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Confusing Oximeter Results
#1
Question 
Confusing Oximeter Results
Hi everyone,

I've recently been trying to self-diagnose sleep apnea on myself and I recorded my oximeter readings while I was asleep. The results are good but confusing to me. I see no drops below 90% Spo2 however I see multiple spikes where my heart rate goes into the high 90's. Is this normal? Anyone know what this may mean? I was thinking it could be that my heart was pumping blood faster to compensate for a drop in oxygen but I'm not sure as I read that dreaming could also cause spikes in heart rates.

I'd really appreciate any help!


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#2
RE: Confusing Oximeter Results
Hi deeq92 - Welcome to the forum!

Those spikes are known as artifacts. They can be caused by simple things like bumping the probe, turning over, or rapid hand movement. Look at the overall trend and not the individual points. Yours looks fine.
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#3
RE: Confusing Oximeter Results
actually the HR usually does not accelerate during REM sleep.
your HR spikes are not at the end of the oxygen desaturation, but more often prior to admittedly small desaturations.  those spikes do tend to indicate your were alerted probably to an awake state.  as stated above, it might be an artifact of the sensor.  In my experience a zero result is more likely for an artifact, so going high like that is not what I would have expected.

what caused you to consider that you might have sleep apnea?

QAL
Dedicated to QALity sleep.
You'll note I am listed as an Advisory Member. I am honored to be listed as such. See the fine print - Advisory Members as a group provide advice and suggestions to Apnea Board administrators and staff concerning Apnea Board operation and administrative policies. Membership in the Advisory Member group should not be understood as in any way implying medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment.
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#4
RE: Confusing Oximeter Results
I too think the spikes are a glitch, There are 2 that have a bit of width and go to 85 that I think are legit, but that is normal for me to get a 20-30BPM swing through the night. A good dream gets our heart rate moving.

As you know your o2 is well within normal and I would be very happy with that result.
new http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php...re_success
mask fit http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php...ask_Primer
From machine or charts for auto-cpap, set the min at 'med' median pressure, or 2cm below 90/95%. max at 20cm for now. Forum will help you fine tune settings
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#5
RE: Confusing Oximeter Results
When I got my sleep study the oximeter lead they used is solidly taped to your finger and can't move.
The home use ones are reusable so get knocked around.
My sleep study did show low O2 numbers because I do have sleep apnea, but there were more of them and were more patterned than just a few
odd spikes here and there.
I had my home oximeter before getting my sleep test and the average numbers and general patterns were similar to my sleep study but it did have several wildly swinging lows not reflected in the sleep study numbers.

My opinion would be they are just not good numbers.
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#6
RE: Confusing Oximeter Results
(06-16-2017, 04:37 PM)quiescence at last Wrote: actually the HR usually does not accelerate during REM sleep.
your HR spikes are not at the end of the oxygen desaturation, but more often prior to admittedly small desaturations.  those spikes do tend to indicate your were alerted probably to an awake state.  as stated above, it might be an artifact of the sensor.  In my experience a zero result is more likely for an artifact, so going high like that is not what I would have expected.

what caused you to consider that you might have sleep apnea?

QAL

Well I usually have a really hard time getting up in the morning and am tired throughout the day despite sleeping 8 hours so I thought sleep apnea might be a possible cause. I'm debating whether to get a sleep test done as these results seem to indicate things are fine.

(06-16-2017, 05:11 PM)ajack Wrote: I too think the spikes are a glitch, There are 2 that have a bit of width and go to 85 that I think are legit, but that is normal for me to get a 20-30BPM swing through the night. A good dream gets our heart rate moving.

As you know your o2 is well within normal and I would be very happy with that result.

Yeah I figured it might be a dream or something that got my heart rate up. I guess i'll try the experiment a couple more times and see if anything changes.

(06-16-2017, 04:31 PM)Crimson Nape Wrote: Hi deeq92 - Welcome to the forum!

Those spikes are known as artifacts.  They can be caused by simple things like bumping the probe, turning over, or rapid hand movement.    Look at the overall trend and not the individual points.  Yours looks fine.

Thanks!

Good to hear, I was worried something might be wrong with my heart lol
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#7
RE: Confusing Oximeter Results
Hi deeq92,
WELCOME! to the forum.!

Good luck to you and hang in there for more responses to your post.
trish6hundred
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#8
RE: Confusing Oximeter Results
Lack of low SP02 levels do not indicate that you don't have sleep apnea.  It just means that your events are not long lasting.  Lots of frequent, short events can be equally disruptive to your sleep.  Get the test.
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#9
RE: Confusing Oximeter Results
I thought I would have to correct my statement about not getting increased HR during REM and/or dreaming, because there are a lot of publications stating so.  But, below is very normal response showing lowering during REM sleep.

[Image: 6T2D1SW.png]

Interesting enough, the timeframe starting at 4:15 in REM sleep with abrupt desaturations, but no HR increase you would normally expect in distress arousal that ought to be happening to fix my O2 level.

I'll look for another timeframe where I know I had nightmares to confirm heightened HR at that time.

QAL
Dedicated to QALity sleep.
You'll note I am listed as an Advisory Member. I am honored to be listed as such. See the fine print - Advisory Members as a group provide advice and suggestions to Apnea Board administrators and staff concerning Apnea Board operation and administrative policies. Membership in the Advisory Member group should not be understood as in any way implying medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment.
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