About 15 years ago I had a laboratory sleep study. My recollection of what my readings were are now fuzzy. But I do remember that they did not think that CPAP would help, but they did recommend turbinate reduction, uvuloplasty, and deviated septum surgery. I did the surgery and saw little improvement (after a very uncomfortable, long recovery).
Last year (March 2014) I decided to again see a sleep doctor. He could not get insurance approval for a laboratory sleep study, so they did a home sleep study. This study showed that I have moderate apnea (about 18API). Almost a year ago, I started to use an APAP (Philips Respironics System One 560P with a humidifier). I was compliant for a about 4 months, but never saw any improvement. I then stopped using the APAP for about 3 months. Last October I saw the doctor again and he blasted the insurance for not approving a laboratory sleep study. At that appointment, he tweaked the settings (6 to 14 pressure i believe) and followed up in December. In December, he again tweaked the APAP settings (8 to 12 pressure) and set up another appointment that will be coming soon, in March.
I am frustrated because it has been almost a year and I have had no improvements with how I am feeling. In light of the fact that I am not doing well, shouldn't my sleep doctor be seeing me more often in order to tweak the settings and get me feeling better? My headaches are better, but still affect me most days (the headaches improved a while I was not using the APAP last year, go figure). Ever since I have had this machine last year, I constantly would see wide fluctuations of the AHI 3 to 15, with about an average of 6-7).
An interesting observation I have made is that it seems that the more sleep I get, the worse I feel (If I sleep 4-5 hours, I seem to feel better, more refreshed and have less headaches than if I sleep for 8 hours). Another observation I have made is that in general it seems that the longer I sleep, the higher my AHI is.
Earlier today I discovered the SleepyHead software and installed it. Data from January 10th to present was downloaded. Here are the main highlights:
1) It seems like there is not a lot of consistency in the numbers from day to day. Some days are better, some worse.
2) My AHI for the past 30 days is 5.18. Many days are 6-7-8, some days are 2-3-4-5, some days are 9-10-11-12.
3) The pressure settings by my doctor presently are: 8-12 (this seems a low to me, at one time
4) My Philips System One APAP has a "split night" mode. Shouldn't we by trying this setting, since some titration can be done in this mode to see the effect of different pressure levels.
5) Several weeks ago my APAP supplier suggested that I have an oximeter test with the while using the APAP. She suggested that I might benefit by having supplemental oxygen. It has been about 4 weeks since she contacted my doctor, and still the test has not been completed. Could it be that I am not getting enough oxygen in spite of using the APAP and that I need supplemental oxygen?
6) As I look at my SleepyHead readings, it does not appear that central sleep apnea is a major part of things.
7) Since I am so frustrated, I am thinking of changing the pressure settings myself and seeing the effect that this would have on my SleepyHead readings. Would this be a bad idea?