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Do people respond to apneas differently?
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novatom Offline

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Post: #1
Do people respond to apneas differently?
As long as I've been following this subject, I've heard most often that SA sufferers will know if they have sleep apnea if they wake up out of breath, rapid heartrate, breathing hard, gasping for breath, etc. It seems like that's the most common reaction to an apnea.

I have to admit, I have never, ever had that reaction (fortunately). Any time I've woken up, I've just simply woken up, and never felt out of breath ever and my blood pressure has always been normal. The only connection I made to sleep apnea was the fact that when I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep, it's most likely because I got a shot of adrenalin that would prevent me from going back to sleep (according to my doctor). In fact, I can't determine if an apnea ever actually woke me up. And I also have to admit that I've never had daytime drowsiness like others have mentioned on this board. My main problem has always been not getting enough sleep, only sleeping from 3-4 hours per night and not being able to get back to sleep. So yes, the technology identified that as sleep apnea but I don't share the same symptoms as it seems the majority do.

Does anyone else have these issues? Is my situation all that unusual?

BTW, I'm certainly not complaining about my situation, I'm thankful for the therapy and that I'm finally sleeping better. I'm just curious, that's all.
03-02-2015 04:04 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Do people respond to apneas differently?
Yes, we all react differently. I've not woken up like that either. Most of the time when we wake up from an apnea event, we don't realize we have woken up. We just half awake, open the airway, and fall back asleep. If we wake up from one that is bad enough to make us gasp for air and fast heart rate and all that? Dang, that must've been a really bad one!

What I used to do is I would be all over the bed. Twitching, mostly. Folks hated sleeping in the same bed with me. My dogs always slept beside me, rarely at my feet, due to my notorious kicking. I got out of the habit of napping because I always woke up from naps with my heart racing and feeling like it was out of sync with something. Even now with CPAP, I only nap when sick. Just feel all twitchy thinking of taking a nap.

Some people, their blood oxygen saturation will drop like a rock immediately. But they seem to be able to recover quickly. Others, it seems to be more accumulative. Like it drops a little low, then a little lower and so forth with each event. The body just can't keep up.

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03-02-2015 04:36 PM
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OpalRose Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Do people respond to apneas differently?
I have experienced that horrible feeling of waking up and gasping for air. The first two times it happened, I just tried to work through it. I would walk from room to room taking deep breaths until normal breathing returned. The last time it happened, I ended up in the hospital...my family thought I was having a heart attack. I was pretty scared...three days of all kinds of tests. That's when they told me I had sleep apnea. I had no idea! Huhsign
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03-02-2015 06:04 PM
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truetopath Offline

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Post: #4
RE: Do people respond to apneas differently?
Most the time I wouldn't even know that I woke up during an apnea, but there were a few per night that I'd wake up short of breath with a racing heart. I just had to deep breath through it and I'd go back to sleep. As an asthmatic the feeling of not breathing doesn't cause panic as easily lol.
03-02-2015 06:08 PM
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DariaVader Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Do people respond to apneas differently?
Before I had surgery that removed 94 grams of thyroid-gone-bad from my neck in 2010, My husband said I gasped and choked desperately all night. Never once woke from it. Go figure. Thought all would be better after getting that gone, but that was not the case. Better but not gone; hence, here I am Smile

هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
Tongue Suck Technique for prevention of mouth breathing:
  • Place your tongue behind your front teeth on the roof of your mouth
  • let your tongue fill the space between the upper molars
  • gently suck to form a light vacuum
Practising during the day can help you to keep it at night

هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
03-02-2015 06:19 PM
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TyroneShoes Offline

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Post: #6
RE: Do people respond to apneas differently?
(03-02-2015 04:04 PM)novatom Wrote:  As long as I've been following this subject, I've heard most often that SA sufferers will know if they have sleep apnea if they wake up out of breath, rapid heartrate, breathing hard, gasping for breath, etc. It seems like that's the most common reaction to an apnea.

I have to admit, I have never, ever had that reaction (fortunately). Any time I've woken up, I've just simply woken up, and never felt out of breath...

This has been my reaction (no reaction) so I guess we all do react differently in that respect. It is also why I had SA for decades and didn't have a clue that I did or that I needed therapy.

But we all react the same physiologically, which is if respiration is impaired (which is what an apnea does), our 02 level desats.
03-02-2015 08:38 PM
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snowdrop Offline

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Post: #7
RE: Do people respond to apneas differently?
I've never had any gasping/choking wake up either.

My main (only) symptom was exhaustion.

In hindsight though, I've always been a "bad sleeper" (since a child even). Insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, and a really light sleeper. I wake at the slight thing and frequently make night time trips to the bathroom. I wonder now how much of all that was caused by apnea and how long it was affecting me before diagnosis??
03-04-2015 12:49 AM
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eviltim Offline

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Post: #8
RE: Do people respond to apneas differently?
I too have never woken up like that. However, when I stayed over at my friends houses as a teenager, I would invariably get comments about my snoring, so it must've been fairly obvious.
03-04-2015 02:55 PM
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Sleeprider Online
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Post: #9
RE: Do people respond to apneas differently?
If I fall asleep in a chair, it's not long before I wake myself with a sharp loud snore from an OA. Being in a sitting position doesn't even prevent it.

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03-04-2015 03:27 PM
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TheManseHen Offline

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Post: #10
RE: Do people respond to apneas differently?
The only time I gasped or choked was when I took a tums half asleep and would choke on it, the peppermint burning my windpipe. I learned to keep tums far away from bed.

I never fell asleep at wheel, or sitting up watching tv etc.

I only suffered extreme nocturia and polyuria. Waking up to 10 times a night at times.
I also woke with my body in more pain than when I went to sleep.
I felt exhausted and not refreshed.

The Manse Hen
03-05-2015 11:59 PM
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