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Exercises for snoring and sleep apnea — 2 Comments

  1. How much would eliminating the need for a CPAP machine save the patient? Is a CPAP something that is readily covered by insurance? How long do the exercises take to work and could a patient use a CPAP in the interim? I would imagine a patient would spend almost 8 minutes a day on setting up and maintaining a CPAP machine. I love hearing about these simple fixes that are completely within our control, avoiding something as complicated as a CPAP seems like an excellent goal.

    • Hi Nathan, insurance companies, including Medicare, do pay for CPAP machines and supplies (up to a certain amount depending on the plan), as well as the required overnight sleep studies. It’s no coincidence that the number of sleep clinics has increased along with the use of CPAP machines! These studies cost around $1,000+, and sometimes 2 are needed to get the CPAP machine adjusted appropriately. So the patient’s cost depends on the size of his/her deductible.

      Cost aside, it’s also a quality of life issue. I have a friend who has used a CPAP machine–with success–for several years. But he hates it. It’s uncomfortable, it’s noisy (his wife hates it, too), it needs constant maintenance, and he finds it difficult to travel with it. He’d like to go camping, but feels stuck to this machine. He just bought a didgeridoo made of PVC pipe with a special mouth piece designed to exercise the throat muscles. I imagine it will take 6-8 weeks to notice a difference, but he is motivated and has promised to let me know how it works so I can write about it. Best, FN