Is there a sleep apnea cure? That’s the question that I’m asked most often. The answer is a very simple yes, but actually getting there is far more complicated. I should first note that this only pertains to Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which includes RERAs (UARS), Hypopneas, and Obstructive Apneas.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea in all of its forms is caused by something obstructing the airway. This can be a large uvula, tongue, small airway, soft palate, a car, George Clooney, the Rock of Gibraltar, B.B. King’s guitar, Peyton Manning’s forehead, or the lower jaw falling back into the airway. Getting rid of sleep apnea is as easy as removing the cause of the obstruction. This is where a sleep apnea cure gets a little dicey.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea doesn’t just start overnight. It’s a progression that occurs over many years or even decades becoming more and more pronounced. It’s nothing that you’d really notice from day to day, much like watching your children grow up. The all of a sudden they’re all grown up and out of the house and you realize how damned tired you are!!! I may be mixing metaphors….I don’t even know. The point is that getting rid of an obstruction isn’t that easy all the time.
An enlarged uvula doesn’t just grow overnight. It can become elongated over a long period of time. Uvulas also aren’t know for their elasticity, so it becoming smaller isn’t something I’d count on. An enlarged tongue…same thing. A small airway is also tricky to fix naturally. If it’s George Clooney, you can ask him to leave, but he seems pretty full of himself, so he may stay thinking that he’s doing you some sort of favor. (I will remove this line if George Clooney makes a sizable donation to FreeCPAPAdvice.com. I will change it to a celebrity of George Clooney’s choosing that he will inform me of when he takes me out to a lobster dinner….after the sizable donation of course.)
The soft palate is a little different. Usually it sags into your airway because of increased weight. If this is the case then losing weight seems like a logical fix. This isn’t that straightforward unfortunately. If you’ve seen someone who has been overweight and then lost weight, you’ll notice that there is loose skin left behind that is often saggy. This is the same as the soft palate. It will enlarge with increased weight, then when the weight is lost it is still sagging into the airway as an obstruction. Finding a sleep apnea cure is starting to look a little daunting!
Surgeries that address the exact site of the obstruction can be helpful, but the people that actually benefit from sleep apnea surgery are very rare contrary to what surgeons will tell you. Determining the site of the obstruction is extremely difficult in most cases.
CPAP is so beautiful in that it doesn’t know or care where the site of the obstruction is. It just moves it out of the way. Uvula? Wham-o! Tongue? Smack-a-roo! Soft palate? z z z ZING!!! George Clooney? You’ll probably need to lure him out with a fit and gorgeous 27 year old female. Seriously, CPAP will just make him hunker down more.
So like a Jerry Springer final thought, it is possible to get off a CPAP or not have to use CPAP. A true sleep apnea cure? Not really. It’s more on a case by case basis and even rare in that. For pretty much the same information in video form, check out the video below!!!
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