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[Diagnosis] Hi, new here- Question Please
Hello. Here is my story Smile

It was suspected that the hubbie had sleep apnea. I cant say if he did or not but he wanted the sleep study so an appointment was made.
I was given an appointment as well although as far as I am concerned I sleep like a log and rarely wake up, unless I drink liquids to close to bedtime and then I am up once or twice at the most but as soon as my head hits the pillow i am out like a light again, so sleep deprivation wasn't a problem i ever considered.

However, I am 54 and in the last 2 years i am having a lot of problems with my teeth that are out of the ordinary and its been put down to the fact that I sleep with my mouth open which I know I have always done, even since childhood but its never been a problem, until now...

Apparently dry mouth leads to problems with the teeth so i have been told by my dentist to always swish my mouth around when awake and create saliva for it and at nightime to use a particular mouthwash, Benetyne I think it might be called that if used 4 other times a day as well as at night it is supposed to help this problem and at $15 a bottle it ought to but i dont know that it is Thinking-about

So we go for the sleep study and it just came back. He, the one who they thought had it has it in a moderate fashion and I apparently have it severely.......we had to laugh for he's always jealous at how well I sleep.

So how can I have sleep apnea if i sleep like a baby? Or is it due to the mouth breathing that they consider me to have this?

Last but not least, while reading a few posts beforehand it seems to me that many people have a hard time using these machines. May I ask why and what are the main reasons for that please?

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Welcome to the forum, Shelagh.

I believe mouth breathers are usually prescribe full-face masks, which are similar to trying to sleep with snorkeling gear on. A lot of people find the full-face masks claustrophobic. An alternative would be to use a chin strap to keep your mouth closed any of the other types of masks. Check out our wiki pictures showing some different types of masks at http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php...Mask_types or google CPAP masks.

I never had any problem adjusting to the masks. The sleep doc explained the need for using the therapy very succinctly: If I didn't start using the CPAP immediately, one morning I'd wake up dead! Which I'm sure he meant as a (bad) joke but it's advice that I took to heart. I have slept every night using the CPAP therapy since I received my first one machine.

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Hi Shelagh:

Welcome to the Forum.

I too am a mouth breather and after trying several masks I ended up using a chin restraint and Nasal Pillows. It works great.
Mind you it did take a while to get used to so don't give up.
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When you say Nasal Pillows, using the page that Pollcat suggested, I am guessing you mean the ResMed Swift FX mask?
Im not sure how chin restraints would work and don't see any photos of any.

Looking at the full face masks, besides being the unsexiest and most unattractive things I have laid eyes upon I don't think i would suffer from claustrophobia if for no reason than I am usually out like a light..

I am sitting here now placing my tongue up against the roof of my mouth and right away i naturally breathe though my nose......which I had realized this sooner........

Pollcat- So I guess my unasked next question, which was, are we sure that this isn't a gimmick has been asked before?
I ask because it only seems to be the past 10 years that I have heard of this. No one in my parents generation used these things and I at 54 don't know anyone else yet that does, or at least that has told me that they use one so aside from my own issue with mouth breathing, I need to research this as I am not really sure what it is. I believe you wake up many times a night but aren't aware you are doing so, and if that is the case, why would it have killed you, if you dont mind my asking if you weren't to wear one of these?,,,,,,,,,aha, I see you have chronic asthma, so I understand why you would need one......ive never been ill so this is all new to me
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(09-21-2013, 07:14 AM)ShelaghDB Wrote: So how can I have sleep apnea if i sleep like a baby? Or is it due to the mouth breathing that they consider me to have this?

Last but not least, while reading a few posts beforehand it seems to me that many people have a hard time using these machines. May I ask why and what are the main reasons for that please?


Your polysomnography (sleep study) looks at many parameters.
EEG, inspiration effort, blood oxygen levels, snoring, eye movement, ECG, heart rate... yada, yada.

The diagnosis of sleep apnea is a complex issue. You need to know what kind of sleep apnea you have -- Obstuctive Sleep Apnea (OSA), central apnea, or mixed. Ask for a copy of the polysomnography report. Read through it. Supply a copy to your primary care doctor.

The type of apnea will have some influence on what kind of machine you should use. The newer machines are much easier to get accustomed to. The control electronics is much more advanced than 10 years ago.

If you're a mouth breather, then the FF mask is a good option.
Finding the right mask is half the battle in becoming accustomed to CPAP. It doesn't matter what it looks like -- unless you plan on wearing it to a formal dinner party. (LOL) It's comfort and effectiveness that matters.

Many people who get diagnosed with apnea are middle age; often overweight -- although not necessarily so.

Kindest regards,



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Sorry, I should have been more specific.
I use a ResMed Swift LT and I also use the ResMed Chin Restraint.

Pictures etc.an be found on ResMed Homepage it's at the very bottom of list.

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If you spent a couple nights sleeping with every person you know, you might discover some of them use CPAP. It is not a general topic of conversation outside of boards like this one.
As you have just discovered many people go undisguised.
The reason one might wake up dead, if you stop breathing and fail to wake up timely (sound sleeper) your blood oxygen level may drop to the level to render you unconsious and unable to wake up to restart your breathing cycle. I am sure someone could provide a more accurate explanation, like Doc Wills.
Also atrial fibrillation seems to go hand in hand with OSA. Untreated afib can cause strokes, in which case may prefer death to survival.
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Hi ShelaghDB,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Hang in there for more answers to your questions and best of luck to you as you start your CPAP therapy and feel free to ask as many questions as you need to help you understand it.
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So how can I have sleep apnea if i sleep like a baby? Or is it due to the mouth breathing that they consider me to have this?


ShelaghDB, welcome to you and your husband, to answer this question, the mouth breathing is a your brains way of allowing you to breathe. Most people breathe through thier nose but some breathe through their mouth for certain reasons. When you have an apnea you stop breathing for 10 secs or more in some cases people stop breathing for a minute or more. Each time you stop breathing you wake up either consciously or subconsciously, your brain send your body into the 'fight or flight' mode. Your blood rushes to your vital organs, your heart and brain. Depending on how long our breathing stops for really determines whether we wake up or not. You try to hold your breathe for 1 minute while your awake and see what it feels like, imagine doing that while your asleep and you are then woken in shock. The amount of time you stop breathing, may not be this long but you still go into the flight or fight mode and this can cause a number of other associated illness's like heart attack, stroke etc. Good luck for both you and your husband and as any questions, at least you will both have something in common, CPAP machines.
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I slept like a log and was the envy of my wife. I initially had trouble accepting the apnea diagnosis as I didn't consciously wake up at night.
I understand your confusion but accept it.

I went for the sleep study as my wife decreed it was sort out my snoring, or move to another room. Diagnosis was moderate apnea (27 AHI) - since I have been on the hose it has made a world of difference, and now I know i was walking around half awake and not really getting restful sleep at all.

A few weeks in I tried a night without the machine, as I had always "slept well" and wasn't convinced it was really needed all the time.  I slept through the night but the following day was an exhausted disaster.  the difference was brought into sharp contrast and I hope to never have another night without the hose.

Embrace it - settling into the treatment is a challenge but it will give you back life in your days.
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