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Complex Apnea Diagnosis--VERY SCARED
#11
RE: Complex Apnea Diagnosis--VERY SCARED
Yep, you do what you must to satisfy doc and self. But certainly don't stress it. Like I said, I have a very high CA count and the reports don't indicate I'm brain damaged. Members here may tell you otherwise.

OK seriously, Centrals just isn't a big issue. Yes they rob you of well rested sleep. But you do what you must to get ASV and there's no more CA. They just won't exist. However, it's not a cure, it's just a very successful treatment.

And as Sleeprider said, you want and need ASV, period. ST isn't the right answer. I know it's not been mentioned yet, but be aware it might be said later. Be very firm, ASV yes and no to ST. Tell them the ASV was purpose built to combat Centrals, ST was not.

Now take a nice coffee break.

Coffee
Dave

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#12
RE: Complex Apnea Diagnosis--VERY SCARED
You'll be fine!

I was diagnosed in November 2020 with severe complex apnea. I started with a CPAP machine, because my insurance requires that a patient "fails" a CPAP before they can get a titration test and an ASV. The CPAP took care of the obstructive apneas, like it is supposed to do, but not the centrals because it is not designed to take care of centrals. I was still exhausted with severe brain fog. Fortunately, I had a great sleep doctor who ordered a titration and got me an ASV, which I started on March 30.

What a difference! My brain fog is much less, and I've even been able to start gentle exercise, which was impossible when I was so exhausted. I love my ASV, I call it my "magic machine".

My sleep doctor told me that my CO2 (carbon dioxide) detector cells in my brain are just probably set too high. Interestingly, I have learned through all this that low oxygen levels spur the body to breathe at a faster rate, but the CO2 level is what actually spurs us to have the urge to breathe. So when I'm asleep, my brain waits until my CO2 gets higher than average before it says "breathe". You won't die from this, because the brain is wise enough to actually arouse us to a lighter level of sleep so we breathe. However, this interferes with the sleep cycle, and we don't get enough deep stage sleep or REM sleep to restore our brain and body. Hence, we feel exhausted.

So, yes, central apneas originate in the brain since the brain detects your CO2 level. But it is not a progressive neurological disease or anything like that. I just think of it as an individual quirkiness of my brain detector that has the annoying effect of messing up my sleep and making me feel awful unless it's treated. Using the ASV is like wearing glasses: they correct the symptoms when they are used, but they don't cure anything, so you have to use/wear them consistently.

Using a CPAP or ASV takes some persistence and definitely some getting-used-to, but the results are well worth it. The good people here will help you with any problems or questions you have as you begin this journey.

Best,
Robin
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