I completed a home sleep test a few weeks ago and obtained an AHI of 10, which suggests mild sleep apnea. During the hours I managed to sleep, I had 44 hypopneas, 6 obstructive and a few centrals.
I began a trial with the ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet and the P10 nasal pillow mask 1.5 weeks ago and found it challenging. I'd eventually fall asleep with a minimum pressure of 6, but would wake up after 2-3 hours and take it off.
However, my sleep technician gave me the Philips Respironics DreamWear Nasal Pillows mask earlier this week, and I've managed to leave it on all night and sleep reasonably well. The mask is less obtrusive and it makes a huge difference not having the hose connected directly onto my face.
The machine is reporting 0-1 events per night, so assuming that it's accurate, it's doing its job. The maximum pressure never goes above 7, but the range is set to 6-15.
However, many people on this board have high AHIs and I wonder if I really need to purchase a machine and continue using it when my condition is mild. Should I make the decision based on if I feel better, or make the commitment regardless? Thanks.
Mild, like moderate and severe, are categories used by researchers so they can do research on their patients. Reducing your AHI from 10 to 1 will make a significant improvement in the quality of your life. It will also increase the length of your life.
If you're worried about the cost of the machine, you can buy used machines. Something like a ResMed S9 Elite would work well for you because your pressure is so low. Just make sure you get a machine that records a complete set of data.
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Hi Pumpino, Welcome to Apnea Board!
May I ask what prompted you to get a sleep study? You or your doctor must have seem symptoms of sleep apnea. Were you tired during the day?
Do you feel any better now that you are using your machine? Your AHI of <1 proves it is working.
Yes, cpap therapy can be challenging, and finding the right mask that you are comfortable with is half the battle.
Mild sleep apnea is still sleep apnea. Would you rather be strangled 10 times an hour or <1 times an hour. I use the word strangled because that's exactly what it is.
Cpap therapy isn't a cure and an AHI under 5 is considered treated.
Your decision is yours alone to make, and yes, Cpap therapy is a commitment.
Good luck, and I hope you stick around.
07-22-2016, 08:46 PM
(This post was last modified: 07-22-2016, 08:53 PM by Pumpino.)
Thanks to both of you for your replies.
I suppose part of my reluctance is that I'd obviously prefer to not have to use a machine, so I only want to commit if it's necessary.
The cost is not a major factor, as I've decided which secondhand unit I would purchase and from where (a seller that's recommended on this site).
I got the sleep study due to never feeling refreshed in the mornings and experiencing tiredness during the day, especially after lunch. However, I had assumed that the tiredness was part of long-term mood issues and unfortunately, I started a new medication just before I received the results of the sleep study. Due to it being stimulating in nature, my tiredness reduced prior to introducing the CPAP machine, so it's all bad timing, as I don't know what's doing what.
The sleep technician did note that one of my events lasted for 47 seconds. It sounds like a long time, but it may have been a hypopnea. I'll ask next time, although I suppose it doesn't really matter.
The word "mild" is misleading. That refers simply to the number of events you are having, not the impact those events can have on your health. You say one lasted 47 seconds - someone else with moderate or severe apnea might have several events in that same 47 seconds but at least would be breathing once or twice and getting oxygen to their brain and organs in that time.
What did the report say about your blood oxygen saturation? That figure may be more convincing for you that cpap is a good idea.
07-22-2016, 09:39 PM
(This post was last modified: 07-22-2016, 09:41 PM by chill.)
I was diagnosed with mild sleep Apnea 6 or 7 years ago with an AHI of 10. I was told to lose some weight (I have a belly, but am not particularly over weight) and abstain from alcohol for several hours before bed. I was not given the option of a machine. I try not to be bitter about that but i have regrets.
Fast forward a few years and I was going steadily downhill without realizing it. I finally got on a machine this year and it has made an incredible difference in my life, mood, and mental state. I was severely depressed before, now I am getting weaned off of my medication.
My advice, commit to the machine. Apnea generally tends to get worse as we age, not better. You don't want to have regrets over the damage you have done a few years down the road.
Hi, Pumpino. I've been a member of this forum for about 6 months now. I've seen quite a few posts by people who say that CPAP therapy has helped their mood problems. I'm one of them. I have a 20+ year history of problems with anxiety and depression. Since I started CPAP therapy this past winter, I have seen my mood grow much more stable. If you do a web search for "CPAP mood anxiety depression", you can find articles that discuss the effect of sleep apnea on mood.
If you like looking at data and graphs, I would encourage you to download the free SleepyHead software and take a look at your sleep data. The Events graph, the breathing flow rate graph, and the graph of your machine's pressure changes in response to events are pretty interesting.
(07-22-2016, 09:30 PM)bons Wrote: What did the report say about your blood oxygen saturation? That figure may be more convincing for you that cpap is a good idea.
I don't have the full report - only a summary. The average oxygen drop was 3% and the lowest it got to was 90%. Is that low?
My average heart rate was 72 and it typically dropped to 60 before rising to 91 when I started breathing again.
(07-22-2016, 09:39 PM)chill Wrote: I finally got on a machine this year and it has made an incredible difference in my life, mood, and mental state. I was severely depressed before, now I am getting weaned off of my medication.
It would be easy to be bitter about not having the benefits of the machine for so many years, but your story is very similar to mine, so it's helpful to hear.
(07-22-2016, 09:40 PM)green wings Wrote: I have a 20+ year history of problems with anxiety and depression. Since I started CPAP therapy this past winter, I have seen my mood grow much more stable. If you do a web search for "CPAP mood anxiety depression", you can find articles that discuss the effect of sleep apnea on mood.
Another encouraging story. Thanks for sharing. I'll do some more reading.
Research has shown that even mild sleep apnea, over time, can damage kidney function. My nephrologist confirms this...
07-22-2016, 10:35 PM
(This post was last modified: 07-22-2016, 10:37 PM by Ghost1958.)
In a word yes.
You have a few hour window on the sleep study. Likely on a typical night at home you are more relaxed, sleep deeper and are worse than the study showed.
I had OA for years but had not heard og sleep apnea. My wife called it holding my breathe in my sleep.
So as an over the road trucker sleeping alone weeks at a time, suffocating in my sleep unawares I started waking with raging blood pressures, racing heart rate and landing in ERs all over the nation about once a week.
Then a heart attack in Butte Montana begining in my sleep finished my driving career.
Few yrs later SA discovered, on the machine, no afib or rythem problems off all but one bp med from five. I can think and remember stuff again.
Yeah you need to committ to the machine. Theres a price to pay for not doing so.