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[Symptoms] Two Years - No Answers (Apnea/Dry Mouth)
#1
Two Years - No Answers (Apnea/Dry Mouth)
Hi all. Been reading some of your posts/advice/stories and I thought I’d share mine.
I’m almost into my 3rd year of trying to figure out how to fix my sleeping/breathing issue. I’ve been experiencing fatigue, fogginess, increased anxiety and depression, etc starting Feb of 2019. In March, I hooked back up with an ex who noticed that I was snoring in my sleep (she hadn’t noticed it before when we dated up until the previous summer). She took a video of me snoring and i was choking/struggling to breath. It appeared to be apnea.
Because of my age (late 30s) I was made to wait two month before the initial consultation (down from the initial 5 month wait) and then another month before the sleep study. The pulmonologist I saw was basically a snake oil salesman with a medical degree and diagnosed me with sleep apnea after looking at my result for about nine seconds (I kid you not.)
I used the CPAP (full face mask) for two months and it didn’t make a dent. I switched to a different sleep study center but in the meantime I lost my job and insurance and then basically gave up.

I decided to really pick things back up this month. Started with the cpap machine again and have been using it almost every night for the last month. Again, there’s no difference. A second sleep study showed no apnea but showed that I only got 15 min of REM sleep in four hours of being unconscious. The “sleep study specialist” (medical physician) called me with my results in terms of what they meant for my insurance but didn’t interpret the results, you know, as a f****** doctor.
A a new dentist mentioned that I have a vaulted pallet. 
Shortly before all of this started, I cracked a back molar (possible sinusitis) and was sprayed with Lysol at work (I’m very sensitive to it) by a spiteful coworker. 
What I believe is happening is that my nasal passages are dried out and leads to a dried out tongue and throat during sleep. My tongue is always green/yellow despite the fact that I tape my mouth shut. 
 
My life has fallen apart. I don’t understand why I can’t find somewhere (a doctor) what will collaborate and use critical thought in diagnosing my problem. If anyone has any advice or can point me in the right direction, I really need it. Let me know if I left out any details. I’m 39, 6’, slim. No serious physical health problems besides this.
I went back to square one - spoke with my GP, scheduled an appointment with an ENT, getting bloodwork, getting teeth deep cleaned and caps in two cracked teeth, allergist, sleep psychologist, etc

In the mean time I thought I’d share my story here - in the hopes of getting some advice and maybe even providing help to others with problems like mine. 
I look forward to hearing anything anyone has to say. Thanks
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#2
RE: Two Years - No Answers (Apnea/Dry Mouth)
You say your second sleep study shows no apnea. So perhaps CPAP therapy is not the cause of or the solution to your problem. I would suggest waiting to see what the GP, ENT and other specialists you saw recently have to say.
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#3
RE: Two Years - No Answers (Apnea/Dry Mouth)
Do you have a copy of your sleep study?  If you do not, you should get it.  Your doctors are required (by law) to give you a copy upon your request.  If you could post a redacted version of it, (without any personal identifying information) it would help us to help you.

In addition, would you please download OSCAR and install it on your computer.  If you don't have an SD card for your Dreamstation, buy any SD (or SDHC) card between 2-32GB.  Put the SD card in your Dreamstation before you go to bed.  The SD card should be unlocked.  The SD card has to be in the machine during the night, as the data is written to it while you sleep.  After you get up and have a cup of coffee, pull out the SD card and let OSCAR import the data.  Please post a screen capture.  You can capture the screen by using F12 on your keyboard, while in OSCAR.  

I sympathize with your story, it basically parallels many of our experiences.  If you can provide us with some of the information above, we can take a good look at it and offer some advice.
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#4
RE: Two Years - No Answers (Apnea/Dry Mouth)
Hi jmr8749,

I was reading your post and it reminds me of when I started off with my first cpap. 

I didn't know anyone else at the time with sleep apnea and the place I went to for my equipment wasn't much help. They just wanted to give me a full facemask and a machine and get their money. I struggled with that facemask for months, I like to sleep part on my side and part on my stomach. This put the face mask pressed up against the pillow on just one side leaving air free to leak out the other side because the mask seal was no good on the side not pushed into my face. Even though it was a full facemask my mouth would get dry from time to time if my mouth would open.

I found that a nasal mask was a much better option for me. I still fight with leaks from time to time if my mouth opens over night. I too started using tape to make it so air would not escape from my mouth. You don't mention your preferred sleeping position, but if you sleep on your side or stomach your mask could be a part of the problem.

I recently found some videos on YouTube made by a sleep study tech. He also has sleep apnea and offers free advice in video format on YouTube. It may be worth watching some of his videos. Perhaps you will find some advice that pertains to your situation. He discuses the pros and cons on many masks and strongly recommends staying away from full facemasks. His YouTube channel is TheLankyLefty27, I tried to make it a link but I couldn't.
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#5
RE: Two Years - No Answers (Apnea/Dry Mouth)
Masks are definitely a personal thing.  What works for one, may be horrible for another.  It has to work for you, or it is of little value.  If you can keep your mouth closed (literally!) during the night, try a nasal mask.  If not, try a different full face mask.  There's quite a few different kinds of masks out there.  There's one out there that will fit you better, just have to find it.
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#6
RE: Two Years - No Answers (Apnea/Dry Mouth)
See if you can get a copy of your sleep studies, redact any personal info and post.
Also a screenshot of a night on your machine. As noted above you will need an SD card in your machine overnight.
Download OSCAR onto your PC (top of the page and free). Post the screenshot. We really prefer to see data, in addition to your descriptions. It helps a lot.
Gideon - Project Manager and Lead Tester for OSCAR - Open Source CPAP Analysis Reporter

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