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obstructive sleep apnea vs anxiety attacks
#1
Ohmy 
iv been waking up at night gasping for air i feels like my body forgets to breath and i wake up in a panic and i feel disoriented this has been happening often for me now i do suffer from panic attacks and anxiety so i dont no if its that or its obstructive sleep apnea i have been also having 24/7 chest pain that go's down my arms sometimes it switches from left to right side i had an ekg done i had cat scans done i had mri done with contrast and blood work and urine done and all comes back normal any input do you think i may have obstructive sleep apnea thanks
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#2
You have described what I went through last summer. I would wake up with panic attacks and unable to catch my breath. This happened several times untill one night I was rushed to emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack. I've had all the same tests as you, all came back normal.

I didn't know much about Sleep Apnea, and was surprised when they suggested I go for a sleep study. My sleep study revealed that I stopped breathing 33 times an hour. I didn't want sleep apnea, nor did I want to use a machine the rest of my life. My doctor told me I could have a stroke or heart attack if I didn't get treated, and he didn't think I'd be alive in five years. I know that sounds harsh, but that did it for me. I have a lot to live for!

We can't answer your question as to whether you have SA or not. The only way to know for sure is to be tested.
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#3
The muscles in the throat are voluntary. So when we relax in sleep, they relax and sleep, too. When they relax too much and close the airway, that is an obstructive apnea (OA) event. Our brains try to wake us up enough that we regain control of those muscles, open the airway, breathe again, and go back to sleep.

That's the pretty version.

The ugly version is the brain screams at us but we don't wake. We start twitching, even thrashing about, trying to wake up. We finally do, gasping for air because we've been unable to breathe for quite some time. During an OA event, we don't just lay there, we're typically doing anything from moving the chest up and down trying to breathe to all out kicking. During an event, we aren't getting oxygen in and CO2 isn't being exchanged out. Crap builds up in our bloodstream so it's not just a matter of "gee, that was awful! Glad I woke up!". And each person reacts differently. Some people don't wake up all the way. Some wake up as if from a nightmare.

If all the other tests were fine, get a sleep test done.
PaulaO2
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www.ApneaBoard.com


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#4
my usage of anti-anxiety meds has stopped since cpap. To add to Paula's if you have it bad enough you keep getting shots of adrenaline all night to keep you alive. gotta think that isn't helping the old fight or flight response. I started a list here when I first arrived about how many maladies can be a side issue from this scourge. Scary!
Get tested!
I use my PAP machine nightly and I feel great!
Updated: Philips Respironics System One (60 Series)
RemStar BiPAP Auto with Bi-FlexModel 760P -
Rise Time x3 Fixed Bi-Level EPAP 9.0 IPAP 11.5 (cmH2O)
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#5
Hi lunarweblink,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I would get a sleep study done, that way you will know what's going on for sure with your sleep.
Much success to you.
trish6hundred
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