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Brand newbie who is a little skeptical
I recently was recommended as a candidate for CPAP. This was the result of being in the hospital for a minor condition/regular check up. Upon going through routine check up/questions, the nurse practitioner asked me to say ahhhhhSmile. I did and he asked if I had sleep apnea. It was something that was not on my radar and I said I didn't think so, but he recommended I get checked out given some evidence that he saw in my throat.

For a little more background, while I've not had any real sleeping troubles, I could get congested in the night and would wake up occasionally with dry mouth. I also have been known to snore on occasion (according to my wifeSmile ). However, as I had recently started using Flonaise before going to bed, my breathing felt like it was improving (and I've rarely had trouble sleeping through the night).

Anyway, I took the at-home sleep test. I wound up with an AHI score of 11.2, which I've seen characterized as "mild" in my research. My lowest O2 score for the evening was 82.0 (with an average of 89.2). My doctor said that while my AHI score was mild, the more concerning score was in my O2 (oxygen levels). I told him that I had a concern with the accuracy of the test as the device that is meant to sit in your nostrils while you are sleeping had fallen out (as I discovered on waking up in the morning). He pooh poohed that and kinda seemed irritated that I was challenging him. He basically said.... "well you could have cardiac arrest, so it's your decision".

Anyway, I'm 57 years old, a bit overweight, but not crazy heavy (probably need to lose 15/20 lbs to get to normal). Other than this, I'm in excellent health: good blood pressure, no other medical issues, exercise daily, etc.

So, the reason I'm writing this is that after almost one week of using CPAP, I'm discouraged. I'm having trouble sleeping through the night (as I've woken up at least once or twice). Basically, I'm not sleeping as well as I was before I started this treatment. Any thoughts from the experts here? I guess im questioning if I really need to use a CPAP machine.

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We can give you some good advice, but we need more information! Please fill out your profile in full, for instance - model numbers and mask types make a big difference. What is your prescription pressure and what is the machine set at?

It can be tough learning to live with what seems like an alien strapped to your face blowing air into you, but it can be done and we can help you with it if we know enough.

However, compare this to what can happen due to untreated apnea - being straped to a bed in the i.c.u. with tubes down your throat and a machine doing all your breathing for you and teams standing by to bring you back to life. CPAP can prevent or at least delay such a thing,
Ed Seedhouse

Part cow since February 2018.

Trust your mind less and your brain more.

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Welcome. Here is why "mild" means nothing to you:
The nasal prongs falling out likely mean that your actual AHI is higher than reported on the test as the machine was not able to measure it at that point. A false positive result is pretty hard to imagine if you were actually asleep.

With your SP02 levels, your apnea is "mild" but serious. That low of a level is not healthy and will result in long term damage. As your doctor said, you don't need to use CPAP, you can just die instead. Grin

Apnea is not specific to older, overweight people. I am 52, otherwise healthy, and could stand to lose 15-20 pounds too. I have sleep apnea. I probably have for much of my life, and I would guess that you do too as it seems you have a narrow throat. Apnea can affect children and skinny people too.

Trouble sleeping with an alien strapped to your face blowing air up your nose is not surprising. It takes a while for your body and mind to adjust to the therapy and learn to ignore it. Also getting mask leaks under control will result in fewer disruptions to your sleep. When I started, I woke up ever 60-90 minutes. So your once or twice sounds pretty good to me!

My advice: stick with it. And please fill out your profile with the exact model of your machine and name of your mask. That is a big help in giving accurate advice. If it has an SD memory card in it, download SleepyHead (see top of page) and you can get a very detailed view of what your breathing is like at night.
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Thanks for the feedback, eSeedhouse and Chill. I'm traveling on Amtrak right now, but will update my profile, ASAP. But this initial advice is great. Appreciate it.
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Welcome to a great journey and the Board
I was also nonbeliever at first and I was also told I needed to be on CPAP at a hospital during a procedure.

Feeling worse b4 you see any benefits is common.

It may take several months before you find that sweat spot we are looking for on this incredible quest for the perfect night of sleep.

Never give up never surrender, you can do this,

(08-04-2016, 03:18 PM)Jorke Wrote: Thanks for the feedback, eSeedhouse and Chill. I'm traveling on Amtrak right now, but will update my profile, ASAP. But this initial advice is great. Appreciate it.

2004-Bon Jovi
it'll take more than a doctor to prescribe a remedy

Observations and recommendations communicated here are the perceptions of the writer and should not be misconstrued as medical advice.
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Many of us were skeptical at the outset. I felt like I was being conned when I found out that the lab that did my sleep test and judged that I had sleep apnea also sells CPAPs, masks and supplies. I complained to my primary care physician and was told that was why my medical group never used the people at the sleep lab for equipment supply to prevent that possibility.

They sent me to Crapria for equipment. Now I am not so sure that I would not prefer to deal with the sleep lab group. I will tell you that I have later come to the conclusion that my sleep test results were spot on and I have a lot of respect for that group. I gained even more respect when I found out that their website recommends SA forums and the first one on their list is Apnea Board. Come to find out that their doc in charge is actually a member on our board. Do not know if he is active or just reads.

I have heard a lot of criticism of some sleep test labs but the one that I was sent to is excellent.

Best Regards,


Admin Note:
PaytonA passed away in September 2017
Click HERE to read his Memorial Thread

~ Rest in Peace ~
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Hello Jorke.. welcome. I'm not one to walk on eggshells very often and you might think that I'm a bit curt. BUT. you have sleep apnea! The home test proved it! I might ask why were you in the hospital? You said "minor condition", may be unrelated to good health, but most folks don't go to the hospital for a check-up. But you say that you are in excellent health?? The nurse practitioner suspected sleep apnea. Your Physician acknowledged (sleep apnea), and is concerned about your O2 levels.
You admit to occasional snoring, per wife. A sleep apnea symptom. 20# is not a "bit" overweight. It is overweight. That may or may not contribute to your apnea symptoms. BUT it could!
I think that you are in denial! I say "pursue" this aliment and "get on the mask". I'd like to see you retire and enjoy the fruits of your labors, with your wife. I'd like to see you often on this forum, with your comments and suggestions to help other sleep apnea comrades. As your Physician said. "it's your decision." A weeks trial with the CPAP and all of it's paraphernalia is not very long. I suspect with continued efforts toward wearing the mask, that you will in no time begin to see the healthy benefits from it. Keep it going, my friend.
Yesterday is history; Tomorrow is a mystery; Today is a gift; Thats why its called "The Present".
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Sometimes all you need is a different mask because the one you have isn't perfect. I actually was able to go back to my original mask later on once I was used to therapy.

My AHI was only 5. However, my O2 level average is 81%. With CPAP it's 91% so still not great, but I no longer need daily naps.
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Hi Jorke,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I want to encourage you to stick with your CPAP therapy. I know it can take some getting used to, but it does get better
Hang in there for more responses to your post, much success to you on your CPAP journey.
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A first thing to understand, that AHI number is anytime you stop breathing for at least 10 seconds you get a point, if you stop breathings for 2 minutes you get...wait for it.... a point. So this is why your Doctor is concerned about your lo O2 and less about the AHI count. My count during the sleep test was AHI of 29 and yet I never dropped below 92% O2.

Your O2 is low and that indicates that you are not breathing for much longer than 10 seconds each time (I average 10-13 seconds). So yes you have sleep apnea and with some assistance from here and using some free software (sleepyhead) you can see for yourself just what is going on while you are asleep.

After you get the therapy settings adjusted to stop the apneas, you will have to work on the comfort settings and mask comfort as well. This therapy does work and once you get things set up right for you, you will sleep quite well with it.
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