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CPAP and FitBit Conflicting Wireless Usage
#1
I've been using a CPAP for over a year now. I thought it would be important to mention on this forum something that happened to me this past December. I received a FitBit for a gift. It was a wrist device that also measured my heart rate during sleep. I was excited to use it and programmed it. To give you some history, I am a 67 year old retired female of average weight for my age/height 5'2", 140 lbs. I have family history (both parents) of OSA. I'm a very active person and looked forward to measuring my daily activity via the FitBit. I'm a high tech person and all devices in my home (4-TV's, Computer, Printer, Music) are wireless. My CPAP data reporting is wireless, too. Needless to say, I have a lot of wireless activity going on in my home (I worry about the affects of wireless on my brain and health, too) including a TV in my bedroom. 

The first night that I slept with the CPAP and the FitBit on my wrist, I woke up in the middle of the night with slight pain radiating from my left elbow to my fingers. I felt tingling and numbness in my fingers that lasted into the waking hours of the morning. I didn't make an association that the CPAP and FitBit may be conflicting. The following evening, I slept with both devices on and continued to feel the same pain on the left side. I am left-handed. On the third night, I woke up in excruciating pain radiating from my left elbow to my fingers so much so that I got out of bed. I have a high tolerance for pain and it was so severe that I couldn't take the pain. I am also not a hypochondriac. I immediately thought that the CPAP may be conflicting with the FitBit wireless mechanism. I removed the FitBit and went downstairs, logged onto the computer to see if there was any data compiled. I did find an article stating that someone else had the same experience. 

I discontinued the use of the FitBit and never experienced the pain again. I mentioned it to my ordering physician and he never heard of anyone having the same issue. He brushed it off and said that I must have carpal tunnel syndrome. I worked with physicians for 40 years of my life and many are excellent but not all of them know everything nor are they open enough to explore the possibility of this happening. I never had carpal tunnel syndrome and still do not have it. Since removing the FitBit, I no longer have the pain. I actually gave the FitBit away because I didn't want it in the house. 

I thought I would mention this in the event someone out there in CPAPland experiences the same problem. I don't think there is enough data out there to date about wireless issues to address this issue.
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#2
It isn't any sort of wifi interaction between devices. The Fitbit and CPAP communicate with your router, not with each other. I have a brother who was told by his doctor not to wear a watch on his left wrist since it was causing some aching and tingling in the fingers. A quick Google of "can wearing a watch cause wrist pain" will give you others with the symptoms (and some others who scoff at the idea). The telling sign to me was the pain went away when you took it off.

Prior to that, had you ever warn any sort of watch/jewelry 24/7?
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#3
I would look into this two different ways.  First, How tight is a Fitbit worn?  Can you duplicate the tightness with some other type of band, watch, or device at the same location to see if its pressure induced?  It will need to be of comparable width and weight.  Second, If the prior test doesn't produce any definitive results, try wearing the Fitbit on the opposite arm and see if the pain follows.  While your experience may seem strange, I knew a person that could repeatedly discharge an electric watch simply by wearing it,  

Looking forward to your findings.
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#4
Thank you for your response. The router is part of the WiFi interaction between two devices. There has to be some type of a connection otherwise, they would be working independently and not effect each other. A watch doesn't have WiFi capabilities when aligned with a CPAP machines the reports wirelessly. It would be interesting to see what others have to say about it.

BTW - I've worn a watch overnight on occasion before using the CPAP machine without problems. I haven't worn a watch overnight since being on a CPAP.
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#5
(05-31-2017, 09:25 AM)Crimson Nape Wrote: I would look into this two different ways.  First, How tight is a Fitbit worn?  Can you duplicate the tightness with some other type of band, watch, or device at the same location to see if its pressure induced?  It will need to be of comparable width and weight.  Second, If the prior test doesn't produce any definitive results, try wearing the Fitbit on the opposite arm and see if the pain follows.  While your experience may seem strange, I knew a person that could repeatedly discharge an electric watch simply by wearing it may
I gave the FitBit away because I didn't think it was necessary to wear it if it was causing such a problem for me. When I had it, I didn't wear it too tight. Just comfortably so that it didn't restrain my wrist or arm. I can test it by wearing a bracelet, however, I don't want to induce the pain that I experienced while wearing the FitBit overnight. The pain was so excruciating that I was ready to go to the ER. Some FitBits don't have the capabilities of measuring activities during sleep so I would imagine that it wouldn't happen with those models. I just wanted to put it out there in the event someone else experiences the same problem. I know that it was so disturbing to me that I got out of bed and began searching on the internet to see if I could find some answers. I often see linkages and connections that other may overlook.
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#6
My guess was that the FitBit was too small for your wrist, and it pinched a nerve. The bands do come in different sizes. I would suggest you find a tape measure, measure your wrist, and then compare that to FitBit band sizes. You could Google for 'large boned frame' or some such for more things to measure. Wrist circumference is one of the easiest, the elbow width is another. I need XL in almost everything, except where I need 2XL.
Here is a medline link for a quick check: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/imagepages/17182.htm
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#7
I have a Fitbit that I wear at night sometimes. The only think a Fitbit does to measure heart rate is to have a pulsing LED on the back to look at blood flow Nothing to do with the Bluetooth part. The data is then sent via Bluetooth to it's receiving device that then sends the data out via Wi-Fi. If you shut down the Bluetooth the Fitbit is unable to send data into the system.

I believe your pain is caused by your sleeping positon causing the Fitbit to cause pressure on a nerve. No way is Bluetooth data transmission causing the type of pain you describe. And at least every Fitbit I have looked at does not have Wi-Fi capability.
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#8
I think it's​ related to physical, rather than electronic, interference. It's possible the shape of the device and the way you were sleeping could have caused an edge to press on a nerve. Your wrist could have also expanded slightly during the night, gravity can do some funny things, and also caused discomfort.
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#9
Fitbit does not use WiFi, it uses Bluetooth. I regularly wear a Fitbit Charge HR along with CPAP and never had any problem. The only likely explanation is, as others have suggested, the Fitbit was worn too tightly.
Old man, new machine. Better sleep! Thanks
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#10
Your CPAP only has wifi if you put a Flash Air card in the SD slot. They come with a CDMA cellular modem that work on entirely different frequencies. Plus, the modem only transmits occasionally in short bursts. The fitbit is not really wifi either. It uses bluetooth to communicate. Bluetooth is an ultra low-power RF link in the 2.4 GHz band. The first link in fitbit is from the device to your smart phone via bluetooth. Your smartphone may then uplink to the cloud via cellular or wifi.
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