Apnea Board Forum - Is Mouth Breathing making me feel bad

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Full Version: Is Mouth Breathing making me feel bad
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I am coming to this forum out of desperation. I have complained to my various doctors for a long time about waking up in the morning feeling like I have been hit by a bus. Tired, achey, stiff, generally not feeling well, dragging through the day. But not all days. Some days I wake up feeling Ok and feel pretty good some days, but thats the exception. I have had a sleep study, sleep screening and 48hour halter monitor study. There has been no signs that I have sleep apnea. A sleep study I had in 2011 with only 1-2 apneas all night attributed my fatigue and malaise to being psychophysiological, which to me means it s label for when they dont know. Ive had oodles of blood tests which have shown nothing

I'm not sleepy during the day. Can't take naps as a rule. Never fall asleep in the car as a passenger, while driving, watching Tv and the like. If anything I have trouble going to sleep.  I sleep and wake up feeling like I'm coming out of a coma, but feel like crap most days. My wife says I snore, sometimes, but its not a really noticeable thing like with some people. She says she never notices me stop breathing. Everything points to not having sleep apnea.

However, I am a mouth breather. I either developed it as a child or I was born this way. In addition, I have a leaky mitral valve in my heart, but my cardiologist says its not the cause of my morning fatigue though I'm not sure how he knows that. I'm 68 and can ride a bike 12-15 miles and never be short of breath. I have read that being a mouth breather causes the nasal pharynx to not produce nitric oxide which helps with O2 absorbtion in the lungs. When I awaken feeling like I do I have been checking my O2 sat level. It runs anywhere between 90-99%. My HR is in the low 50s and my BP is normal. After I get up and move around the HR comes up as does the O2 sat to being 99-98%. I usually start feeling better after I get up, move around and have some coffee. I can't find anything clearly pointing to whats causing this. My theory is its a combination of mouth breathing & my leaky valve that creates some atypical negative combination of events resulting in me waking up feeling this way. So far no one has come up with anything better.

MY question here to this forum is: can mouth breathing cause this kind of fatigue and malaise after sleep in someone who has been diagnosed not having sleep apnea. Would CPAP help me? I'm getting very tired of waking up very tired. Any info any of you can share would be apprectiated.


Pokey aka Paul
A good question. I assume you are talking about Mouth Breathing without using a xPAP machine.

Here Mouth breathing generally means that the air you are breathing is NOT from your xPAP machine and as such is compromising your treatment.
Hi Pokey! - Welcome to the forum.

Are you taking any statin lowering drugs including red yeast rice?
By age 68, many people have some Mitral valve regurgitation. Really not a big deal in the absence of any other cardiac issues.
As for mouth breathing -- I'd look elsewhere.

You haven't mentioned any medications; so, we'll rule that out.
Negative on blood tests -- likley other organ systems are OK.

Might check for some virus antibodies like Epstein-Barr and CMV.

It's probably idiopathic
Or you could get a sleep assessment and possibly a sleep study.
Ive had 2 sleep studies that showed nothing. Although the 2nd sleep study was somewhat of a bust as I could not sleep on their bed and only slept 1.5 hours. The first one which was complete showed nothing. Home sleep study, which is somewhat limited showed nothing as well.

I do take 3 meds. Bystolic for my mitral valve issue, but I'm on the very lowest does and only take it in the morning.  I also take prevacid for reflux and mirtazapine, which is an AD to help me sleep, but the lowest dose of that as well. But I had these sxs before I ever took mirtazapine. 

Ive been tested for Epstein-Barr, MS, Myasthenia and another $3000 worth of blood tests. Nothing. 

Ive abstained for long periods of time from alcohol, which does not seem to make much of a difference. Some days when I had a couple beers the night before I feel better than when I dont have any. 

Whatever this is, its wearing me out and puts a real damper on life. Something is happening between when I go to bed and when I get up, but I have no idea what it is. The docs dont either. Was hoping I might find some insight here with regard to my mouth breathing, but thats not sounding likely either.
Bystolic is a beta blocker. They are known to sap one's energy. It's duration of action is long enough for once a day dosing. I'd wager you have been told to take it at the same time every day. You are pretty much stuck with Bystolic because of your mitral valve. Likely prescribed by your cardiologist. You might ask him/her if there is another med you could take that would do the same job.

If I may suggest, at your age; and with mitral valve regurgitation, you should been seen by a cardiologist annually. With a Doppler-echocardiogram every year; and a stress test every 3 or 4 years. Keep in mind, I am not a doctor and I am not prescribing for you.
Bystolic is the only beta blocker I can tolerate. Tried metoporol and couldn't function.I take the Bystolic in the a.m., not at night, so dont think it is the issue. I see a cardiologist annually and have an echo each year. I was getting echos every 6 months for the first 8 years. Been seen at Cleveland Clinic 2x, so think my ticker is being well cared for ok. Just keep waking up feeling like hell and no one knows why.
You can try cpap, why not it may help. I would get a full face mask and a newer cpap machine that is able to give you information. With a program like Sleephead you can see a lot about yourself.

Best of luck to you.   Sleep-well
Hi Pokey,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I wish you good luck in figuring out your health problems.
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