Sleep Apnoea Forum Bringing Help + Support to the Patient

Dear all,

Sorry if I am posting this in wrong place..

I am a new member to this forum. I am 35 years old and I have been recently diagnosed moderate to severe OSA and since then I have been trying to find more information on this and how to deal with this. This brought to me to this great cite with wealth of information on this.

Just a little information about my situation. I have been having lot of problems with Sleep, snoring for a while and once, while I was away for a vacation in India, I saw an ENT Surgeon who recommended surgery as I have some problems in my nose or something. Recently mentioned this to my GP and he referred to me for sleep study. I took the machine for overnight study and 2 months after (yesterday), I got a letter from my consultant (whom I haven't seen yet), mentioning that my sleep study indicated features suggestive of a severe OSA. 

He mentioned that a respiratory technician will contact me in due course to organise the use of CPAP machine and he will (Consultant ENT Surgeon) will also give me an appointment to assess the situation to check anatomical contribution to this problem. 

He also mentioned that "It was not clear from your referral whether you have a significant degree to issues with sleepiness whilst driving but of course the diagnosis of this stage of severe OSA and daytime sleepiness does go with it concern regarding driving safety. In these circumstances, the DVLA need t be informed of the diagnosis and the management options so far that have been put into place. "

I am an occasional driver (only weekends for now) and I got my licenses  in last January after spending lot of money for classes and working really hard (I never used to like driving but now I kinda started enjoying it). I went for this study because of my concern over safety and I won't be driving now until my situation with DVLA is clear.

When I researched online, people tend to advice to contact DVLA once the treatment is started so that they are less likely to revoke the license. I am wondering whether I should wait till I receive my CPAP devise and/or my consultant appointment to inform DVLA? At the moment, I only finished my sleep study and I haven't seen by anyone to discuss this (except this letter).

Any advices are much appreciated..

Many Thanks,


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I have recently started treatment for severe OSA and use a CPAP machine. After 3 weeks treatment my AHI went down from 42(severe) to 20 (moderate). I am due to visit my sleep clinic next week for my second review. Personally I feel to have 'hit a wall' after my early treatment made me feel so much better, maybe it was a 'honeymoon' effect because I was so pleased to being treated for a condition I had believed I had had for many years. I know from Kath and other really kind posters on here that it is going to be a long haul and not an overnight fix.

  On the advice of my sleep clinic I submitted the S1 form to the DVLA and after they referred to my consultant I now have to submit my current licence and have it replaced with a medical review licence. I didn't stop driving as I never felt sleepy behind a steering wheel. If I ever felt tired I would stop and have a break. I drive 15k miles per year, including long drives in Spain and France in the Summer months.I asked my partner if she had ever notice me 'drifting off' when doing these long drives and she said 'no, never'. Before I became a teacher I was a sales rep and used to drive up to 36k per year. I can honestly say I have never felt likely to doze off when I am driving. My problem is when I get home sit down and relax. As soon as I turn off I am asleep.

Obviously I am going to refer this to my insurance company. Does anyone know if having a medical review licence will affect my premium or at worst ability to get insured? I was advised by my sleep clinic that it would be unlikely that I would lose my licence if I was having treatment for OSA.

John Wilkinson

Dear Kath,

Thanks. May I ask how long will it take to recover from Septoplasty surgery? 


Kath Hope said:

Great update George, even though I'm late to see it.  I've had a drug-induced endoscopy....there's not many places who do that in the UK.  Mine was with Prof Bhik Kotecha in London.  He confirmed things we suspected and could see why it's impossible to nasal breathe even if I wore a chin strap.  I'm due back in March, but don't think I'll be going ahead with anymore surgery.  I've already had septoplasty and turbinates reduction - both of which help me breathe better in the masks than I used to be able to.  Good luck with yours.

Hi George

The recovery for septoplasty was about a week from the worst of it, but it was over a year before the end of my nose stopped feeling numb and the numbness in my front teeth for about 6 months.  To be honest I'm not convinced the septoplasty did much, but I only had a slight deviated septum which ENT decided to fix seeing as they were doing my turbinates.  It was the turbinates surgery that worked well for me, in helping me breathe better in the masks.  I know it was this because I initially had the turbinates done via laser which worked temporarily.  Once it was proved it worked ENT went back for another go, but surgically this time.

The worst part of the surgery was removing the packing from my nose.  It would be worth you asking if they can do it without packing, but my ENT wouldn't agree :(  See Dr Park's post on this http://doctorstevenpark.com/septoplasty-without-packings-or-splints

Also try to use your CPAP immediately after surgery, even if they tell you they're adminstering oxygen, because the oxygen alone won't keep your airways open.  This was when I first got a FitLife Mask so there was no contact with my nose after surgery.

Hope this helps.
George said:

Dear Kath,

Thanks. May I ask how long will it take to recover from Septoplasty surgery? 



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