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[Symptoms] Recently Diagnosed Severe Central Apnea
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freeskier59 Offline

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Post: #1
Recently Diagnosed Severe Central Apnea
Hey everybody I was just diagnosed this last week with severe central sleep apnea. My AHI was 117 for the test, but no significant desaturation (92% blood O2 minimum). I have had the snoring symptom of apnea for at least five years, but in the last 18 months have suffered debilitating headache, light sensitivity, lightheadedness, and nausea. EKG, echocardiogram, MRI, MRI w/contrast, MRA, MRV, cerebral angeogram, spinal tap, and bloodwork were all normal. Do you guys think these symptoms could be a result of the apnea? I have an appointment with the sleep specialist next week and will probably be getting a second study. Thank you for the help and insight Smile
10-09-2012 12:37 AM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Recently Diagnosed Severe Central Apnea
Central apnea is based on brain activity versus gravity or weight or throat/nose architecture. But if you've had all those other tests, then you can rule out a lot.

Headache, yes. That's a common symptom for both types of Sleep Apnea. But it is a common symptom for a LOT of things.

Lightheadedness, yes. Not too common but is listed with several sites as a symptom.

Nausea, maybe. Sometimes the ear system gets involved and can cause a loss of balance and nausea.

The light sensitivity I didn't find anywhere. Do you wear glasses? Have you been tested for thyroid issues?

There's a lot of folks here who have CSA so they can add their valuable 2 cents or more.

Either way, please let us know what the sleep doc says.

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
10-09-2012 01:15 AM
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zonk Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Recently Diagnosed Severe Central Apnea
(10-09-2012 12:37 AM)freeskier59 Wrote:  Hey everybody I was just diagnosed this last week with severe central sleep apnea. My AHI was 117 for the test, but no significant desaturation (92% blood O2 minimum).
so an apnea does not require O2 desat
have to read a lot more about it
anyway good luck with the sleep study and welcome to the forum
10-09-2012 06:08 AM
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trish6hundred Offline

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Post: #4
RE: Recently Diagnosed Severe Central Apnea
Hi freeskier59, WELCOME! to the forum.! What PaulaO2 said.
It will be interesting to see what the sleep doc has to say.
best of luck.

trish6hundred
10-09-2012 08:57 AM
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archangle Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Recently Diagnosed Severe Central Apnea
(10-09-2012 12:37 AM)freeskier59 Wrote:  Hey everybody I was just diagnosed this last week with severe central sleep apnea. My AHI was 117 for the test, but no significant desaturation (92% blood O2 minimum). I have had the snoring symptom of apnea for at least five years, but in the last 18 months have suffered debilitating headache, light sensitivity, lightheadedness, and nausea.

Yes, it's absolutely possible that apnea will give you headache, lightheadedness, and nausea.

Even without O2 desat, you can get sleep disturbance, and the effects of the stress hormones from when you panic from not breathing. (For want of a better description.) Apnea and sleep deprivation severely screws with your brain.

Be careful to not get apnea tunnel vision. Just because apnea is trying to kill you, don't forget you can still get all the other problems people have and some of your symptoms can be something else.

Good luck.

Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
10-09-2012 09:16 AM
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Extrospect Offline

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Post: #6
RE: Recently Diagnosed Severe Central Apnea
Have you seen a heart specialist? Did you have any related imaging or tests?
10-09-2012 01:22 PM
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freeskier59 Offline

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Post: #7
RE: Recently Diagnosed Severe Central Apnea
Thanks for the replies everybody! I was able to get my appointment moved up to tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have a few more answers soon.
(10-09-2012 01:15 AM)PaulaO2 Wrote:  The light sensitivity I didn't find anywhere. Do you wear glasses? Have you been tested for thyroid issues?
I neglected to mention that I have had eye exams by both an optometrist and neuroopthamologist. I have excellent vision and normal pressure (increased risk for glaucoma was all they found, something about disk ratios). My free T4 was tested in one of the blood tests and was normal (1.39 ng/dL). I have not had any of the other thyroid indicators tested.

A few other things I probably should've mentioned in my first post:
I'm 23 years old and live at elevation (5,000 feet)
I do not drink alcohol (anymore) or smoke cigarettes
Before and during the onset of my symptoms, I was a light recreational marijuana user. I have been scared to use it since, as its effects interact poorly with my symptoms.
Hearing tests and physical exams were all normal
My symptoms seemed to worsen significantly when I started taking the blood thinner Plavix (it was believed from the MRA that I might have a blood clot in the brain. Angeogram/venogram later disproved that). I have been worse off overall since taking it, even though I stopped after only a few days.
10-09-2012 06:01 PM
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zonk Offline

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Post: #8
RE: Recently Diagnosed Severe Central Apnea
inform your sleep doctor about the medication and marijuana use
10-09-2012 07:04 PM
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Sleepster Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Recently Diagnosed Severe Central Apnea
Nausea can be caused by anxiety, and anxiety is a symptom of sleep apnea.

Sensitivity to light can accompany headaches, and headaches are a symptom of sleep apnea.

I have (or have had) all of the above.

I've also had some kind of weird over sensitivity to side effects of drugs. Sleep deprivation makes every problem worse.

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
10-09-2012 08:25 PM
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freeskier59 Offline

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Post: #10
RE: Recently Diagnosed Severe Central Apnea
The doctor said that CPAP relieves headache symptoms in about 30% of his patients that have chronic headache. He wasn't sure about the light sensitivity, but is prescribing me CPAP at 9cm water pressure for two weeks to see how I do. Hopefully this is the answer!
10-10-2012 06:46 PM
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