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sleep apnea heart worry
#1
sleep apnea heart worry
hello sorry to bother i was hoping you can help me with a question i have. i have really bad health anxiety. aka im a hypochondriac. i was curious if the sleep apnea i have is damaging my heart. i got an echocardiogram done about 2 or 3 months ago and it was normal. i had an ejection fraction of 65 percent. im now scared that my sleep apnea is damaging my heart and im going to die. should i not be worried? does it take a long time for sleep apnea to damage the heart? iwas told my oxygen goes to 86 i think when im sleeping and i stop breathing 15 times an hour. i have obstructive sleep apnea. im 19 and worried i wont wake up when i go to sleep. i have to wait about a week to get the cpap machine im really worried my heart will get damaged. is it possible for your heart to be damaged within 4 months from sleep apnea? cause like i mentioned above. i had an echocardiogram and it was normal
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#2
RE: sleep apnea heart worry
G'day mark88. Welcome to Apnea Board.

The good news is that you were diagnosed while still young enough to do something about your apnea. Most of us are (shall we say...) more mature folks who probably had it for years. Apnea is a chronic disease - it won't kill you overnight or do sudden damage to your heart, but over a period of years it certainly will cause all sorts of health problems, but none of these occur quickly.

Your AHI of 15 is quite low so everything should be fine. However you do need to start using your machine once it arrives, and then use it religiously every night. You may not notice a lot of change and sometimes it's hard to get accustomed to sleeping with the machine, but it is the absolute gold standard for apnea treatment and will help protect your body over the years ahead.
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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#3
RE: sleep apnea heart worry
Hi Mark88, and welcome!

Like you I am also a sufferer of health anxiety. 

I agree with everything DeepBreathing says, and also want to mention  that your health anxiety might even improve once you start treating your apnea because OSA (untreated) worsens anxiety levels in many people. It has improved a lot in my case.
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#4
RE: sleep apnea heart worry
Hi mark88,
I'm sure it doesn't feel that way, but you are very fortunate that you have been diagnosed at a young age.  

Looking back, I suffered with sleep apnea for many years before diagnosed.  I also suffered from anxiety.  You will be fine.  Get your machine and use it, so you can start to feel better.  Life is to be lived and you have many, many years ahead of  you.

It takes years of "untreated" apnea to do damage on your body.  So when you get your machine, check back here, and we can help.
OpalRose
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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: sleep apnea heart worry
My thoughts would be to think about the heart issues independently from the apnea. It is quite possible they are totally unrelated. Best to deal with your sleep specialist for the apnea and your medical doctor for the heart issues.
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#6
RE: sleep apnea heart worry
Hi mark88,

Welcome to Apnea Board. Yes, sleep apnea can, and does, influence heart health, in the right set of poor health circumstances that is. Just note though that it likely takes many years of apnea suffering to cause damage. When apnea goes untreated and/or not diagnosed for many years is where you'd be in trouble. That's what my situation was, suffering from apneas but not getting medical intervention soon enough. To my defense, I was not aware I had sleep apnea, but eventually there were too many outward symptoms to ignore the situation any longer. I brought my issue up with my primary care, and he referred me to a pulmonary specialist to begin being treated for severe apneas. Has it affected my heart? Honestly, I do not know for sure.

You, on the other hand, have been given the diagnosis early enough to help prevent the possibility of heart damage from happening due to apneas. As others above mentioned, once that CPAP machine arrives, use it every night as long as possible. There is a learning curve, so be diligent to use it every time you sleep. Use the CPAP a night and post the chart here via the SleepyHead program so other members can suggest optimal machine settings. This helps ensure you're getting all the benefits of the therapy that rewards you with overall better health.

Coffee
Dave

I'm not a doctor in real or fictional life. My posts include opinions based upon user experience regarding CPAP therapy and should not be considered medically professional direction or advice. Even a 1,000 mile trip requires a good first step. My recommended first steps include getting good walking shoes, 1 great cup of coffee, and a good GPS.

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