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Hope to get opinions
#1
I have always been a snorer. !0 years ago, I had a lab sleep test. I an not sure of the number but the doctor said I was borderline, but wouldn't take any action at that time and recommended that I retest in one year. I didn't. Last year my wife told me that my snoring had become worse. I retested in home. The result showed 8 "occurrences" per hour and at one point my blood/ox levels dropped to 87%. (I am as familiar with this condition, so I am not sure what occurrences refers to) When my GP saw the results, he dismissed them and said it was not apnea and that an 87% blood ox is not unusual for someone one anti-anxiety meds. (I take xanax at bedtime).

My problem is that my snoring is getting loud enough for my wife to send me to the couch. My wife saw that I never appear to stop breathing or gasp for breath, but when I get on my back it is constant noise. She has even watched me after I have awakened her to see if it appears that I am breathing funny. She says she can't see anything that would make her think so. I don't feel horrible or tired during the day. I occasionally wake with headaches, but they are more of a stress type that come with a very stiff neck.

Any thoughts or opinions?
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#2
The snoring is indicative of severe upper airway obstruction, causing the typical vibrations in the soft palate we call snoring. Your home test suggests breathing cessations of at least 10 seconds, at a rate of 8x per hour, or AHI of 8.0. Clinically this is mild to borderline normal sleep apnea and by itself, would not be treated. Home studies tend to under-score OSA, but at the level you are recording, clinical PSG may not get you to the 15-20 range where treatment is usually "necessary".

If you have significant co-morbidity for obstructive sleep apnea, such as hypertension, fatigue, daytime sleepiness, then you might be considered for mitigation ranging from CPAP to targeted surgical correction. You might want to request a referral to an ENT specialist to see if there are physical problems contributing to the snoring. If an obstructive pathology is observed, then either surgery or a mandibular advancement device might be suggested.

Self-treating with CPAP will stop the snoring by opening the obstructed airway fully. The inconvenience of CPAP and legal need for a prescription are issues you would need to deal with. There is no doubt you could obtain a prescription if your snoring causes a high level of sleep disturbance for you and your wife. You might want to take a look at the Epworth Sleepiness test and see if this is something you should pursue on the basis of the co-morbidities, rather than OSA alone.

In summary, ask for a referral to a ENT and get a second opinion, but be sure to fully assess not only the home sleep test results, but the sum of symptoms and affects you have as a result of the snoring and sleep disturbance. Be aware you are in early stages of OSA and this will likely be progressive as you age, gain weight or experience any upper respiratory illness.
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#3
Some things to try:

1) chin strap to keep mouth closed

2) nasal strips or internals to provide more air flow

3) raise the head of the bed or use extra pillows to elevate your head

4) have an evaluation by an ENT doctor

If all of those fail, consider giving cpap a try, if only to restore domestic tranquility.

Dude
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#4
Thanks guys. I scheduled a visit with my primary doctor for Monday. I took the Epworth Sleepiness test with a score of 4. I am an non-smoker and 15 lbs overweight. The wife is going through menopause and having a terrible time sleeping. I don't think my snoring has become worse, I think her sensitivity to it has. But I appreciate you guys taking the time to help me out.
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#5
I bought an Olympus digital voice recorder # VN-7200 from Walmart (about $30) and recorded my typical sleep night. You may consider getting one to get some true insight into the severity of your problem. It's very sensitive so placing it on the nightstand will work very well for snoring sounds. If you want lower level sounds, tape it to your tee shirt or whatever and you'll get lots more air flow noises.

Dude
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#6
Hi trainwreck1963,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Hang in there for more responses to your post and good luck to you in finding out what's causing your snoring.
trish6hundred
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