sleep test can be performed after you have had a clinical evaluation in my clinic at Jubilee Hospital Trivandrum.The Home sleep study can be arranged anywhere in neighboring districts of Trivandrum. (Cost aprox.Rs 5000.)
Please Contact ENT clinic at Jubilee hospital, Trivandrum or email [email protected]