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Do I really need a CPAP?
#1
Do I really need a CPAP?
Hi all,

After reading yet another article about how sleep apnea shortens lifespan, I started to wonder if I need to do more about mine.

I was diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea a few years ago. I haven't done anything other than dental treatments to widen my maxilla and airway and slowly move my mandible forwards, and toning exercises for my tongue and airway.

I've attached a typical night's SpO2 reading. My average SpO2 level was 97%. I had 7 drops of 4% or higher, and the lowest SpO2 level recorded was 90%.

I'm slim, physically active, don't have any daytime sleepiness, have a healthy heart rate and blood pressure, and my wife says she hasn't noticed any apnea-like issues, although I do occasionally snore. My FitBit says I spend around 15% of the night in deep sleep, and 57% in light sleep.

I do wonder if the lifespan shortening stats take into account other factors associated with being overweight, and whether there would still be issues in the absence of desaturations. Any ideas?

In any case, I know an SpO2 score isn't the be all and end all, but I'd really appreciate some advice. I really don't want to use a CPAP, and would much rather slowly resolve the underlying issues.

Thanks,

Jamie

   
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#2
RE: Do I really need a CPAP?
It is my belief that the real damage of SA is not the risk of shortening your life, rather is is the impacts on the quality of life that mandates treatment. The O2 desaturations are only 1/2 the issue, the other part is the physical and cognitive issues that result from constantly being awakened. Since you have gotten some form of treatment you may well have reduced the incidence of apneas/hypopneas to a level that changes the diagnosis. If you still have SA the odds are you cannot fully resolve the underlying issues long term. If I had been diagnosed with moderate SA, I'd want to have a sleep study to verify that the Sa was under control. Of Course, my perspective is living 40 years with moderate SA and feeling tired and sh**ty every day.
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#3
RE: Do I really need a CPAP?
(06-21-2017, 12:51 PM)TASmart Wrote: It is my belief that the real damage of SA is not the risk of shortening your life, rather is is the impacts on the quality of life that mandates treatment. The O2 desaturations are only 1/2 the issue, the other part is the physical and cognitive issues that result from constantly being awakened. Since you have gotten some form of treatment you may well have reduced the incidence of apneas/hypopneas to a level that changes the diagnosis. If you still have SA the odds are you cannot fully resolve the underlying issues long term. If I had been diagnosed with moderate SA, I'd want to have a sleep study to verify that the Sa was under control. Of Course, my perspective is living 40 years with moderate SA and feeling tired and sh**ty every day.

Thanks for getting back to me. What if I don't feel tired and sh**ty every day?
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#4
RE: Do I really need a CPAP?
What drove the initial decision to get a sleep study?  But my feeling is that you would be better to repeat the sleep study than not. Your choice though.
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#5
RE: Do I really need a CPAP?
I'd repeat the sleep study.  Weight is given too much, er, weight in what causes apnea.  Anatomical abnormalities are probably the main cause, certainly in cases where weight is not an issue.  My view is that excessive weight is more like an agravating factor to a pre-existing condition.  Given the treatments you have used so far, that seems to be the case with you.
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#6
RE: Do I really need a CPAP?
(06-21-2017, 01:37 PM)TASmart Wrote: What drove the initial decision to get a sleep study?  But my feeling is that you would be better to repeat the sleep study than not. Your choice though.

It was my wife noticing me stopping breathing at times, which she doesn't any more.

Googling around, I see Pulse Oximeters are used as screening tools. I do wonder if I were to get a PO/SpO2 screening now (and assuming I'd never had a sleep study), if they would progress with a sleep study?

I'll probably go ahead and get another sleep study done at some stage. I guess I'm just really resistant to getting a CPAP.

Thanks again.
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#7
RE: Do I really need a CPAP?
(06-21-2017, 01:22 PM)jamieh Wrote: Thanks for getting back to me. What if I don't feel tired and sh**ty every day?

What if you could feel a lot better?

If you have access to a data-capable CPAP machine you could try setting it at the lowest pressure possible, which is 4 cm, and see how many hypopneas and apneas you had while sleeping.

My cognitive abilities have increased dramatically since starting CPAP therapy over 5 years ago. A couple of years ago I picked up a textbook that I had used in a college course many many years ago. The subject matter is very difficult and one that I've stayed interested in, studied, and had to have at least a passing familiarity with in my work, ever since. But that textbook made more sense to me than it ever had. I spent weeks studying it. It was a lot of fun.
Sleepster
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#8
RE: Do I really need a CPAP?
I was pretty resistant to the idea of a CPAP too.  Terrified perhaps.  I found it easy to adjust to and would never sleep without it now.
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#9
RE: Do I really need a CPAP?
2 years ago, I was diagnose with sleep apnea with AHI of 20. Doc recommended lose weight, CPAP or surgery. Took me 2 years to sum up the courage to get a CPAP. But I think it was one of the best decision I ever made. Psychologically, it has prompted me to seek a good night sleep daily instead of keeping late nights and making do with 4-6 hrs sleep. Thanks to all the helpful folks here, I get average of 6.5 hrs sleep a night with AHI of 0.7 region. 

Made a big difference in my daily and work life. Like most people here, I will not go to bed without my CPAP any more.
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