Sleep apnea can be helped with the CPAP mask I think it's called (continuous positive airway pressure), basicly a posi-pressure breathing mask.
Often times the issue that causes the person to start to feel a choking or gasping sensation is the (I didn't do well in anatomy) flap of skin that droops down from the roof of the mouth, and the position of the tounge. Sometimes it can be "trimmed" to help prevent airflow from being blocked.
However Epilepsy and the need for the posi-pressure mask are two seperate issues. Most epileptics do NOT need to use the mask or need surgery on the roof of the mouth; thats a small percentage.
Side effects of medications may be another issue. Some medications make the person drowsy, others make sleep more difficult to come by. Medications can also disrupt eating pattern, cause hairloss, thicken hair, cause weight changes, emotional issues... the list goes on depending on the medication and dose. It all depends on the 1. Medication and 2. persons response to the medication (some respond better than others pending the medication)
It's a steep learning curve. A large library of information to read with a lot of new research continuing to come out every year.
sherry...I recently went to a conference and they talked about the relationship between epilepsy and sleep apnea. A study done in michigan shows that compared to the general population, there is a higher percentage of people with epilepsy who have sleep apnea...the same with depression, anxiety and a few other conditions. That report said up to 1/3 of people with epilepsy may also have sleep apnea. You can just google sleep apnea +epilepsy and I am sure it will pop up...(I am not a e computer wiz...I google everything!!!)
I have epilepsy and sleep apnea...but most of my apnea events were central apnea...they had nothing to do with snoring or obstruction, but rather the brainstem...like it forgets to send the "breathe" message to the brain. Very weird.
they had nothing to do with snoring or obstruction, but rather the brainstem...like it forgets to send the "breathe" message to the brain.
I had this happen to me for a couple weeks after I had my Gran Mal seizure. I would wake up panicking because I felt myself stop breathing- as if my brain forgot to send the signal to breathe. I wondered if I had developed sleep apnea after I had my seizure. But i was also on Dilantin at the time, which gave me lots of other problems while sleeping, so it could have been a side effect... because it hasn't happened since I've been off the Dilantin.
Folks I wanted to post these studies and reference articles (FYI: Dilantin=Phenytoin):
First a study by Elson So (now at the Mayo Clinic) and J. Kiffin Penry (deceaesed): Adverse Effects of phenytoin (Dilantin) on poeripheral nerves and neuromuscular junction: A Review; Epilepsia (1981) 22(4) 467-73.
Phenytoin and Thyroid hormone action; J Endriconology (1985), 104(2), 201-4
Serum GGT (gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase) activity in patients on long term phenytoin therapy Digestive Diseases and Sciences (1988) 31(10) 1056-61: Conclusion GGT levels are higher in folks on LT dilantin therapy.
Phenytoin and cerebellar lesions: Similar Effects on Catecholamine metabolism: Archives of neurology (1977) 34(3) 162-7
Effect of long term phenytoin treatment on the levels of Calcium and Magnesium in rat femurs: Comptes Rendus des seances de la Societe de biologie et de ses filiales (1978) 172(6) 1114-8: phenytoin reduces bone calcium and magnesium levels w/o effecting plasma levels of calcium or magnesium
Peripheral neuropathy in children on long term phenytoin therapy: Brain and Development (1981) 3(4) 375-83
I have to head to work now but here are some of the references that might be of interest. I still have to find the apirin reference which I have and when I do I will post