Marc's Public Blog - OSA, Obstructive Sleep Apnea and MMA Surgery


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This page has a few of my blog posts about my issues with OSA, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which basically means not being able to breathe at night and having restless nights, night after night.
Because my sleep apnea scored low but somehow the impact on me was fairly high, it took a while to diagnose, and I tried several things before eventually getting Maxillomandibular Advancement Surgery (MMA) to fix my airway for good.

I made this summary page after the fact, so it starts with a few sleep studies I likely did 5 years later than I should have.

Table of Content for osa:

More pages: December 2011 May 2011 March 2011 December 2010 August 2010 July 2010 January 2010 December 2009 July 2006 April 2006 November 2005 March 2004



2006/04/28 Stanford Sleep Clinic
π 2006-04-28 20:47 by Merlin in Osa

After a 5 month wait, yesterday I finally got my appointment in one of the best places in the US in that field (and many others). My last update was in november, and it just took that long for me to get my appointment (after having to cancel the one I had in January since it fell in the middle of my diving trip in Australia).
Long story short, it was fruitful: I brought my sleep study, saw a couple of specialists in 30mn, and they basically told me the following things:

  • my airways close when I sleep, so I wake up, gasp for air, and fall back asleep. When this happens 150 times/night, this makes for a bad night of sleep
  • I stop breathing for 3 reasons:
    1) my nose gets swollen inside due to allergies, so in addition to having my allergy shots, I should use a nasal spray to help with the allergies
    2) my bottom jaw is too far back, and therefore my tongue it too close to my airways when it relaxes, and it can even close them. Ironically, I had my jaw pushed back a bit with orthodontics to align my top and bottom teeth. Unfortunately, this is now messing with my ability to breathe
    3) the shape of my tonsils isn't ideal, so it makes for a small airway, and it's especially smaller when I lie down on my back, relax and let my tongue and jaw muscles relax and come back, further closing the said airway
  • I should sleep on my side or tummy. Tummy is bad for my vertebrae and my neck, but I'll take that over repeated poor nights of sleep. Side, I'll have to get used to, it seems unstable to me :)
  • There are 3 surgery options, including a couple of begnin ones.
  • I can also breathe with a mask and forced air induction (cpap).

Now, I have to see some surgeons for what my surgical options are, and in the meantime, I should totally stop sleeping on my back. I did that last night, and it already seems to have helped.

I'm a bit frustrated that my previous doctor wasn't able to tell me that from the results I already had, and that it took 5 months to get proper suggestions out of existing results, but if I had gone to stanford to start with, with the backlog they have it would probably have taken just as long anyway, so in the end it comes out to being more or less the same.

Anyway, it's good to have some answers, and I'll know more soon.

More pages: December 2011 May 2011 March 2011 December 2010 August 2010 July 2010 January 2010 December 2009 July 2006 April 2006 November 2005 March 2004

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