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[Symptoms] Apnea issues while awake
Apnea issues while awake
Hello everyone. I have had Apnea since birth,  outgrew it (or so the doctors thought) when I was a younger child, and was just re diagnosed with it 4 years ago. I am currently on a CPAP machine and I use it every night. I can see the difference it make a when I sleep, but I'm having "Apnea Episodes" while awake. I sometimes forget to breathe, and I'll go into an Apnea episode. I'll feel a "sharp shock" in my chest, And  start to breeze sharply and fast. Sometimes, he gives me a panic attack. This is been happening more frequently, and now almost on a daily basis. What can I do about this question it scares me, because a friend of mine passed away yesterday  morning in his sleep. He had severe obstructive sleep apnea, and heart problems. I was recently diagnosed with left ventricular hypertrophy  and I don't know what to do about this. I go to the hospital when it is really bad, and the doctors keep saying nothing is wrong. Obviously something is not right. What do I do?
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RE: Apnea issues while awake
Panic is normal when you don't feel that you are breathing properly, that is the survival response... which often triggers hyperventilation, and like many survival responses, can overcompensate resulting in the CO2 flush restarting the cycle.

If this is happening when you are awake, are these actual obstructive events where you CAN'T breathe, or are these more like Central Apnea events where the brain is simply not telling you to breathe?

This definitely sounds like a serious condition, possibly related to your heart. I would see a cardiologist and explain exactly what is happening.
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RE: Apnea issues while awake
The machine cannot tell whether you're awake or asleep, but score events while awake and that can skew the results
During Ramp period, the machine doesn't score events. See the doctor for your health concern
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RE: Apnea issues while awake
Thank you very much for your insight. I am seeing a cardiologist, but I don't think he fully understands what is going on. I'm going to contact my pulmonologist this week and see what options I have. The way I feel is now affecting my life including work. Not cool at all
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RE: Apnea issues while awake
Hi anthonyhugger,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Hopefully, you will succeed in getting your docs to understand your situation.
Hang in there for more responses to your post and good luck to you with CPAP therapy.
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RE: Apnea issues while awake
Thank you!
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RE: Apnea issues while awake
Try reading this


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RE: Apnea issues while awake
Welcome to the board. It's always been my understanding that OSA is only when you are sleeping as even while awake the data the machine records can make it look like you are having events even when that is normal. Awake breathing and sleep breathing are not the same in my understanding of OSA. If you are having breathing episodes while awake you should not think it's apnea. I'd make sure to see a Dr about an issue like that. Hope that helps you in some way. All the best.
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RE: Apnea issues while awake
Thanks for the advice!
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RE: Apnea issues while awake
OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) events are pert near impossible to have while awake unless you have some sort of paralysis issue. All of the muscles in the throat are voluntary, meaning you control them. When we sleep, they relax like the muscles in our legs do. When combined with fat, loose tissue, too much tissue, etc, these relaxed muscles and tissues can collapse the airway. This is an obstructive apnea event. Our brains scream at us to wake up and we do just enough to regain control of those muscles, open the airway, and breathe again. We don't think about this, it just happens. Just as we don't think about the process of how to swallow.

CSA (central sleep apnea) events are when the brain, due to chemistry confusion, brain injury, or stroke, doesn't think the oxygen/CO2 needs to be exchanged and breathing stops. When we breathe in, we take in oxygen to the lungs which dispenses it to the blood vessels. Those same vessels dump CO2 into the lungs which we then breathe out. So if the brain thinks the blood chemistry is good, it doesn't tell the lungs to work.

With CSA, because the blood can have an excess of CO2 due to untreated or poorly treated events at night, patients with it can have problems during the day. From what I just read doing a Google search, it isn't that you stop breathing during the day, but breathe too shallow (hypopnea). Your pulmologist or GP can do a blood test to see how much CO2 is in your blood.

However, it is also possible you are having mild panic attacks. Or something else unrelated to apnea events and you panic about it. And that is okay. There's nothing wrong with having panic attacks. One thing you can do to reassure yourself is to get an oximeter and keep it on hand. You don't even have to get a recording one. Any time you feel that oddness in your chest, put on the oximeter. You can tell your pulse rate and the oxygen saturation rate in your blood. This should reassure you that all is well OR provide proof there is something wrong.

I have become rather sedentary over the past year or more. As a result, any time I try to do something even slightly strenuous, my heart rate increases and I find it hard to breathe. I sit down and put on my oximeter. I can watch the heart rate and calm myself as it slowly decreases. I suppose I am doing a kind of biofeedback. It is also reassuring to see that the rate is not really dangerously high, just up there.

You can essentially do the same thing. Reassure yourself that all is well by having visual proof outside your possibly panicking head.

Take a deep breath and count to zen.

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