I'm 45 and looking back I estimate I've had sleep apnea for close to 20 years. I knew I snored and always woke up tired but I just blew it off as normal aging and no big deal.
In the last couple years my blood pressure was going up. (165/112) I blew it off for a while but decided it wasn't going to go back down on its own so I went to see my Dr. and he suggested blood pressure medicine. In the days leading up to the appointment I read about how sleep apnea could be a cause for hypertension so I asked if I should get a sleep study first to see if that was a possible cause.
I had the sleep study, 2 of them actually because I literally didn't sleep a wink during the first one. The 2nd sleep study I managed to sleep enough to get a diagnosis of 47 AHI with O2 level dropping down to 79% at times. I was also told I didn't achieve REM sleep during the study so my numbers were likely to be worse than 47.
Now that I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, it had my attention. I realized it was like someone was holding a pillow over my face and suffocating me hundreds of times a night, depriving my brain of oxygen and restorative sleep.
So, I decided to do all of the research I could before my DME got ahold of me. I was surprised to learn about the wide range of health issues sleep apnea could possibly affect/cause. I realized a lot of them I had. High blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, memory loss, brain fog, lack of focus, anxiety, irritability, and always tired.
I was excited to start therapy to see if CPAP would help some of the symptoms I was having so I did my homework by searching forums like this one. I learned that I should insist from my DME to give me a data capable APAP rather than a brick CPAP machine. I learned all I could about clinical menus & preferred ranges to set it around my titrated pressure. I learned about the different types of apneas, ramps, EPR, humidity, masks, and how to use Sleepyhead software.
I think because I was so well informed on what to do and what to expect, I had immediate results that I can only describe as AMAZING!!It's been around one month since I started using my APAP & my AHI averages around 1! My blood pressure is down to around 118/82 regularly! I literally feel 20 years younger. I wake up on most days raring to go! I've noticed my brain fog has lifted, my focus is sharper, and I'm remembering things a lot better. My patience is better too. The world just seems brighter. My golf game is getting better too but that may or may not be related.
I had forgotten what it felt like to get restorative sleep. It makes everything else easier.
Knowing what I know now and how great I feel it upsets me that I didn't fix this years ago. I made life harder on myself for years, needlessly. Oh well better late than never right?
Anyways, I just wanted to thank the forum for helping me take right to this and for helping me get immediate results.