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What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
#1
What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
I have moderate sleep apnea, just going back on CPAP for the first time in close to ten years to try to get it under control.

My question is what does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?

The reason I ask this is whenever I fill out the Epworth Sleepiness Scale I do not get a very high number because the fatigue I feel, while horrible and somewhat debilitating, is not the kind that I fall asleep while watching TV, sitting quietly in the afternoon, driving, etc.  I feel like while I am tired, I just get my adrenaline going and make myself stay awake.

My fatigue is more of a slight dizziness (not the kind that I am going to fall down or the room is spinning, more like when I go from looking down to across the room or I move even just a little bit it takes a second for my eyes to readjust, very lethargic, don't want to get off the couch to do anything.  When I do get up and moving even just to do menial tasks my heart starts racing and I get tired out very quickly and it takes a while for me to 'cool back down'.

Could what I am experiencing be more in line with anxiety/depression and what has become a sedentary lifestyle because of the fatigue caused by the anxiety?  I have read a lot about how anxiety can cause fatigue.  I definitely have an anxiety disorder and it has gotten worse over the last 6 months because of getting a new job and now with the pandemic it is through the roof.  I am working on mindfulness meditation and was seeing a therapist for a number of months so I am working to get it under control.

I still plan to keep going with CPAP even if it doesn't help the 'fatigue' I am feeling because I know sleep apnea causes a host of other problems.

Just wondering what everyone is feeling and secondary question do you think that anxiety and sleep apnea are intermingled?  Like the sleep apnea increases anxiety and vice versa?

Thank you,
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#2
RE: What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
Prior to being diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, I wasn't aware that I had any problems or issues. I just figured as you age, things are going to change. Changes like less energy, more aches & pains, less stamina, less of an appetite, more of a feel or need to take an afternoon nap, and so on. 

I never had any issues staying awake when needed. I was in LE for 30 yrs., and worked rotating shifts the entire time. Talk about messing up one's own body clock. But, I was able to adapt and adjust. Never once fell asleep involuntarily, at any time. I spent hour after hour at times, sitting in a car or in a static position, well after 0 dark thirty, on stake-outs and such. Events that could be and those that were life threatening. Never a problem staying awake. 

I'm well aware that SA can and does have varying levels of severity. Personally, I do not believe mine was all that bad. I did snore at times, but it wasn't thru-out the night. 

I can't speak to the technicalities that make up SA issues. I have to assume that they are different for most everyone. At my age (65) I'm not all that worried about SA issues or ramifications down the road. I do not want to live a long, ripe, old, drawn-out life. That's a whole other topic and is not suitable for discussion on this particular form. 

I do identify with a couple of things mentioned in your post, so I do know what you mean. I do tend to deal with a bit of depression and anxiety. But then again, who wouldn't with the way this world of ours is headed? Mine comes & goes and is not overwhelming. It's manageable. 

I've been on SA Therapy since Sept. of 2018. It will be two years in early Sept. It hasn't been life-altering, not even close. It has kept me from snoring though, and for that, my wife is grateful. 

Luckily, I've been retired for over 10 yrs. now, and all is pretty good. Little to few worries, and those are minor. If I feel like a nap, I take one, If I feel like staying up late, or sleeping in late, well......you get my drift. 

I see my sleep doctor on May 6. I'm going to enlighten him as to my concerns and disappointments. I'm also going to discuss the very real possibility of discontinuing my SA Therapy. I'm open minded, and we'll have a genuine discussion. I won't allow it to be one-sided.
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#3
RE: What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
With untreated sleep apnea the first place I feel it is in my eyes, they just feel tired. I don’t feel like I need a nap or anything but I also don’t feel like doing much. I will usually skip my daily walk, and not have the desire to do anything very physical.
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#4
RE: What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
(04-19-2020, 01:32 PM)Nightynite Wrote: With untreated sleep apnea the first place I feel it is in my eyes, they just feel tired. I don’t feel like I need a nap or anything but I also don’t feel like doing much.  I will usually skip my daily walk, and not have the desire to do anything very physical.

That was my first symptom.  My eyes felt heavy and tired all the time.  I also started to get tired and yawn more but never just fell asleep.  I think some related symptoms are also reflux, bruxism, anxiety, irritability and headaches.  With an AHI of 5.5 and 8.3 on two at home sleep studies I've been told by 2 different sleep doctors that I barely have apnea and pretty much dismissed.  5 years ago I had an in lab study and it showed pretty much nothing even though that's when I started to get fatigue.  For the past 5 years it has slowly gotten worse and worse.
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#5
RE: What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
Quote:When I do get up and moving even just to do menial tasks my heart starts racing and I get tired out very quickly and it takes a while for me to 'cool back down'.


For me personally that describes my Atrial Fibrillation . Unfortunately for many(myself included) Afib and Sleep Apnea go together.
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#6
RE: What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
I also "have"(had, I hope) atrial fibrillation, and it is definitely associated with apnea. This isn't just my opinion, it's medically established fact. If one's heart is racing in the morning doing simple tasks, that's a problem. It's a significant sign. You don't want this to go undiagnosed or to develop further. And without treatment it will. Afib is a progressive condition. You do not want to go down that road.

I'm not claiming a one to one correlation between apnea and afib, but the two are very often related and there's good explanations as to why that is so. 

So, yes, use cpap. At a minimum.

One of my symptoms of apnea was an odd feeling in the morning, a fuzzy headed-ness or just not-rightness. The worst of that would go away after ten or fifteen minutes awake. This turned out to be oxygen deprivation. 

And I also was becoming increasingly grouchy/angry through the day. This was related to rem deprivation.

I didn't suffer from sleepiness during the day, as has been reported.

Cpap has allowed me to feel much, much better in my waking hours. And I dream again! That was lost when I wasn't using cpap.
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#7
RE: What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
I had extreme tiredness daily that naps couldn't help, daily morning headache, poor concentration, and I fought going back to sleep. I could sleep for 10 hours and wake up just as tired. It took about 2.5 years with excellent therapy from the ASV to feel better. Now that a new machine type is needed due to worsening of my COPD, I'm drifting back to pre-treated feelings.
Dave

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#8
RE: What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
I used to fall asleep on the ground while my kids were play jumping on me.
I often feel asleep during football matches that I was really excited to watch, often times a 2pm kick off.
I feel asleep once at a nightclub.
Basically any time I sat or lay still.
My contacts used to be very uncomfortable to wear.
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#9
RE: What does your untreated sleep apnea fatigue feel like?
I do have AFIB, and have been treated for it, supposedly successfully, via a Cardio Version. I also take a med for high blood pressure. 

Not all that sure how AFIB and SA Therapy inner-act with one another, but the AFIB was instrumental in me being told that I should take a sleep study.
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#10
Untreated sleep apnea
What does untreated Sleep Apnea look like?

Before starting CPAP therapy, it was mainly daytime tiredness and insomnia.

Why insomnia?
Well, the repeated adrenaline-induced jolts to get me breathing again made returning to sleep impossible.
I made the problems worse by taking sleeping pills to force myself to sleep.  I had a doctor that was happy to prescribe them and he knew nothing about sleep apnea.  (This was years ago when sleep apnea wasn't widely known among the medical community.)

My heart was feeling worn-out during the day, with moments of extreme tension on my heart. It would feel like someone squeezing my heart and digging their fingernails in.  
My brain was feeling forgetful.  It was difficult to focus.  My memory seemed to last only a few seconds.

After CPAP, I occasionally (rare now) miss a night, or a half-night.  I'm a disaster the next day.  Coffee is needed throughout the day and I'm still tired every 3-4 hours.  A real sign of a missed night (or half-night) is when I wake early in the morning.  It would be 5am and I'd "feel" so awake.  It's a trick that my body will pull on me.  It was as though my body said "you're done with this sleep, it's not working, get up!".

Without CPAP, I was also aging rapidly too.  (Sleep time is healing time.)  After several years of CPAP therapy, I look and feel younger now than years ago when I was without CPAP therapy.  It's life-saving technology for me.  I still don't get the near-perfect results of many others (far from it), but the thought of not using it (even for a few hours at night) is frightening. 

The comments and advice from ApneaBoard is what made it lasting.  It's golden.
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