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newly diagnosed with sleep apnea
#1
[parts of this thread were copied from our old forum]
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snoozie wrote:
I just was diagnosed with sleep apnea after a sleep test this week. My AHI was 28.1 and my RDI was 31.6. I'm surprised. I knew that I snored, but my husband had never heard me gasp for breath. I have high blood pressure, have trouble sleeping and am always tired, have a high red blood cell count, but never thought I had sleep apnea. I'm a female and not obese. I thought that obesity caused sleep apnea in my ignorance.
Questions I have...does the CPAP work? Haven't gotten it yet and am wondering if it will be the answer to feeling so terrible and tired. Are there other alternatives to the CPAP?

Snoozie
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ConnCarl wrote:
Welcome to Apnea Board, snoozie!

CPAP is considered to be the "gold standard" for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA for short. It's effective, minimally invasive, presents a very modest side effect profile, and the risk factors are negligible.

It's certainly not perfect, though. First and most importantly, it doesn't work for everyone. Some folks have difficulty finding a mask (or interface, as they're also known) that fits, because of thier facial contours. Others find that the pressure required to control their apnea is so high that they simply can't tolerate it, or get their interface to seal properly. Often, an extended period of time is required to become desensitized to the equipment. It's during this time that many folks discontinue their therapy in frustration.

CPAP can be a challenge when you're away from home. I use mine in hotels and on cruise ships with no issues, but it can be tough to use one while camping, or on an aircraft, for example.

Another issue with CPAP is that treatment professionals tend to "push" it on everybody, since it is a very neat solution and allows everyone involved (except the patient, of course) to make a nice profit, for as long as the user remains compliant with their therapy, which can be for many years. This is a problem because it has nearly eliminated research into alternative therapies.

Speaking of alternatives to CPAP, here are a few (in no particular order);

1. Dental appliances. In general, they have proven to have very limited efficacy, and even then only in cases of mild to moderate OSA. My own experience with then was poor.

2. Traditional surgery, such as uvulopalatopharnyngoplasty or hyoid myotomy. You can ask your doctor about it, but the short version is, poor outcomes and many permanent side effects are common. Be very, very wary of it.

3. New outpatient surgical procedures such as radiofrequency ablution or laser-asissted uvulopalatoplasty. Worth a look. If I were starting over with all my soft tissue intact, I would definitely talk with my sleep doctor about RFA in particular.

4. Drugs. There are some promising new pharmaceuticals out there, but none ready for market yet. Stay tuned.

5. Snake oil. You'll find plenty of charlatans out there that are willing to take your money in exchange for worthless "fixes" to your OSA. Just remember the old adage, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is".

That's all I can think of at the moment. If any other questions pop up, we'll try to help. Be sure to let us know how your treatment goes!

Carl
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koolzero wrote:
I too have been recently diagnosed with sleep apnea and I was given a cpap machine. I ended up turning it in because I hated using it and I ended up taking it off in my sleep, and I didn't feel any more refreshed when I wore it.

I went to see an ear nose and throat dr to see about alternatives to the cpap and we discussed surgery and radio frequency treatment, but before I go that route he wanted me to see a sleep specialist that he recommends.

After reading what was just posted I don't know if any alternative treatment will be very effective but I don't see myself going back to the cpap and actually using it, but I may have no other choice.
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nosbig17 wrote:
Something to consider:

When your breathing is interrupted the amount of oxygen in your blood is reduced, a little bit at first, but if the OSA gets worse less oxygen is available for your brain, heart, kidneys, etc.

Choices:

Take no action; resign yourself to dealing with the symptoms. (Be responsible and either stop driving or get off the road and nap frequently.)

Undergo corrective surgery. (Find out what the success rate is for the procedure that you consider.)

Don't sleep on your back, in this position OSA is worse.

Maintain or start a personal physical fitness progran. (Most of us can stand to loose some weight and improve our muscle tone.)

Use CPAP therapy.
As with anything else, a posative mind set going in, will help a lot.
It can be fun! You can join the quest in search of the perfect interface.
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kevin wrote:
Does CPAP work ? Absolutely.

It is not as easy as popping a pill. It takes some adjustment to get used to wearing it but is well worth the time invested. Only long lasting side effect I have is gas :-(

Try lots of masks until you find one which works, expect to wake up having taken if off more than a few times. Stick with it and you will find it is great to not be sleepy during the day.
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#2
I started cpap a month ago. And have had quite a few days without the debilitating fatigue. And some with. Im trying to work on my sleep hygene. (going to sleep and waking at the same time etc) i have bad sleep habits. I do take a ambien to fall asleep at night with that mask on but there have been a couple nights that i fell asleep without it.

Let me k ow how itgoes for you. Did they put a cpap on you during yoyr sleep test??
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#3
I did a sleep study near the end of December 2011 and they fixed me up with a REMstar Pro C-Flex+ with nasal pillows and I wore it religously for about 3 months. I have not had a good nights sleep since I got the machine. I went back and they fitted me with a Quatro Pro full face mask and that still didn't help. When I did the sleep study they put me on a CPAP machine with nasal pillows and I slept like a baby that night during the study. I don't get it as my chest feels tight while I am wearing this thing. I feel like I have not slept good in many years and they told me I had severe sleep apnea. Any sugestions thoughts or ideas are appreciated.

Lloyd
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#4
(04-09-2012, 08:26 PM)Premier1949 Wrote: I don't get it as my chest feels tight while I am wearing this thing. I feel like I have not slept good in many years and they told me I had severe sleep apnea. Any sugestions thoughts or ideas are appreciated.

These are normal symptoms at the beginning of therapy, but after 3 months I'd think they would've subsided by now. You should discuss these symptoms with your doctor. Maybe you need a sleeping pills to help you temporarily until these symptoms subside.

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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#5
Is the C Flex on? Sometimes the 'adjusts to your natural sleep rhythm' is not one-size-fits-all. If it is on, try turning it off.

What machine did you use at the sleep clinic? Meaning was it an APAP or a CPAP?

A starting pressure of 10 is fairly intense. You could ask if they can turn the pressure down a notch or two then increase it over several months.

Ask the doc if you can try an APAP machine. It might help. Might not.
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#6
Hi Premier
I agree with Sleepster something isn't right schedule an appointment with the doctor.
Your Auto IQ is data capable machine, Do you check AHI and leak rate
and if interested you can download SleepyHead software from this board.
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