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Is it normal for Apnea to get worse?
Is it normal for Apnea to get worse?
I started with PAP treatment almost 20 years ago at an AHI of 24.  In December of 2016 I started having a lot of sleep problems and developed insomnia.  I convinced the doctors that I needed another sleep study to help find the problem (off and on nights of high events with some CSR as well).  The new study now has me at what they list as "Extremely Severe" - AHI=64/hr. & RDI=70/hr.  Out of 8 hr. testing only 3.5 hr. possible sleep and no REM sleep (no PAP treatment attempted during the study).  The mean O2 was 91% with a nadir of 82%. - 10.7 minutes were spent under 87% O2.  The Central Index noted was 5/hr.

Have you seen any other incidence of the Apnea getting worse (Sleep Test)?  I am able to keep the nightly average around 5 or less and not sure if I should be concerned with this radical change in Apnea as shown with this latest test?
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RE: Is it normal for Apnea to get worse?
CPAP/APAP is a treatment, not a cure.
As we age, our muscles and weight change, which can worsen apnea.
-- Rich
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RE: Is it normal for Apnea to get worse?
Yes, the body changes.  If the body changes over time, some or all obvious and latent 'issues' will become changed, some not for the better.  It seems that your apnea has morphed into something new, and not in a good way.  Perhaps, at this point, you can be gratified that you have the latest information at your disposal, that you are still alive and kicking (hardy bugger you are!!), and that you can work with professionals, and the experts here, to figure out how to move forward, and to keep doing so.  Smile
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RE: Is it normal for Apnea to get worse?
Thank you for the replies. I somewhat expected this as part of the cause for insomnia as it has been getting harder to tweak my settings to keep under AHI=5. It would have been much worse without all the greatly appreciated help from those on this board. It would be so much better if the "Apnea Professionals" would acknowledge this and agree to further testing the apnea severity. I am now accepting the fact that there may be more days with more sleep events as I age.
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RE: Is it normal for Apnea to get worse?
I hope we haven't dulled your day.  Your last sentence leaves me with the impression that you are resigned to deterioration.  I had not wanted to leave you that way, but hopeful that, with the new assessment, and with new treatment, you should look forward to the same blissful sleep you enjoyed since commencing PAP therapy years ago.  We know we're on a downhill slide, after our best years, but it needn't follow that you can't look forward to a successful corrected regimen/prescription.  It might mean a different machine, different pressure, combinations of medication or pressures, different masks...who knows at this point. 

Please, don't despair.  Be realistic, yes, and sober if you must be, but dig in like you did last time.  You dealt with a new reality years ago, and were both willing and successful.  There's no reason a mid-course correction of sorts won't have you reaching the harbour you've come to appreciate in times past.
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RE: Is it normal for Apnea to get worse?
Thanks for offering that, but, day is not dulled - been living with this problem too long to let it get me down. Just being realistic - numbers don't matter but how we actually feel does. Worked a long time with the good experts here to get where I am today. Just sometimes is a little bit of a downer seeing all the great results (in the numbers) that some are getting and keeping their sleep events so low. Thanks again for the kind thoughts.
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RE: Is it normal for Apnea to get worse?
Apnea can get worse or better depending on the cause. There are so many variables - weight, acid reflux, medications, alcohol, allergies, air conditioning, furnace heat, remodeling. My pressure, but not my AHI, has changed from each of these things. I'm sure there are other variables, but these are the ones for which I have personal experience. Age alone can do it as your muscles in your throat deteriorate over time.

Insomnia is perhaps a different problem and I don't know what to tell you there. Anxiety, pain or RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) seem to be some of the most common causes related to age alone. Medication, hunger or dropping blood sugar can also cause insomnia. These are things I have seen in my family. RLS is the only thing that gives me insomnia - otherwise, I'd be out cold all night. The cats learned long ago that they can't actually wake me up unless I'm already in that nearly awake state.
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RE: Is it normal for Apnea to get worse?
Untreated AHI numbers are more likely to go up as we age. As has been said, you can compensate for this by editing your therapy settings. It's also possible you might need another type of xPap to get the therapy you need.

Posting therapy charts from Sleepyhead will assist in getting pointers on what to adjust to get settings optimized. Best wishes to your success.

I'm not a doctor in real or fictional life. My posts include opinions based upon user experience regarding CPAP therapy and should not be considered medically professional direction or advice. Even a 1,000 mile trip requires a good first step. My recommended first steps include getting good walking shoes, 1 great cup of coffee, and a good GPS.

Wiki Info for Beginners
Sleepyhead Chart Organization
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