Lunch-times sleeping in the car
James a 32 year old Male had been diagnosed with very severe sleep apnoea and had been unable to tolerate his C-PAP device, despite knowing that this was likely to be hugely successful in dealing with his problems. He was a loud snorer and confessed to being constantly exhausted with no energy. His first thought on reaching his office in the morning was to look at his schedule to see where he might be able to have a quick nap. Meetings were a nightmare as he struggled to concentrate and stay awake with non-stop coffee drinking. His lunch hour was spent sleeping in his car.
He became aware of the option of oral appliances when hearing me speak at a meeting of ISAT (Irish Sleep Apnoea Trust), a patient support group for sufferers with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. He approached me with trepidation after the meeting wondering if he might be able to try an appliance, but uncertain that anything would ever remedy his problem.
A month later I provided him with an oral appliance. The next day he called to say he had managed to wear his appliance all night without difficulty and had bounced out of bed at 6.30 feeling refreshed and full of energy for the first time in years and he actually went for a run before work, something he could not have contemplated with his energy levels previously. That was 5 years ago and he continues to wear his appliance nightly with no symptoms of sleep apnoea and a wife who can also sleep at night as he no longer snores.
James, 32-year old male
The couple who had not shared a bedroom in 12 years
Andrew and his wife of 15 years, Maeve, attended one of my practices having read an article I had written in a local newspaper about snoring treatment with oral appliances. Andrew was an extremely loud snorer, but did not have obstructive sleep apnoea. He and his wife used separate bedrooms as his wife could not sleep with the very loud snoring. When they went on holidays they had to book separate hotel rooms and rarely went away partly due to the added expense but more due to the fact that being on holidays in separate rooms did not appeal to them. Both were very frustrated with the situation and stated that it had seriously affected their marriage. Andrew had tried every snoring remedy on the market with very little benefit.
Their marriage was on the verge of collapse, but had agreed having read about oral devices on the internet that maybe I had the answer, although after so long they were sceptical that anything could help them. Andrew said if I could stop his snoring that he would book a holiday for the two of them. I said this was a good idea, but to wait for one month after the appliance was fitted to allow him time to fully adjust. Andrew’s appliance fitted and a month later they went away for a weeks holiday and were able to share a room for the first time in years as the appliance was as Maeve put it â€œa miracleâ€. Andrew noted that although he had always considered himself to be a good sleeper and did not feel he had daytime sleepiness, he noted that his sleep was much improved with his appliance and now woke much more refreshed than previously.
Andrew and his wife of 15 years
The woman who no longer went to the theatre or cinema
Mary was a 55year old woman who was referred to see me by her dentist after she had fallen asleep and snored whilst having a root treatment carried out. Mary had been evaluated by a sleep physician and found to have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnoea. She had been given a C-PAP unit but could sleep for no more that 2 hours with it and would remove it always in the early hours of the morning. She reported that falling asleep at the dentist was nothing new for her and she constantly felt exhausted. For fear of falling asleep at the wheel, she avoided driving in the late afternoon or later. She would occasionally fall asleep in the middle of a conversation. She loved going to the theatre or cinema but would no longer go as she was guaranteed to fall asleep and worse still start loud snoring.
Having had a mandibular advancement fitted she called one week later to tell me she had been to the theatre on three separate nights and had never even thought about sleep. She felt she had her life back as she put it. Mary had a review with her sleep physician and her sleep study showed that the appliance as well as controlling her snoring had virtually eliminated her obstructive sleep apnoea.
Mary, 55 years old
Too embarrassed to sleep on transcontinental flights.
John, a 42 year old company executive did a lot of flying as part of his job. On average he made ten long-haul flights per year. As he had to attend meetings often within hours of touching down after an overnight flight, his company paid for him to have a first class sleeper where these were available. He had only used one once as he was woken by the flight attendant and virtually the all the first class passengers as nobody else could sleep with his snoring. He was checked for obstructive sleep apnoea and was found to be a simple snorer with no apnoea.
I fitted an appliance for John and the next day he departed for a week’s holiday with his wife. They had booked separate hotel rooms as a precaution, but he texted me to say that he was able to cancel the booking for the second room after the first night when his wife said there was no snoring what so ever. As John said at his review appointment, being able to cancel the second room paid for his appliance.
John, 42 year old male
Tony was a very fit 36 year old but had always snored very loudly. He did not have obstructive sleep apnoea. Once a year he went away with a group of friends on a week’s golfing holiday. There was a standing joke that none of the others would share with Tony or Gerry another regular in the annual trip as both were extreme snorers. Tony and Gerry were always expected to share a room. Tony had an appliance fitted by me a few months before their trip and was complaining as he did not want to share a room with Gerry. Gerry was intrigued to find that Tony could sleep soundly even after a few drinks, with no more that a very faint snoring noise and a week after his return, on the urgings of his wife, he was in to my clinic to have an oral appliance made for himself.
Tony, 36 years old