TL;DR for below: I have sleep apnea and the BiPAP doesn’t seem to be helping even after a nasal rinse each night. Are there pillows that can help?

Full explanation:

I started falling asleep in class in 2006, and I have been tired ever since. For over a decade, doctors told me to get more vitamins in my diet and exercise more to increase my energy levels. I have none of the risk factors for sleep apnea – I’m a petite young lady – so nobody ever checked. Finally, this year, I went to a sleep doctor after falling asleep in the car on the way to work.

  • On-site sleep study confirmed I have sleep apnea – 36 events per hour. Sleep doctor theorized it was due to a deviated septum.
  • Second on-site sleep study to test CPAP machine found there was no setting that would help.
  • Third on-site sleep study to test BiPAP machine – success! They found a setting where I had zero apneas.

Except when I got the BiPAP at home and started using it, it didn’t help. I still got 30-40 apneas per hour.

Went to an ENT: turns out I don’t have a deviated septum. ENT theorized that I have old-fashioned obstructive sleep apnea in my throat area, and the BiPAP would help but the air pressure is enflaming my sinuses which is causing problems. He suggested using NeilMed Sinus Rinse in the morning and night.

I’ve been doing that dutifully, but still no results. The lowest I’ve gotten is 11 apneas per hour, which was after doing the sinus rinse in the morning and twice at night. I tried the same thing the following night, and apneas went back up. The past two nights I’ve had 38 apneas/hr and 32 apneas/hr, respectively.

I’m going to try Nasacort, which the ENT also recommended, but currently I’m feeling pretty discouraged. My pillow is old and super flat, so I’ve been thinking maybe getting a new one would help? I have acid reflux as well, which I’ve read is sometimes related to sleep apnea, so maybe a wedge pillow would be good? Has anyone here had success with a specific pillow?

submitted by /u/bejouled
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