Hi. I have a 48 yo Downs brother (the light of my life), who had severe obstructive sleep apnea, plus allergies. For the allergies, he's on zyrtec, singulair and Nasonex & Advair for the asthma. We looked into both surgery and use of cpap, decided to start with cpap since even if the full surgery (there are different levels of procedures) worked, studies show that the benefits usually only last for 5 years or so.
We tried more masks than Carter has peanuts, without success. We decided to try the surgical route, so just last October Pete had his tonsils, adenoids, & uvula removed, a modified rhinoplasty to remove an obstruction on his septum, his sinuses "roto-rootered", and lord knows what else. ANYWAY, the surgery was not a total success. The only thing it accomplished was that we were able to lower the cpap pressure to a "7", making it easier for him to tolerate the cpap, and the snoring did become markedly softer (his sleep apnea was reduced in severity). Next, we had to find a different mask. Turns out he needed a full mask (only one brand worked for him -- ResMed Mirage,and it hadto be a size small). I worked with him so that now he can usually keep the mask on for most of the night, but I always have to put it back on if he's taken it off to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Just so you know, there are several newly designed masks out there that more people are tolerating that don't involve covering the nose at all --Fisher & Paykel make one that goes in the mouth and stays in by sticking to the insides of the cheeks. Then there's another one made by cpap Pro (www.cpappro.com
) that seems promising.
There's also another surgical procedure that has only recently been approved for sleep apnea (it used to only be approved for snoring). It involves placement of a dacron implant in the back of the throat. Can't remember the name of the procedure, but any good ENT will know what you're talking about.
I just joined this board, and this is my first post. Hope it helped you. I'm now going to post my own question -- hope someone has some info for me, too.
All the very best to you and your son.
PS: For the future, people are very willing to label our Downs guys as having early onset alzheimers, (it happened with my brother 15 yrs ago), when often times the symptoms are easily explained by the sleep apnea -- forgetfulness, moodiness, fatigue, daytime drowsiness, etc. Just so you're aware in case any "Knowledgeable professional" decides to label your kid unfairly.