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Can mild apnea cause severe fatigue?
#1
Can mild apnea cause severe fatigue?
Hello all, brand new here and to APAP therapy. I have been struggling with severe fatigue for over a year and have had every test under the sun run on me. Finally a new doctor suggested an at home sleep study to check for apnea (I asked my old doctor for testing but she refused since I don't fit the "apnea type" - I'm a 42 year old woman who's not overweight - even though I told her my husband had noticed I sometimes appear to stop breathing at night). Anyway, the study gave me a diagnosis of OSA with 9.4 AHI and I was prescribed the Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset - I've used it for 4 nights now. My question is can even mild apnea like I have cause severe fatigue? There are days I can hardly make it up or down the stairs in my home, I get weird tunnel vision and am very nearly falling asleep at the wheel when I have to drive more than 10 minutes at a time. Since I've started the APAP my AHI has reduced to about 1, but I feel even more fatigued since I've started therapy. I know I've only started therapy, and I wasn't expecting to feel better immediately after starting, but feeling worse is not something I expected.

Any insight is appreciated.
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#2
RE: Can mild apnea cause severe fatigue?
I've been under SA therapy for almost 10 months now. I had two in-lab sleep tests. I was told that I had moderate to severe SA. During regular sleep, my AHI was 70. During REM sleep, it was 60. 

I'm using a ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet. From the very 1st night, I took to it w/o any issues or problems what-so-ever. I've only missed a handful of night's use, and that was by choice. 

To be perfectly frank, I haven't noticed any improvement in my general, overall feeling. I still like a nap every now & then. Most end up under an hour and I don't gear up (CPAP) for them. 

Many have said that it took them quite a while to begin to see or notice an improvement. Since starting SA therapy, I've been well under 5 AHI consistently. The 1st night was like 4.3 or something, and my lowest has been 0.3. It averages to be about 1.9, give or take. 

I've never had any issues staying awake or falling asleep involuntarily. Other than snoring, SA hasn't been a big deal for me. I'm not sure how long I've had it, but I suspect several, if not, many years. 

But yes, I'm still waiting to feel an improvement in how I feel. I'm committed for the time being, to see this thru. But, I can't say though, that after a few years, if something doesn't get better, I'll simply stop. 

Maybe you will be one of the lucky ones that will see an improvement within a few months of use. Stick with it and I wish you the best. You'll never know unless you do.  Bigwink
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#3
RE: Can mild apnea cause severe fatigue?
Your profile shows you are using OSCAR. It would help if we could look at a detailed night chart, and know what events made up your 9.4 AHI in the study. Sometimes sleep disruptive respiratory problems are not fully documented in sleep studies, which have a narrow focus to quantify AHI. We are glad to take a look and make some suggestions, but need a bit more to go on.
Sleeprider
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#4
RE: Can mild apnea cause severe fatigue?
I'll be happy to post some of the screenshots from OSCAR... Will try to get to it tonight.
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#5
RE: Can mild apnea cause severe fatigue?
OSCAR screenshots:


   
   
   
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#6
RE: Can mild apnea cause severe fatigue?
Big Guy thanks for the insight... I hope you find improvement soon as well. Maybe I just need to be patient.
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#7
RE: Can mild apnea cause severe fatigue?
Hi! Welcome to the forum! Has your doc given you a blood test for iron or thyroid? Those are not uncommon contributors to fatigue as well. Keep up with the CPAP and get used to it. Maybe you will feel better after a few weeks of steady use.
I am not a doctor.
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#8
RE: Can mild apnea cause severe fatigue?
(06-12-2019, 10:59 PM)trailrider Wrote: Hi!  Welcome to the forum!  Has your doc given you a blood test for iron or thyroid?  Those are not uncommon contributors to fatigue as well.  Keep up with the CPAP and get used to it.  Maybe you will feel better after a few weeks of steady use.
I am not a doctor.

Thank you... Yes, she has. Iron is fine. I've fluctuated between hyper and hypothyroid for 8 years now, but my thyroid issues have been in remission for several years now. I appreciate the suggestions though.
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#9
RE: Can mild apnea cause severe fatigue?
(06-12-2019, 10:53 PM)Lachrymosa Wrote: Big Guy thanks for the insight... I hope you find improvement soon as well. Maybe I just need to be patient.

I think you hit the nail on the proverbial head. It's all about being patient. I've been told that by others on here more than once. I'm doing my best to do so.
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#10
RE: Can mild apnea cause severe fatigue?
I have a lot of problems with fatigue, and my previous sleep doctor suspects that it’s from something other than the sleep apnea (AHI of around 10, almost all centrals, when using a bipap machine with a IPAP of 5, and an AHI of around 22 untreated, with a mix of centrals and obstructives;currently using a mandibular advancement device until I can track down an ASV machine)
I’ve gone through a ton of tests, and they haven’t found anything else, though.

I’ve ordered an ASV machine, since it may take a long time to get into a doctor who treats CSA... But I fear that it may not make much of a difference.

Though I really need to find *something* that works... I ended up lying down for six and a half hours yesterday during daytime hours (seriously.) Not too much of that was actually sleeping, but I was very fatigued. I “only” spent two hours lying down today, which is the lowest that I’ve needed all week.
I started writing down the times and duration of when I need to take naps during the day.
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