Sleep apnea?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by rjzeller, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. rjzeller

    rjzeller Forte User

    Mar 7, 2005
    Rochester, MN
    Hey ML:

    I've just discovered that I have sleep apnea (I've suspected it for a while but recently confirmed it). This is a reasonably serious situation, which I should addres sooner than later.

    There's basically two options: C-Pap machine or surgery. The C-pap just doesn't seem to work for me (mostly because I simply can't get comfortable or to sleep with it it kinda defeats the purpose). That leaves surgery.

    I'm afraid to go under-the-knife with regard to anything involving the air passages/throat/windpipe/mouth...whatever. My concern is, could this have an adverse impact on my trumpet playing?

    I realize you're not doctor...but what do you think? Is it something worth worrying about or am I delaying things for no reason at all? (Heck, maybe it'll open things up and make me better....who knows?)

    I'm just not sure I wanna mess with the pipes, you know?

  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004

    As I understand the surgery, it doesn't seem that it would have a bad effect on your trumpet playing, at least, after everything has healed. I think the key is to not go back too soon and really plan on a goodly amount of time off.

  3. wrbandel

    wrbandel Pianissimo User

    Mar 9, 2005
    Rochester, MN

    Hey man, sorry to hear about the apnea. I wouldn't worry about the surgery though. I had surgery on my vocals cords about nine years ago with no ill effects. In fact I was up and playing within the week. (I know, my doc said to wait a couple of weeks, but hey, I couldn't wait.)

  4. R.A.S.

    R.A.S. Pianissimo User

    Oct 13, 2004
    Woodbury, Minnesota
    Mr. Zeller,
    I was officially diagnosed about a month ago (sleep study concluded), and tried the CPAP - with very negative results. Part of my thing was that I can't sleep on my back due to a fractured mid-back.

    There really are three options, not just two. I am now waiting to see a dentist here in the twin cities who specializes in "facial pain". They take impressions, and fit you with a dental appliance that keeps your teeth about 1/8" apart all night while you sleep. You can still sleep with your mouth closed (breathing through your nose), but the teeth being open keeps your tongue from receding back into your throat (which causes the restricted airway).

    The surgery can be very bad for brass players. Doctors aren't always able to assure you that your airway will be the same afterward. Even the doctor himself admitted that it would be out of the question for me.

    The dentist?
    The Facial Pain Center
    8650 Hudson #105
    Lake Elmo, MN (just outside of Woodbury, which is east of St. Paul)

    I'm waiting. It's supposed to work for 70% of people.
    Best wishes!
  5. R.A.S.

    R.A.S. Pianissimo User

    Oct 13, 2004
    Woodbury, Minnesota
    Oops! Phone number:
  6. gregc

    gregc Mezzo Piano User

    Apr 5, 2004
    New York, U.S. of A.
    I'm in the apnea situation also; moderate to severe in my case.
    The Specialist ENT guy I saw told me to basically forget surgery; a less than 50/50 proposition for which I would surely hate him afterwards.
    He told me to get used to the c-pap. I sort of go on & off the thing as I can be real uncomfy with it too. I donno what else to do really......I use it as much as I can.
    good luck,
  7. R.A.S.

    R.A.S. Pianissimo User

    Oct 13, 2004
    Woodbury, Minnesota
    I saw the dentist this morning from whom I'm getting the mouth piece that keeps your teeth open about 1/8" while you sleep.
    They took impressions, and she showed me one, and described how they work.
    She said, "There's a screw on here, and you adjust it a little farther and a little farther - until your wife says you don't snore anymore, and you wake up refreshed in the morning."
    She sounds sure of her solution.
    I'm counting on it.
  8. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    I personally know a trumpeter that had the surgery done and lost the ability to play for a couple of years. They remove tissue from the soft palette and, in his case, he lost the ability to create the compression required to play.

    I'd try real hard to get accustomed to the CPAP. I've got "central sleep disorder" which is not resolved by the CPAP; however, I spent a couple of nights in a sleep study where that thing was one for at least part of the night. You CAN use it and sleep on your side, I proved that. Also, there are at least a half dozen styles of masks and/or nostril attachments, so don't give up until you've tried a few.

  9. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    This is so weird... I was in a conversation here at work just today with a couple of our shift supervisors and one of them was saying that he is waiting for an appointment to see a specialist re surgery. He's tried the machine but has to have it tensioned down so much that he gets blisters and infections on his skin (or perhaps his skin is sensitive). Anyway, he can't use the machine and doesn't have any alternatives.

    At least he doesn't have to worry about playing a musical instrument but the prospect of surgery is still pretty scary.

    There seems to have been such a tremendous increase in the number of diagnosed cases of sleep apnea in the last few years.... is there really a higher incidence of it? or is it just that diagnosis and communication is such that we hear more of it?
  10. Mikey

    Mikey Forte User

    Oct 24, 2003
    I was also diagnosed a few years ago. I could not handle the C-PAP unit. Too clostrophobic. I too think the surgery is too risky. THe ENT specialist told me I could end up with an air leak through my nose. Not good for trumpet playing. But he also told me that I was moderately obese; maybe 40 pounds over my ideal weight. He said losing weight is the single best thing one can do to get rid of sleep apnea. So, I am slowly losing weight. It is not easy, but it can be done and I will do it.

    (This coming from someone who has had 4 back surgeries and carries rods and screws in his back to hold everything together. If I can lose weight by excersising and eating right, anybody can.


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