Sleep Apnea non-CPAP solutions
I'm losing my mind in the weeds on this so I'm desperate for advice. I was diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea this spring after many years of high blood pressure that isn't fully managed w/ meds. I'm not sure I've EVER felt refreshed when I wake up in the morning in my life. I always thought it was for other reasons (motherhood, stress, perimenopause, hot flashes, migraines, the list is endless).
A CPAP is a non-starter for me. My reasons are excellent but too personal to share publicly. And nothing like Inspire - I don't want anything implanted in my chest.
I have Kaiser HMO and have been thru the sleep study and have spoken w/ a sleep doctor. He gave me a MyTap boil & bite device which allegedly will work "enough" to allow me to pass the 2nd sleep study which is required to give me a referral for a dentist who will make a custom oral appliance. The disclosures on this temporary device are making my head spin with the risks to my bite and my jaw and my teeth. My insurance will definitely pay in full for a custom device - the DME is great and doesn't seem to have any conditions on it aside from a referral.
I haven't had a drug induced endoscopy yet, thought am wondering if I should to know the true reason for my apnea. I have a deviated septum, which is only tangentially related, but I understand fixing it won't address the apnea. I've tried breathe right strips and flonase, but that's only making nasal breathing more comfortable (which is good, true), not changing the apnea episodes.
I would love a permanent solution to this rather than a lifetime of any number of devices. I do not think I'm willing to go as far as full jaw surgery or palate/tongue surgery. I understand that Stanford is better at solutions for this than Kaiser and that other countries are better at this than the US is, but how to engage with them as a Kaiser patient? I've read James Nestor's Breath book and there were a few ideas there too. The one orthodontist I spoke with said that I'm too old (52) for a palette expander. Am I?
Has anyone - especially someone with Kaiser insurance - figured out the least obtrusive way to solve this? Any recs for professionals in the Bay Area?
I'm all over the place trying to figure out how to move forward, so if you have any ideas or anecdotes, I'm all ears! Thanks!