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How important is an Oximeter?
RE: How important is an Oximeter?
I found an oximeter very useful. I have OSA. But by using the “SleepScore Max” plus the “02 Vibe” oximeter, I experimented to determine which sleeping position(s) causes the most and least problems. After many weeks, the result is I no longer use my CPAP device and can get reasonably good sleep. I must however, wear a “Rematee” bumper belt (or tennis ball in a sock pinned to the back of my T-shirt during travel) and use several more pillows for best body positioning. Also, after trying numerous pillows for my head support, the best one for me was a cheap polyester filled one from Wamsutta. It also helps to sleep alone in a cold, dark room J
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RE: How important is an Oximeter?
(04-07-2019, 05:09 PM)billinseattle Wrote: a cold, dark room J

I hear ya, otherwise it's sweatsville. Nervous   

Not a problem in the winter in Canada, but during the summer I have to crank up the bedroom AC to the Meat Locker setting.
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RE: How important is an Oximeter?
Because I need supplemental O2 fed into my CPAP hose this thread has been particularly interesting to me. My need for supplemental O2 was established during my first sleep study back in 2000. As expected, the need lessened with effective CPAP/APAP treatment. Several years ago insurance discontinued my O2 but restored it later on thanks of the efforts of my PCP. Recently, my O2 concentrator (7 yrs + old) began alarming low O2. Based on an overnight oximetry study by my DME with a CMS5F oximeter (less than $100 on line) insurance has declined providing a replacement unit. The study shows my saturation to be just above the threshold but I, my sleep doctor and my wife agree that I still need the O2. During the couple of years that I was without I had periods of cloudy thinking and, at times my short term memory was noticeably affected. Those symptoms went away after O2 was restored. I purchased out of pocket and am using a new PR EverFlo concentrator . I think I will purchase a recording pulse oximeter in the $100 range just to keep tabs on my saturation level and pulse rate once in a while. If I see any red flags I can request a more in depth evaluation from my sleep doctor. This may not be a  but will provide some level of comfort (and give me something else to play with).
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RE: How important is an Oximeter?
I have found my inexpensive pulse oximeter (Comtec CMS50F) useful in understanding some significant problems, not only related to my apnea but for enjoying time in the California Sierra at moderate elevations (7-8000 ft) where I spend 2-3 months a year.

At least part of the bad reviews the CMS50F gets are because of the sketchy instructions.  There is a good instructional YouTube, easily found, that helps getting it to work for you.  But it does sound like Comtec has poor quality control. I fortunately got one that works quite well, as I hope to show with two SleepyHead snapshots.  As for it's accuracy I cannot be certain, but if I hyperventilate it goes to 99% saturation and most of the time it reads plausible values for O2 saturation during sleep (~93-95%.)  I've heard from medical professionals that this sort of device (even the expensive ones) aren't especially accurate at lower readings, so maybe not too accurate but still a good device for relative saturation levels.  (My paraphrase, take it with a grain of salt.)

The first pic is a long stretch of  Sleep-Wake-Junk, SWJ, at sea-level. That pattern seemed to make up a major component of my sleep (in the first months of CPAPing) and is almost totally eliminated if I avoid sleeping on my back.  Shortly after each apnea there is a drop in O2 sat, and after each hyperventilation an increase.  

At 7400 ft presumably the same thing (SWJ) is going on in the second pic, but unfortunately without benefit of a CPAP to record the apneas. Same wild gyrations of O2 saturation and a good bit of it below 88% (dotted line; bonjour, yes I recall you saying more than 8 min below 88% sat qualifies one for O2 suplement.)  My pulse rate also responds to these gyrations as in the sea-level example, but not as might be expected by going off the charts.  I think the reason pulse is maintained at relatively low rate in my case is that I'm borderline polycythemic (hematocrit ~50%) so blood with low 02 saturation but more of it, or so I suppose.  Does anyone have a better explanation ?

So, a cheap pulse oximeter has provided useful information critical to understanding what is going on while I'm asleep, both at sea-level and elevation, and helps to explain my polycythemia.   


PS:  I have no problem wearing the thing all night and night after night, when it is useful to do so.
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RE: How important is an Oximeter?
Hello all,

It looks like this topic has been pretty well discussed, but I would like to add my 2 cents worth.  IMHO, oxygen saturation is king, above all else.  Granted, if your apnea and saturation are well managed, you may not need to monitor saturation beyond the initial setup.  Im my particular case, oxygen stauration is what initially alerted me to the apnea problem.  Even after getting dialed in with my equipment, my saturation levels indicated that I was not finished.  I have asthma and live at high elevation, and consequently I found that even with proper treatment, my sat levels were consistantly low while I was sleeping.  This desat only happens during sleep, and my sat levels during the day are 95% - 98%.  Without continued night time oxygen monitoring I would not have caught the problem.  I use a Lookee sleep Sat & HR monitor that I purchased on Amazon.  I didn't pay a lot for it, and it is not 100% accurate on saturation.  I checked it against a known accurate oximeter and found that the Lookee is reading 2% - 3% low.  Not a biggie. I simply add 3% to whatever reading I get from the Lookie.  The Lookee also has a vibration alarm that activates if your sat drops below a preset level while you are sleeping.  Personally, I wouldn't be without an o2 monitor.  I am dialed in now, so I will probably drop back to wearing the o2 monitor once a week. You can check out the Lookee sleep reports on my forum posts.
There is a new sleep monitor on the market that also loggs AHI.  I believe it sells for around $120.  A friend is testing it now, and I will follow up with a report on it soon.
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RE: How important is an Oximeter?
After having my Samsung Galaxy 9+ for nearly a year I discovered it has an Oxygen Saturation measurement application called "Samsung Health." It seems to perform just like the finger thingy at the Dr.'s office. I have not had a chance to compare it yet, but it looks pretty much as I would expect.

The cool thing is it's always with me and I can use it any time I like. It's free of course.
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