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[Diagnosis] Prior to sleep study - would a recording Pulse/OX help?
I'm sorry that many of you have already had an apena diagnosis. Apena was one of the suggestions my Primary had regarding my whining about being tired during the day. I'm an otherwise a fairly healthy 6' x 185lb male. After having being put on medical conveyor belts when I had a balance issue, another for a minor heart issue, I'd like to get a sense whether this path is something I should peruse.

I purchased a recording PulseOX off Amazon... and I can see the two basic readouts, but the question is; Do these variables have anything in common with, or are potentially predictive, of an apnea diagnosis?

Thanks in advance for your advice. Cheers.

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Typically yes they do. Sleep Apnea does two different things:
1. O2 levels drop while sleeping. the number varies by who you talk with , I have heard anything less than 88% is important, but this is not required for SA
2. sleep disruption can and does happen without dropping O2 levels. It is most times difficult to know how disrupted your sleep is, well because you are kind of asleep, the quality is just not there.

Do you snore? Do you really know for sure? I have heard there are apps for recording snoring. There are also private pay home test kits, a friend went this route because his wife said he needed to be tested, he thought he was fine. Last I checked they were under $300, not sure if you can get a prescription with the results or not.
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Hi JimCan,


The oximeter can allow you to see if your experiencing any oxygen desaturation while asleep. Just remember that these units have a +/- accuracy of about 4%. Use the data as a guideline and not as an absolute. A drop in O2 levels can be attributed to several things, with sleep apnea being one of them. This parameter would be something to provide your doctor in his/her assessment of your problem. I congratulate you on being proactive on looking into this.

Please do a search on "sleep apnea questionnaire". Many are hosted by commercial sites, thus preventing me from listing any here. . . (pause) I did find one hosted by the FAA:

I hope you find this useful.

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Hi JimCan,
Welcome to Apnea Board!
Don't be sorry...I can only speak for myself, but I'm glad to be diagnosed with Sleep Apnea after many many years of poor sleep, high blood pressure, hardly being able to stay awake on my job, etc.

What most folk don't realize is that "untreated" Sleep Apnea does much damage to the body, especially your heart and other organs, simply because if your having apnea events, your oxygen level drops and causes damage. This is how untreated SA kills...slowly. Don't let that happen to you.

As far as the Oximeter....it can show you desats below what is the norm and may indicate a problem, but it can't clearly diagnose Sleep Apnea. Only an overnight sleep test can answer that question.

My advice, schedule your overnight sleep test sooner than later. At least you will know for sure.
Don't wait until your have a stoke or heart attack.

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Welcome. I am about the same weight and height and I have OSA. And as OpalRose said, no need to be sorry. I was glad to get diagnosed and treated. Sleeping on a hose is a small price to pay for the improvement in my quality (and very likely length) of life. If I were you, I'd pursue this.
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Thanks folks... I liken medical 'pathways' to walking into a fenced area posted; "Beware of Dog."

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Remember: No good diagnosis goes unpunished. . .e-r-r-r-r untreated!
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Hi JimCan,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Much success to you and hang in there for more responses to your post.
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I did the sleep study only because my primary doctor thought I should do that after I was able to get 3 months of intermittent heart palpitations diagnosed as atrial fibrillation. Have never had any tiredness, etc., just the palpitations for a few hours once in a while. Seems lots of people with AF are found to have sleep apnea, and it is difficult to treat AF if apnea is ongoing, and when your heart is in AF your blood is pooling in your heart and you dramatically increase your chance of developing stroke-causing blood clots, so CPAP to stop the apnea was a no-brainer for me.

I'd say don't push it that far, go ahead and do the sleep study and if you have apnea, get it under control before it takes you into a dangerous place. However bad you think it might be to get into all the CPAP stuff, think how it would compare to having a stroke.

I also have an oximeter. I bought a recording oximeter with an alarm after I did the sleep study and found I had apnea episodes but did not yet have the CPAP gear so that, until I could get CPAP support overnight, I could at least set an alarm to wake me if I stopped breathing long enough to lower my O2. I still record it, and after months of CPAP and see that I now rarely get lower than 92%. Also, I see that the CPAP machine does pick up that I do still have obstructive events, however my O2 level doesn't fall to dangerous levels, and actually most times does not drop 4% during or near the time of the events, so I'm not sure, technically, if that is, then, an actual apnea. Also not sure if the oximeter data collection is perfectly in sync with the timing of the data collection of the CPAP machine. And at this point it gets to be a chicken/egg sort of question and too hard to keep thinking about.
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