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[Diagnosis] Pulse Oximeter a way to rule in or out some form of apnea?
#1
New user here. Well, kind of. I signed up using my wife's name (Beth) b/c she might have sleep apnea and if it turns out she does she'll probably need this community going forward. Anyways, she has gradually become more and more fatigued, almost never wakes up rested, has gradually gotten to where she quietly snores almost every night, seems to be getting depressed, has put on weight that isn't impacted by increasing her exercise and healthy eating, etc., but I've never heard her stop breathing, or startle back into breathing, etc. I had her do the sleepiness scale assessment I saw SuperSleeper mention somewhere on here and her score was 16.

But complicating our next step is that the super high deductible insurance we have now means if we start the diagnostic process we'll have to pay for doctors visits, sleep studies and equipment out of pocket. Because of that I'm trying to figure out how to spend wisely and strategically and not end up 'driving down the wrong road' that turns out not to be the thing that's really causing this downward trend in her energy level and quality of life. So I wondered whether first purchasing a pulse oximeter for relatively cheap would be a worthwhile first step in honing in on whether there's a good chance it's apnea or not apnea so that we have some sense of which medical direction is likely to be most productive to pursue next.

Any thoughts on my logic for this first step?  - Nathan
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#2
Not all apnea result in substantial oxygen desaturations, and not all oxygen desaturations are the result of apnea or hypopnea. But some ae, so it's a bit of a crap shoot.
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#3
doing it on the cheap is to rent or buy a full auto cpap and self treating. If it works it's all good. Ask if you want to go down this road.

better would be to see a dr and do a home sleep study with egg and limb movement. I've seen this said, for about $300. This will provide the proper data, for a diagnosis of what the actual problem is. It could be a few things.

the weight is handled by low carb diet and what people are told is healthy by dietitians, may not be
. I would cut the Sugars: including fruit/juice. Cut Starches: including breads, pasta, rice, potato etc. Eat lots of low carb vegetables, salad, moderate protein and add healthy fats.

This gives a simple overview to how it works for me. The more carbs I eat, the more carbs I want. They don’t give up easy and it’s biochemical
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEayi6IB...D8&index=6

what to expect the first week, besides being hungry for the first 2 days, then it stops
https://www.verywell.com/getting-through...ek-2242037
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#4
(05-16-2017, 10:44 PM)BethMort Wrote: New user here. Well, kind of. I signed up using my wife's name (Beth) b/c she might have sleep apnea and if it turns out she does she'll probably need this community going forward. Anyways, she has gradually become more and more fatigued, almost never wakes up rested, has gradually gotten to where she quietly snores almost every night, seems to be getting depressed, has put on weight that isn't impacted by increasing her exercise and healthy eating, etc., but I've never heard her stop breathing, or startle back into breathing, etc. I had her do the sleepiness scale assessment I saw SuperSleeper mention somewhere on here and her score was 16.

But complicating our next step is that the super high deductible insurance we have now means if we start the diagnostic process we'll have to pay for doctors visits, sleep studies and equipment out of pocket. Because of that I'm trying to figure out how to spend wisely and strategically and not end up 'driving down the wrong road' that turns out not to be the thing that's really causing this downward trend in her energy level and quality of life. So I wondered whether first purchasing a pulse oximeter for relatively cheap would be a worthwhile first step in honing in on whether there's a good chance it's apnea or not apnea so that we have some sense of which medical direction is likely to be most productive to pursue next.

Any thoughts on my logic for this first step?  - Nathan

do an in home sleep test with oximeter
cheaper and better than a sleep lab where you sleep their hours in a strange bed

if you have apnea then sleep lab for titration of proper machine for your problems 
they shuold check to see if they are causing CA in which case they need to Rx an ASV asap not make you suffer with a bipap or cpap
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#5
googling her symptoms, adding mayo clinic, will probably give you a short (maybe long) laundry list of possible ailments.

the oximeter can be a good device to use to rule out loss of oxygen, but the right one recording all night with soft finger mount will run you about $170.

worn while awake will rule out COPD if good oxygen. worn asleep will tend to rule out apnea if oxygen levels stay fine (mid 90's).

other sleep disordered sleeping could still be a reason for waking not rested. there are disturbances known as RERA which are breathing issues that arouse you somewhat from sleep but do not generally affect oxygen level.

otherwise maybe the breathing is not a problem, and other illnesses or conditions should be investigated.

good luck,

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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#6
An in home sleep test with an Oximeter is NOT, I repeat NOT a substitute for a proper sleep lab test by any stretch of the imagination. See TASmart's answer above. He is right. I own an Oximeter which I have used occasionally and my extended family uses. It is only one indicator and does not give the whole picture of what is going on. Do not go by the results of the Oximeter to determine if your wife has Sleep Apnea or not. There could be any number of other things going on, as Quiescence mentioned. Though if it was my wife, I would be requesting a sleep lab test for her to rule out Sleep Apnea for sure.

Sleep disrupting Apneas without significant O2 desaturations can have a huge impact on your life and cause serious health complications in and of themselves.

Here in Canada, a visit to your doctor to complain about these same symptoms you have discussed will result in your doctor sending you to a Sleep Doctor or DME and they will send you home with some small equipment to sleep with that measures the quality of your sleep at home in your own bed. The next day you bring that equipment back and they assess the data which goes to your initial prescribing doctor. If the report indicated Sleep Apnea being present and a CPAP or APAP is recommended, your doctor can then write out a prescription that the DME (Durable Medical Equipment) provider receives and then they issue you the machine.
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#7
Resmed London does private sleep test by loaning you a PAP machine for use in your home. You collect from them, they show you how to use it and you return with data for interpretation. Think this costs some £250. Do you have similar where you are?
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#8
Hi BethMort and Nathan,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Hang in there for more responses to your post.
I wish your wife good luck in finding out what’s going on with her sleep, and, Nathan, it’s good that she has you to look out for her. Hopefully, she will be pro-active in her care as well.
Good luck to you both.
trish6hundred
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#9
(05-17-2017, 04:51 PM)Marillion Wrote: An in home sleep test with an Oximeter is NOT, I repeat NOT a substitute for a proper sleep lab test by any stretch of the imagination.  See TASmart's answer above.  He is right.  I own an Oximeter which I have used occasionally and my extended family uses.  It is only one indicator and does not give the whole picture of what is going on.  Do not go by the results of the Oximeter to determine if your wife has Sleep Apnea or not.  There could be any number of other things going on, as Quiescence mentioned.  Though if it was my wife, I would be requesting a sleep lab test for her to rule out Sleep Apnea for sure.

Sleep disrupting Apneas without significant O2 desaturations  can have a huge impact on your life and cause serious health complications in and of themselves.

Here in Canada, a visit to your doctor to complain about these same symptoms you have discussed will result in your doctor sending you to a Sleep Doctor or DME and they will send you home with some small equipment to sleep with that measures the quality of your sleep at home in your own bed.  The next day you bring that equipment back and they assess the data which goes to your initial prescribing doctor.  If the report indicated Sleep Apnea being present and a CPAP or APAP is recommended, your doctor can then write out a prescription that the DME (Durable Medical Equipment) provider receives and then they issue you the machine.

my sleep lab did an in home test and it was conclusive for apnea
it did include an oximeter which is critical to knowing how serious the apneas are
also measured breathing position awake/asleep and many other factors 

and it was done in a REALISTIC environment when i wanted to sleep not an artificial sleep lab forcing me to sleep when it is convenient to them
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#10
An oximeter is part of the equipment they send you home with. But it is not the only equipment.

The oximeters we can buy on Ebay and Amazon are rudimentary and not always completely accurate. If someone relies on them to determine whether they have sleep apnea or not they may not get the full picture of what is going on. Especially when you factor in that most people don't know how to interpret the data properly.

As mentioned earlier. A person that has significant sleep disrupting Apneas may or may not get significant oxygen desaturations. In the meantime, their quality of sleep and health deteriorates due to the poor quality of sleep they are getting every night.
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