EyeDentist is correct. You absolutely must have a “sleep study” done to determine “if for sure” you have sleep apnea and if so, how bad it is. (I stopped breathing for up to 45 seconds, and about 200 times a night). Sleep apnea is very serious and besides making you feel crappy during the day it can indeed shorten your life.
In terms of options don’t necessarily take one doctor’s word for what needs to be done. If you need the cpap machine then you for sure should use it. It is indeed an instant fix. Sleep apnea is a mechanical problem. However, if you can’t stand the machine investigate surgery. It took me 3 MD’s before I found one who really addressed all my problems.
FYI - As I said above sleep apnea is a mechanical problem. Here’s what I mean…
Your body is only willing to work just so hard to pull in air when you sleep. Its not like when you are awake and you can breath harder if you want. When you have air way resistances such has upper chest mass pressing against your airway, deviated septum, large pallet, etc, they create added resistance for the lungs to pull air through. When the total resistance of all these “partial” obstructions is greater than the effort the lungs are willing to put out you stop breathing.
The cpap machine (continous positive airway pressure) is like a little turbo for your lungs adding pressure to the air going in which in essence is like getting your lungs to work harder (but they don’t have to because the machine is doing the work)
I hope that’s clear. If you have any questions please ask.