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Can apnea affect only one airway?
#1
Hey all. New here,

Been doing some reading on the subject of sleep apnea, as I think I may have it or something similar.

But I tend to find that when I experience whatever it is that I experience, I can breath in through my nose fine, but when I exhale, my soft palate closes over and I can not breath out through my nose, this results in very laboured breathing which builds up in pressure that eventually ends with a loud burst of noise with me exhaling through my mouth and waking or nearly waking.

To that I have similar sypmtoms of exhaustion/constant daytime sleepyness, never feeling like I've had a good sleep, occasional morning headaches, gasping when sleeping, very loud snoring, larger than 17inch neck and currently a few stone overweight.

What Im asking is, does apnea cause the full airway to restrict as in I could not breath through my mouth, or is it enough that the soft palate closing my nasal airway on exhailing is enough to disturb sleep an cause issues?

thanks for any light you can shed on it.

(PS: I know this is no substitute for seeing a doctor, but the next available appt is over a week away at my GP's, trying to get as much info I can before going)
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#2
Obstructive apnea happens when the soft tissues relax and block the airway. Usually it is worse as we get into deeper sleep. You won't really know for sure what is happening without a sleep study. So get thee to thy physician!
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#3
What you're describing sounds more like a nasal issue than an airway/apnea issue. That might possibly be easily remedied by an ENT kind of doc guy. So talk to your primary MD, and see about the appropriate referrals.

Either that, or it could be Mrs. JJ1225 holding your nose shut at night just to see what happens.
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#4
Hi JJ1225,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Talk to your doc about the problems you are having.
Hang in there for more responses to your post and much success to you.
trish6hundred
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#5
Does this blockage happen when you are awake or only when you are asleep? If only when you are asleep, then it is sleep apnea. Doesn't matter what method the air tries to use to exit.

If it is happening only when you sleep:
What happens is when you open your mouth, your jaw slightly pulls the airway opens just enough for more air to get out.

If it is happening during the day as well as night:
Sounds like a polyp issue or some other extra tissue problem. Your GP may not be able to see it but an ENT should with their special scopes. Lay on your back on the exam table and try to get it to block for your GP. They can probably see it then.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.




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#6
Thanks folks, It only happens when Im asleep, have zero issue with congestion or any breathing issue during the day, it just so happens on a couple of occasions I have woken right up, and its taken a few moments before the airway behaves as normal again.

Took a video/sound recording during the night a couple of times, and my god I sound like a dying monster lol, but I did see me breathing in through my nose, struggling to get any air movemnt out then eventually breathing out albeit very laboured through my mouth.
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#7
Ah, then it is probably not your nose that is closing, but just the airway itself. It just looks like your nose is involved.

The tissues that are involved in an apnea event go from the palate to down in the throat where the tongue is attached. Any or all of that tissue, muscle, and fat can fall or relax enough to block the airway. You are struggling to breathe period. So it takes a while for your brain to wake you up just enough to open your mouth. When you do, it's not just your mouth that is causing the air to start moving, it is also because you have woken up just enough (whether you are aware of it or not; in sleep terms it's called an arousal) that you have regained control of some of that tissue/muscle an the airway has opened either all the way or enough.

But then you fall back asleep and it starts all over again. Over and over all night long.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.




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#8
Hey, yea in that case I might well have an issue then, While I generally dont realise Im waking or hitting a lighter stage of sleep, when I looked at the video I took, I found every time this happened Im maybe not concious but awake enough that I will roll over/shuffle about and make a strange unhappy noise so It certainly seems to be affecting me any way.

I'll bet you dont hear this often but Im actually hoping it is apnea, at least then we could do somehting about it, 30 years old and I dont think I've felt refreshed after a sleep since my teens, was put on anti depressants a few years ago due to deppression and anxiety which the medicine worked a treat, but the tiredness/lack of energy always stayed the same.

Add to that my mother appears to stop breathing in her sleep according to my dad, she also has high blood pressure and atrial fibulation, its looking like a patter I cant ignore has emmerged
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#9
Yep. And you aren't the first to say they hope to get a diagnosis. Because then you can get treatment.

Get a sleep test. Get a copy of the results. Shop around for the best supplier in your area. Get a data capable machine. You can do this. You can handle this. Life as a hosehead ain't so bad 'cause at least then you'll be alive.

You should convince your mom to do the same. Sleep apnea could possibly be the cause of her high blood pressure as well as the a-fib.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.




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#10
A-fib is a long term complication of obstructive sleep apnea. She would probably also benefit.

Sleep disordered breathing, a.k.a. sleep apnea has many forms, but the symptoms you describe are classic obstructive apnea. A blockage causing breathing cessation followed by an arousal and recovery breathing. The sooner you can move forward on a diagnosis and prescription, the sooner you'll get relief.
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