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General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
Mtnviewer
 
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Using Neck Brace to keep Head Up & Airway Open?

Postby Mtnviewer on Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:18 pm

I've noticed during naps mostly but also during wakings from sleep, that while even sleeping on my side, and also sleeping with a Klearway oral appliance that my head can also droop forward and so more close my airway. I have a real problem with my chin dropping open doing the same thing and so opted to try the Klearway appliance, which after modifications at least helps in that regard and so somewhat diminishes some apneas or breathing problems. What I've been playing around with so far, is using a soft neck brace to help keep the my head and chin from dropping down to my chest. It works well enough for sleeping on my back, but isn't that great for sleeping on my side as it's a bit too bulkly. It also deforms under some weight, so I'm thinking instead of somehow making a more rigid but still softish brace to go between my chin and my chest but with the sides open and perhaps with velcro straps. I haven't found anything like this so far online, so I'm asking here if anyone has come across an already manufactured type of neck brace as I've described? Chin straps which I've tried sort of work ok for keeping the mouth closed, but not to keep the head tipping toward the chest. My oral appliance is also better than any chin strap I've tried by a huge margin.

I'd think that most of us probably have our heads move around during sleep and if our heads tip forward, on our sides or backs or sitting up, the airway gets restricted and quite easily closed off without too much forward movement. I've also not gone too far back in the archives but so far I haven't come across a thread with this concern. I'll keep looking though as even with PAP therapy and the oral appliance, this is part of my OSA problem and I'd like to figure out a usable and comfortable solution. The bad thing is, that it's just one more thing to wear around my head at night.

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I MUST stay off my back to reduce OSA & snoring. I use a small backpack of solid styrofoam to keep me on my side (tennis balls too small), & use DIY customized soft foam pillow to keep my head in a side sleeping position to eliminate most OSA.

NeurosurgeryNP
 
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Re: Using Neck Brace to keep Head Up & Airway Open?

Postby NeurosurgeryNP on Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:21 pm

You can try a Miami-J brace - stiff but lined with cushions. Not very pleasant to sleep with though. You may need an RX to get one.

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Re: Using Neck Brace to keep Head Up & Airway Open?

Postby NeurosurgeryNP on Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:21 pm

You can try a Miami-J brace - stiff but lined with cushions. Not very pleasant to sleep with though. You may need an RX to get one.

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Julie
 
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Re: Using Neck Brace to keep Head Up & Airway Open?

Postby Julie on Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:36 pm

Well, if you were to wear it all during the day, your neck will eventually lose its ability to keep your head up on its own, which is why MD's are always anxious for whiplash patients to do away with their collars as soon as possible and not depend on them indefinitely. I suppose if you only wear it for a short time when napping, it won't be terrible, but be careful about becoming dependent on it.

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Re: Using Neck Brace to keep Head Up & Airway Open?

Postby Mtnviewer on Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:48 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. Julie I have no need to wear it during the day but only when sleeping at night. I'd imagine that would be fine as the neck is relaxed anyway and muscles etc. are not as in action or tension to hold the head up, so it wouldn't seem to me that I would lose muscle tone or become dependant on it. For naps I take a 45 deg angle and the soft collar works well for me then, vs. perfectly horizontal at night where the soft collar isn't as effective.

I looked at the collars online such as the Miami J Brace, (thanks for that suggestion) and it has potential but is a bit more than we'd need. I'd think that we'd only benefit from the front portion in order to keep the head from dropping forward. I'll try to make something at home, before trying to purchase parts such as only the front portion of the J Brace.

I'm wondering if the head moving forward when asleep isn't more of a hidden problem then we OSA's are considering. It's very easy to do and thus close the airway and possibly skewing data reports.

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Mask: Mirage Quattro™ Full Face CPAP Mask with Headgear
Software: Sandman Series Therapy Software Version 1.6
Additional Comments: Dental Appliance to keep my Mouth Shut & No Jaw Advancement, Contec CMS-50E Oximeter & v.98 software
I MUST stay off my back to reduce OSA & snoring. I use a small backpack of solid styrofoam to keep me on my side (tennis balls too small), & use DIY customized soft foam pillow to keep my head in a side sleeping position to eliminate most OSA.

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Re: Using Neck Brace to keep Head Up & Airway Open?

Postby Kiralynx on Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:23 pm

The husband of a friend of mine uses one of these:

http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=13637&catid=10291

I myself use a firm roll of stiff foam which I've covered with fleece and added a neck strap to. It sits under my chin exactly as described: like a St. Bernard's brandy keg.

I couldn't use tape, couldn't stand a chin strap, or any of the other ingenious tricks used by forum members. I'm a side sleeper, and this tucks under my chin and holds my neck aligned and my jaw shut.

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Re: Using Neck Brace to keep Head Up & Airway Open?

Postby GumbyCT on Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:16 pm

When I 1st got my machine I experimented some using a neck collar to prevent my chin from moving towards my neck. Like you I thought it was contributing to more events.

I have also been known to sleep w/o a pillow with just a rolled up towel in the nape of my neck when sleeping supine. My 1st PSG noted I had fewer events when sleeping this way.

Things to keep in mind when the power goes out ;-)
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I am making progress-NOW I remember that I can't remember
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Re: Using Neck Brace to keep Head Up & Airway Open?

Postby ca_hosehead on Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:40 am

I had the same thought. I tried a soft cervical collar but it didn't work out. When I slept on my side, it put pressure on my jugular. The miami brace would work but would take a lot of getting used to. I think the ideal thing would put some sort of padded piece under the chin with just a wide strap going around the neck. It would need to be stiff enough to hold the chin up.

This is a commercial chin pillow that I looked at:

http://www.snoringpillow.com/int/index.htm

This is one from New Zealand called "Snorgon". (wasn't Snorgon a monster in the second "Lord of he Rings" book?)

http://www.snorgon.com/profile.html

No data on these other than what's on the web site.

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Re: Using Neck Brace to keep Head Up & Airway Open?

Postby Goofproof on Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:17 pm

Maybe the opposite would help, during the day wear a brick on your head it would make you neck muscles stronger and maybe that would help keep your airway open at night. :lol: Jim

For people with their tongue pierced, a hook through the hole and pullys over the bed with a weight, might keep the tongue in place.

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Re: Using Neck Brace to keep Head Up & Airway Open?

Postby kteague on Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:32 pm

Wow, Jim, I'm glad you're not my careiver! OUCH!

Before I broke down and accepted I needed a more reliable means of preventing mouth breathing I would ball up the corner of my covers under my chin. (I know, Jim, I was swimming in DeNile.) I had read on here that the head falling forward could worsen OSA so I hoped the wadded up covers would help with that too, and it would have if I never moved all night.

I personally wouldn't want to add something uncomfortable and cumbersome to my sleep garb. I wear a homemade chin strap and got rid of my pile of pillows in order to lessen the chance of my head falling forward. If I were to use anything, I think I could tolerate one of those squishy bead pillows maybe velcroed to my chin strap so as to not add another strap around my head or neck. May not totally immobilze my head, but my chin certainly couldn't fall onto my chest.

By the way, I have a family member who has no symptoms of OSA, but when he falls asleep on several pillows then slides down with his head tucked to his chest, he wakes up with a bad headache.

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ca_hosehead
 
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Re: Using Neck Brace to keep Head Up & Airway Open?

Postby ca_hosehead on Wed Dec 31, 2008 3:15 am

I personally wouldn't want to add something uncomfortable and cumbersome to my sleep garb.


Then you've got the wrong disease! :o

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Re: Using Neck Brace to keep Head Up & Airway Open?

Postby Mtnviewer on Wed Dec 31, 2008 11:00 am

Thanks for all the suggestions. It's all very helpful to my experience. I have a soft neck collar that I use all the time for naps and have tried it for sleeping but I found it too warm for sleeping. I think that I'll go back to trying it and see if I can get used to it. Other than my thinking it's warm, it isn't uncofortable though I'd like the sides a bit thinner. I will try to stiffen the area under the chin at the very least. I did wear it all night last night, so it has potential to work.

The soft collar snoring specific devices at those websites to me don't seem to be the answer. One IME is too round and the the other from NZ looks no different than a soft cervical collar for $12 but is more expensive at $29 NZ plus shipping. The round Aussie one, too me also doesn't have enough support or adjustment and I think would be just way too warm. It's idea of tapering toward the back is on the right track but it all looks too soft to give me much support.

I think I know better what I need now and will keep tinkering. Thanks again for all the posts and experiences.

_________________
Mask: Mirage Quattro™ Full Face CPAP Mask with Headgear
Software: Sandman Series Therapy Software Version 1.6
Additional Comments: Dental Appliance to keep my Mouth Shut & No Jaw Advancement, Contec CMS-50E Oximeter & v.98 software
I MUST stay off my back to reduce OSA & snoring. I use a small backpack of solid styrofoam to keep me on my side (tennis balls too small), & use DIY customized soft foam pillow to keep my head in a side sleeping position to eliminate most OSA.

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Re: Using Neck Brace to keep Head Up & Airway Open?

Postby Raj on Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:29 pm

I use a viscoelastic travel pillow turned backwards or to one side. Works for me.
Resmed AutoSet S9 with H5i humidifier/Swift FX mask/ Climateline hose/ http://www.rajlessons.com/

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Re: Using Neck Brace to keep Head Up & Airway Open?

Postby ca_hosehead on Wed Dec 31, 2008 3:44 pm

Please keep us posted with the results of your tinkering, it's something I'm interested in as well.

I wonder if some surgery on an inexpensive neck collar would work?

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Re: Using Neck Brace to keep Head Up & Airway Open?

Postby whatrdreamsmadeof on Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:11 pm

I had to wear a somi brace for cervical spine surgery so I'd never brace my neck up for anything, I'm with Jim, drill holes in your head and insert metal weights then mount some strong magnets on your headboard or wall you can swivel from side to side all night, oh yea don't forget the weight on your chin!
Seriously, good luck finding a fix! :lol:

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