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Think perhaps I don't need CPAP any more
#1
Think perhaps I don't need CPAP any more
I know that the only person who can say definitively that I don't need CPAP any more is my sleep doctor. And I plan to see him soon.

Has anyone here used CPAP for a while and then stopped needing it?

About 10 years ago, I started using CPAP. After my overnight diagnostic test, the sleep doctor told me that I wasn't getting any restorative sleep. Yet, he didn't seem convinced that I needed CPAP. A few months later, when I saw my primary-care physician's asst. (I have a doctor now), she told me about the report. She said that the records showed that my breathing gradually slowed down more and more until I gasped for air, waking myself up. This pattern repeated all night. She stressed that I should go forward with CPAP. I got a machine and mask. My sleep doctor had set my machine at 5, for mild sleep apnea. For two weeks, CPAP helped me enormously, then for 9 years helped some, but now seems more of a bother than a help.

The last time I saw my sleep doctor, a few years ago, the first thing he asked me was if I still needed CPAP. At the time, I felt strongly that I did and told him so. However, I no longer feel that way.

As an experiment, several times I've stopped using CPAP for about a week, to see if it makes a difference in how I feel. I can't tell any difference.

Has anyone else (unlikely since this is a forum for CPAP-users) stopped needing CPAP?

Thanks!
Marian
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#2
RE: Think perhaps I don't need CPAP any more
Welcome to the forum.

You should request a copy of your sleep study or whatever record it is that the Physician's assistant referenced and share the results here. I assume your new Dr. has it. If not he should. It's hard to advise you without data. Was it a study in a sleep lab or a home study? Were you ever given an AHI number? You should meet with your Dr. and ask him this question.

For 10 years I used a machine that provided no feedback on my therapy and I wasn't always sure I needed it so I sometimes went weeks without using it and couldn't tell much difference.
I shared this with my Dr. last year and she had me do overnight oximetry tests with and without CPAP. Without CPAP I had many more desaturation events than with, indicating I did need CPAP.  Then I got a machine that provided data and, because the pressure setting wasn't correct, learned I definitely have sleep apnea and need the machine.  With help from this forum I got the right pressure settings and my apnea is well controlled.

We are all different. In my case , the fact that I didn't feel a significant difference when I didn't use the machine was not a reliable indicator.  There same could be true for you.

Your pressure setting is surprisingly low. Most people would feel starved for breath at a pressure setting of 5 and I would be surprised that it would provide effective therapy. Are you sure about that setting?

In answer to your original question, I have a friend who was diagnosed with sleep apnea when he was significantly overweight. Years later he got his weight down and kept fit with regular exercise. After that a sleep study showed he no longer had apnea and he and he no longer needed the therapy. I have no idea how common that is.
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#3
RE: Think perhaps I don't need CPAP any more
Generally, it is a lifetime commitment.
I can only think of a few situations that might eliminate the need for treatment of OSA

Dramatic loss of weight (and maintenance) over many years.
Change in environment leading to a reduction in nasal congestion.

It's also possible that your apnea events were central, rather than obstructive, perhaps brought on by anxiety, but it does not make sense that they would have responded to treatment.

Anything is possible... have another sleep study done to see if your original condition still exists.
-- Rich
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INFORMATION ON 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 WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#4
RE: Think perhaps I don't need CPAP any more
Hi Marian. Welcome to Apnea Board.

I think it's unlikely that sleep apnea will spontaneously go away, unless there are factors such as substantial weight loss. Really the only way to know for sure is to have a full overnight sleep test. It's ten years since you were investigated properly, so you should get it done and see what the outcome is.
DeepBreathing
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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.
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#5
RE: Think perhaps I don't need CPAP any more
In your profile you state you're unsure of your pressure setting. You mentioned it was 5 cm? What is your AHI? Set the pressure to the lowest possible setting of 4 cm and then look at you AHI. If your AHI is 5 or higher you probably need CPAP. The other thing you can do is get an oximeter and see if your oxygen level stays high all night. Other than that you need a sleep study to know for sure.
Sleepster
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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.
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#6
RE: Think perhaps I don't need CPAP any more
Thanks! I'll give that a try.
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#7
RE: Think perhaps I don't need CPAP any more
A pressure of 5 is a pediatric setting that is sometimes appropriate for very small women. Most adults need a minimum of 6. The fact that it only helped 'some' for 9 years may be simply due to too low of setting. That's my take on it anyway.
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#8
RE: Think perhaps I don't need CPAP any more
(06-24-2017, 09:38 PM)Mosquitobait Wrote: A pressure of 5 is a pediatric setting that is sometimes appropriate for very small women.  Most adults need a minimum of 6.  The fact that it only helped 'some' for 9 years may be simply due to too low of setting.  That's my take on it anyway.

Thanks so much for your reply. I gradually moved it up to 7. I felt better for a while, then slid back down. Now the mask is driving me crazy. Ah, well, the saga continues. Thanks you again.
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#9
RE: Think perhaps I don't need CPAP any more
(06-18-2017, 11:27 PM)DeepBreathing Wrote: Hi Marian. Welcome to Apnea Board.

I think it's unlikely that sleep apnea will spontaneously go away, unless there are factors such as substantial weight loss. Really the only way to know for sure is to have a full overnight sleep test. It's ten years since you were investigated properly, so you should get it done and see what the outcome is.

Hi, DeepBreating--

I've lost about 35 lbs. since my first diagnosis. You're probably talking about a lot more loss than that.

Getting to the doctor and back is strenuous for me due to other health problems. But I am determined to see him in the next couple of months.

Thanks for your reply!
Marian
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#10
RE: Think perhaps I don't need CPAP any more
(06-18-2017, 10:44 PM)Melman Wrote: Welcome to the forum.

You should request a copy of your sleep study or whatever record it is that the Physician's assistant referenced and share the results here. I assume your new Dr. has it. If not he should. It's hard to advise you without data. Was it a study in a sleep lab or a home study? Were you ever given an AHI number? You should meet with your Dr. and ask him this question.

For 10 years I used a machine that provided no feedback on my therapy and I wasn't always sure I needed it so I sometimes went weeks without using it and couldn't tell much difference.
I shared this with my Dr. last year and she had me do overnight oximetry tests with and without CPAP. Without CPAP I had many more desaturation events than with, indicating I did need CPAP.  Then I got a machine that provided data and, because the pressure setting wasn't correct, learned I definitely have sleep apnea and need the machine.  With help from this forum I got the right pressure settings and my apnea is well controlled.

We are all different. In my case , the fact that I didn't feel a significant difference when I didn't use the machine was not a reliable indicator.  There same could be true for you.

Your pressure setting is surprisingly low. Most people would feel starved for breath at a pressure setting of 5 and I would be surprised that it would provide effective therapy. Are you sure about that setting?

In answer to your original question, I have a friend who was diagnosed with sleep apnea when he was significantly overweight. Years later he got his weight down and kept fit with regular exercise. After that a sleep study showed he no longer had apnea and he and he no longer needed the therapy. I have no idea how common that is.
Hi, Melman--

Very interesting information. I'll ask about oximetry tests.

The low setting is, I think, because my sleep doctor was doubtful that I needed CPAP.

I have lost 35 lbs. Is that enough weight to make a difference?

Thanks again,
Marian
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