At the age of 26, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. My sleep apnea was not due to my weight or health conditions, but due to the fact that my tongue was too large for my mouth, which greatly reduced my airway, especially while sleeping. When diagnosed with this condition my first remedy was to use a CPAP machine. For over a year I strapped a hose to my face to allow air to force its way through my respiratory system. It was improving my overall sleep but I still felt it was not working for my condition. I still felt like my airway was reduced and I felt like there was a weight on my throat. I contacted my sleep specialist in St. Charles, Port Jefferson, NY and he suggested for me to visit Dr. Jan Miller to be fitted for an oral appliance (mouth piece). I was excited for an alternative prescription to my sleep apnea, especially because of the side effects of the CPAP machine; dry mouth and having to be plugged in. Being plugged into the wall did not help the fact that I often take long backpacking trips with no power. I met with Dr. Miller, and after several appointments I had my oral appliance. At first I resisted changing from my CPAP to the appliance because I grew used to being strapped into my CPAP. But then I committed to using the oral appliance, slowly expanding the mouthpiece to its max. The process of getting used to the mouthpiece took about a month. But now I cannot sleep without it. Wearing the oral appliance is like a weight being lifted off my throat. I am able to sleep in any position that I want with no issues. The CPAP, however, greatly reduced my sleeping positions. Now I sleep and I can breathe throughout the night with no side effects. Please be sure to adjust your jaw and follow the instructions that Dr. Miller provides, if not your jaw will hurt over time. I am finally dreaming on a regular bases; something that I never experienced. I feel like a new person after a year of using the mouthpiece! The best part about the oral appliance is that I do not need to plug it into a wall! I now enjoy waking up refreshed during my multi-night backing packing adventures.
Thank you Dr. Miller and your staff.