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View Full Version : Over 60, with sleep apnea......



Cherokee Bill
06-27-2013, 18:32
Question for "past" Thru-hikers! How many over 60-years old, and having sleep apnea. took the plunge and did a Thru hike anyway??:-?

ChinMusic
06-27-2013, 18:51
Question for "past" Thru-hikers! How many over 60-years old, and having sleep apnea. took the plunge and did a Thru hike anyway??:-?
Seek the opinion of your local dentist. There are custom "mouth guards" and other appliances that can make your breathing better in the field. You may even find they do as good of a job as CPAP

Cherokee Bill
06-27-2013, 19:34
[QUOTE=ChinMusic;1493461]Seek the opinion of your local dentist. There are custom "mouth guards" and other appliances that can make your breathing better in the field. You may even find they do as good of a job as CPAP[

You are correct, as I started with the mouth appliance about 15-years ago! Finally, the apnea got to the point, I had to go to a Bipap! This is the reason for my original post!!!

Wise Old Owl
06-27-2013, 19:50
I disagree, the right person for sleep apnea is a ear, nose & throat specialist. The mouth guards are a pita and are worthless when snoring. Although I am not a thru hiker, I am a Apnea sufferer. at 225 pounds. Have been since I was 26, I have had several nose operations to correct a deviated septum and uvula operation... no regrets its worth it. Just do it.

http://www.cartoonstock.com/lowres/aba0672l.jpg

ChinMusic
06-27-2013, 22:49
I disagree.... The mouth guards are a pita and are worthless when snoring.
I AM a dentist. Your opinion is way off base. I have successfully treated snoring for years.

Sorry your experience is lacking. Find someone better.

Slo-go'en
06-27-2013, 23:44
There is nothing worse then being in a shelter with some one with sleep apnea. Except when there are two, one on either side of you! (Happend to me in the Smokies, no choice in the matter)

You can certianly try a thru hike, but at 66 with sleep apnea and possibly over weight, the odds are against you getting too far. But if your not too over weight and in other wise good health and condition, it might not be too bad.

Cherokee Bill
07-02-2013, 18:13
There is nothing worse then being in a shelter with some one with sleep apnea. Except when there are two, one on either side of you! (Happend to me in the Smokies, no choice in the matter)

You can certianly try a thru hike, but at 66 with sleep apnea and possibly over weight, the odds are against you getting too far. But if your not too over weight and in other wise good health and condition, it might not be too bad.

I cannot agree more that snoring is a pain in the butt if you are trying to sleep! Additionally, everyone with sleep apnea, are not "obese"!!!! I am only 7-lb above my "ideal weight"!

Wise Old Owl
07-02-2013, 21:16
I AM a dentist. Your opinion is way off base. I have successfully treated snoring for years.

Sorry your experience is lacking. Find someone better.


Oh Chin, here you go again... We are both educated, we love our jobs, and most important we are adults... Without a doubt IF I had a jaw issue I would be the guy that would call you first for an opinion and since I left Chicago .. I would still visit., I trust you. Yes I have been to the best dentists had the trays made .... Uh but keep in mind I have been to the best in Chester County here. But the ear nose and throat are IMO better... its an honest opinion. Hey damn common sense. MY snoring could not be solved as I went thru a dentist at first. A mouth guard is awesome for some - it did not work for me. That doesn't reflect on you... You are great dentist.


Going forward if you ever see this Talk about your and others success ,, not the failures. Don't ever destroy character, measure people by what they do.

ChinMusic
07-02-2013, 23:12
Oh Chin, here you go again... We are both educated, we love our jobs, and most important we are adults... Without a doubt IF I had a jaw issue I would be the guy that would call you first for an opinion and since I left Chicago .. I would still visit., I trust you. Yes I have been to the best dentists had the trays made .... Uh but keep in mind I have been to the best in Chester County here. But the ear nose and throat are IMO better... its an honest opinion. Hey damn common sense. MY snoring could not be solved as I went thru a dentist at first. A mouth guard is awesome for some - it did not work for me. That doesn't reflect on you... You are great dentist.


Going forward if you ever see this Talk about your and others success ,, not the failures. Don't ever destroy character, measure people by what they do.



I disagree, the right person for sleep apnea is a ear, nose & throat specialist. The mouth guards are a pita and are worthless when snoring.



If you had simply posted that a guard did not work for you, I would not have even posted.
I took issue with your blanket statement.

I can tell you with certainty that the majority of my patients do not find mouth guards "worthless"

q-tip
07-03-2013, 08:51
getting TAP-3 shortly, suffering with severe fatigue, but also have severe bipolar: http://www.glidewelldental.com/dentist/services/removables-tap.aspx

Drybones
07-03-2013, 09:36
Question for "past" Thru-hikers! How many over 60-years old, and having sleep apnea. took the plunge and did a Thru hike anyway??:-?

CB...?...are you concerned with a health issue for youself or just concerned about your snoring bothering others?

Pathfinder1
07-03-2013, 10:40
Hi...


There are battery operated C-paps. Have you considered them?

I am a C-pap user...nose and mouth mask. Others have nose mask only. My MD suspected sleep apnea, and advised me to go for a sleep test. That test gave others the info to prescribe the proper apparatus.

Snowleopard
07-03-2013, 11:12
Losing weight can help with sleep apnea. My respiratory doctor tells me that a standard recommendation for patients with sleep apnea is to lose 10% of your body weight. I did that, starting from just a few pounds over weight and went from having sleep apnea to not having sleep apnea.

My cousin has sleep apnea and going on a CPAP raised his energy level enough that he was able to lose a considerable amount of weight.

Cherokee Bill
07-03-2013, 18:10
CB...?...are you concerned with a health issue for youself or just concerned about your snoring bothering others?

I have sleep apnea (~15-yrs) and am on a Bipap! AS I said previously, I am only about 7-lb over ideal weight, however, I am working on losing 10% or more in body weight for MANY reasons! Guess, I was wondering if others with sleep apnea (I'm 66 & in good physical health) threw caution to the wind and did a Thru anyway?? I would tent camp, so as not to disturb others with my snoring (w/o the use of my Bipap). After 20+ years of backpacking parts of the "AT" I know enough to avoid shelters at all cost!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Snowleopard
07-04-2013, 12:41
... I was wondering if others with sleep apnea (I'm 66 & in good physical health) threw caution to the wind and did a Thru anyway?? ...
The more hiking I did, the better, for me. My sleep apnea was relatively mild. There are potential health effects from uncontrolled sleep apnea. It's a tradeoff between the benefits of the exercise and hiker weight loss and the loss of energy from lack of sleep and other health effects of going without your BiPap. You ought to talk to your doctor about this. If you can find a battery powered CPAP/BiPAP that you can carry then I can't think of a reason not to do it. Without a battery powered bipap you need to discuss the pros and cons with a doctor, especially a sleep specialist. I hope you get to do the hike.

Looking this stuff up, I find there are two kinds of sleep apnea:
obstructive sleep apnea where weight or tight nasal passages, etc., restrict air flow causing snoring and apnea.
Central sleep apnea, where the brain is fails to activate the respiratory muscles. I'm not sure Central sleep apnea would be affected by losing weight.

Cyngbaeld
07-05-2013, 11:03
Might I suggest you try a gluten free diet first and see if the sleep apnea improves? My daughter had severe problems with it till she went gluten free and hasn't had any trouble since. She doesn't even snore at all now and I wasn't able to sleep in the same room with her before.

SleepVic
07-27-2013, 11:17
I have hiked the AT and I am a Sleep Specialist.

Unfortunately we determine a patients ability to use a mouth-guard (Mandibular Advancement Split) based on the type and severity of the sleep apnea. The MAS really only works for "Obstructive" sleep apnea with no worse than a mild to moderate severity (an AHI: less that 20). Surgical options really aren't recommended for patients over the age of 50.

It is true that there are CPAP units that are battery operated. But they aren't light enough, small enough, or hold a charge long enough to be a real option.

My opinion is to have a night time sleep study to determine the severity of your sleep apnea. If it is too severe for the MAS (Mouth-Guard) then take some time to loose as much weight as possible before the trip. The more weight you loose... Likelihood is the less apnea you will have. If you can cut your severity level down some then you can look into having a mouth Guard fitted for you.

Generally speaking the mouthguard in about 70-75% effective in eliminating sleep apnea and primary snoring.

I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me via email if you have any questions. vicjaveri@gmail.com



Question for "past" Thru-hikers! How many over 60-years old, and having sleep apnea. took the plunge and did a Thru hike anyway??:-?

Another Kevin
07-27-2013, 21:49
SleepVic - Thanks for weighing in. I'm wondering - do you have an opinion on treatment (perhaps off-label use of Diamox?) for hypobaric central sleep apnea? This might be of interest if I ever hike in the West again; I'm more sensitive to altitude than the average bear. (I know: I can't take it as medical advice: you're a doctor, but you're not my doctor. But my doctor isn't a hiker, so can you let me know what words to say to a pulmonologist?)

Wise Old Owl
07-27-2013, 22:28
I have hiked the AT and I am a Sleep Specialist.

Unfortunately we determine a patients ability to use a mouth-guard (Mandibular Advancement Split) based on the type and severity of the sleep apnea. The MAS really only works for "Obstructive" sleep apnea with no worse than a mild to moderate severity (an AHI: less that 20). Surgical options really aren't recommended for patients over the age of 50.

It is true that there are CPAP units that are battery operated. But they aren't light enough, small enough, or hold a charge long enough to be a real option.

My opinion is to have a night time sleep study to determine the severity of your sleep apnea. If it is too severe for the MAS (Mouth-Guard) then take some time to loose as much weight as possible before the trip. The more weight you loose... Likelihood is the less apnea you will have. If you can cut your severity level down some then you can look into having a mouth Guard fitted for you.

Generally speaking the mouthguard in about 70-75% effective in eliminating sleep apnea and primary snoring.

I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me via email if you have any questions. vicjaveri@gmail.com


I agree about 2005 I had to spend a week in the woods with a troop and charged a deep cycle battery for the cpap with a 300 watt inverter (double the watts needed) from the machines needs. It was good till five am as we went to bed about 10... hopefully the men in the lean too did not complain the options of me snoring would have gotten me kicked out, instead all they heard was the noise of the cooling fan of the inverter. Each day I took it up to the Quonset hut for charging... the out of the box thinking worked very well. Prior to shut down (Low battery) the built in alarm woke me up to turn it off.

Siestita
07-28-2013, 00:13
Thank you SleepVic for your helpful and obviously well informed post!

Praha4
07-28-2013, 10:12
anyone know if most health insurance covers any of these sleep apnea treatments?

MuddyWaters
07-28-2013, 11:01
Question for "past" Thru-hikers! How many over 60-years old, and having sleep apnea. took the plunge and did a Thru hike anyway??:-?

Based on what Ive heard coming from old guys at shelters, its not uncommon at all.
Of course, they may not know, or realize how bad they have sleep apnea.

Sleepmogul
11-01-2013, 23:15
My dad is a section hiker, but has gone out for as long as a month at a stretch. He also has severe sleep apnea. He uses a CPAP at home, but won't hike with one even if it has a battery pack. He is afraid it will break, and they definitely are not cheap. He uses a chin strap instead. My mom says it stops his snoring, and he says that he awakens feeling as rested as he does when he uses his CPAP at home.

Sleepmogul
11-01-2013, 23:23
I forgot to mention that he had a repeat of his sleep study about six months ago and he used his chin strap for a three hour section of the study. The tech noted that his apnea events declined sharply during that three hour period. It works by retraining the jaw to position itself properly during sleep - stopping the collapse that causes the airway to become blocked. I think there are a lot of them out there, but he got his on a BOGO free. My signature contains a link if you are interested in reading about how it works.

shelb
11-02-2013, 00:58
There is nothing worse then being in a shelter with some one with sleep apnea. Except when there are two, one on either side of you! (Happend to me in the Smokies, no choice in

This is SO TRUE!!! When my husband hikes with me (he has apnea), we tent it. While I realize extra weight is not the only cause of sleep apnea, it can be a contributing factor. When my husband's brother (who had apnea) lost 60 pounds and went into the normal range, he also "lost" his apnea. I am guessing my husband may be the same; however, it will be up to him to make that decision to drop that baggage.

peakbagger
11-02-2013, 07:42
I ran into a couple of folks who had sleep apnea over the years. They generally tented near shelters as to not disturb the folks in the shelter. They would cook and eat supper at the shelter and socialize and then went to their tent. Some folks also noted that long distance hiking reduced their apnea.

Paul the Brit
11-02-2013, 08:18
I had the UUUP procedure some years ago and it worked for me. I have since then gained 40lb plus pounds and at times snore and have apnea episodes, not as bad as before but it does occur. I certainly do not see this is a limitation to go hiking in fact the opposite. One reason I am attempting a thru hike is to gain some of my lost health. I will tent and not primarily due to the snoring but tenting is the way I like to hike. Therefore disturbing others in the shelter isn't a concern.

cherokee are you concerned that the apnea could cause a serious health incident on the trail without your bipap? If not then I would hike and reap the benefits.

As as I said I have gained weight, on acid reflux and cholesterol meds and also now on sleep meds as I lack vitamin D ( I moved from an outside job of 30 years to working in an office with no natural light ) .......all reasons to hike and having completed my physical recently totally supported by my doctor.

Sly
11-02-2013, 13:50
Regardless of age, why would sleep apnea prevent one from attempting a thru-hike?

MuddyWaters
11-02-2013, 13:57
Regardless of age, why would sleep apnea prevent one from attempting a thru-hike?

Because some use a CPAP machine at home , and there is no place to plug it in on the trail.

You usually wont die from apnea, although the people sleeping near you might want to kill you, but you are very tired the next day. They people I know who have used the machines wont sleep without them, they sleep much more restfully and feel much better.

Seesfar
11-17-2013, 23:15
Hey Bill,
Although I know the mouthpiece didn't work for you long term, I want to chime in that for me it is magic. When I wear it, I do not snore. When I don't I drive my wife out of the bedroom. I even wake myself up. It has been a life changer for me.

CB1821
11-18-2013, 09:13
You might also consider using a hammock on your hike instead of a tent or sleeping in shelters.

I read where some studies show that sleeping with your head elevated can help in treating sleep apnea and my Doc also recommended it, so I gave it a try. I found it to be helpful - along with losing weight, using breath strips, and trying to sleep mostly on my side. So now when I backpack I use a hammock, since it keeps your upper body on a slight incline. I find I do not snore, I slept well, and I wake up rested.

Just a thought.

MuddyWaters
11-18-2013, 20:39
http://www.mytranscend.com/

apparently there ARE battery powered CPAP that can last a few days now.