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AHI is 5, doctor says it's not a problem
AHI is 5, doctor says it's not a problem
Hello, I did recently an apnea test (watchpat one). Results are in, AHI is 5. Rest of the test still waiting to receive by email. 

I am not satisfied at all with the advice I have received from the sleep specialist. He said that it is a problem when it's above 30. He says this is not apnea but that I do tend to wake up in the night and recommended a sleep psychologist. 

 I am extremely dissatisfied with that. I have severe symptoms. On wednesday night my colleagues go for drinks but I can't join because I am too tired. Last friday at 3pm I felt horribly fatigued like it was 5 am or something. I wake up with strong headaches and have a collection of headache medicines. Furthermore, I slept with a wedge pillow to raise my upper body so that would lower somewhat the AHI in the test a little bit. Additionally, I have also started using these breathe right nose strips and they do seem to help significantly, but no doctor told me about that. I feel better with the strips but if it were up to the doctors, I wouldn't even have heard of these strips and would still feel horrible. 

In conclusion, I think I would feel better with a CPAP but I can't really procure one because I was not prescribed one. What are my best options here?
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RE: AHI is 5, doctor says it's not a problem
Have you considered using your primary doctor for prescriptions and interpretation of results? There is no requirement that a specialist be used, and a lot of reason not to go that route. Your doctor should be aware of all of your health history and complications of even a mild sleep disorder. He is able to prescribe CPAP based on both WatchPat results and your complaints of fatigue, headaches and other factors. You may have sabotaged your own sleep test by using aids like the wedge pillow and Breath-Right strips, and the WatchPat test is not really a very accurate test anyway. If you want to try CPAP without a script, you can find units for sale on Craigslist, Market Place and other person to person sales. Based on complaints, I would want something like the Resmed Airsense 10 or 11 Autoset which has exhale pressure relief and can help with flow limitation related arousal.
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RE: AHI is 5, doctor says it's not a problem
Thanks for your reply, unfortunately I am not satisfied with my experience with the health care system. I did this sleep study test at home and my total human interaction with the sleep test was about 7 minutes in total, I have not seen the full report yet and my doctor is dismissive of my complaints (I have to chase him to get any progress / action). Seems like everyone here is focused on cost-cutting and assuming my complaints will go away if I just stop talking about it. 

Therefore I am interested in trying CPAP on my own and will pursue that independently...thank you for your reply...unfortunately in my experience seems like you can't rely much on the health care system. I know that helping finding a CPAP without a prescription is strictly forbidden on this forum so I will not ask any assistance on that, but if you have any tips on self-treating or in starting out please do let me know...thank you
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RE: AHI is 5, doctor says it's not a problem
I would suggest you get a different doctor, if they're dismissing your concerns like that. Mine actually kept checking with me to see if I had followed up on getting a sleep study done over the past few years.
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RE: AHI is 5, doctor says it's not a problem
I notice that the OP is in Netherlands...

This means he can order a slightly used/refurbished AirSense 10 Autoset from Supplier #2 - aka SecondWind . They do not require a prescription when shipping out of the States. I ordered a refurbished AirCurve from them, and was quite happy with their service.
Apnea Board Monitors are members who help oversee the smooth functioning of the Board. They are also members of the Advisory Committee which helps shape Apnea Board's rules & policies. Membership in the Advisory Members group does not imply medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment.
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RE: AHI is 5, doctor says it's not a problem
Thanks all for the tips. Indeed I do need a new doctor...and I will look into that supplier. 

I will post my sleep study as soon as that is available. It was done two weeks ago by the way, but the sleep center didn't even send it to me yet. Still haven't seen it, just been told what it looks like. 

Unbelievable stuff. Not really in the mood to put my health in the hands of this system so appreciate your replies
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RE: AHI is 5, doctor says it's not a problem
If you have used a wedge pillow during the sleep test then that's the reason for low ahi, even i do use a wedge pillow and cervical pillow with my cpap to lower my ahi and yes wedge pillow helps in lowering the ahi, you need to take another test but without the wedge pillow that would give accurate result
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RE: AHI is 5, doctor says it's not a problem
By how much in your experience? Like 1 or 2 AHI points or more? 

I will try to repeat it (even if my doctor right now is enthusiastic to dismiss this as "case solved", I will push back). 

Some human contact with the sleep clinic would've helped get accurate results but I have not spoken with a human for the whole process....Jesus these sleep centers can be bad.
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RE: AHI is 5, doctor says it's not a problem
I had my in-lab study done on January 4th and didn't get my results in the mail until yesterday, so it can take some time for those to get sent and delivered.

Hopefully you can get something more concrete and a more supportive medical team helping you out.
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RE: AHI is 5, doctor says it's not a problem
Hi Negligee, I'm Arie Klerk from the Netherlands, staff member of the Dutch ApneuVereniging.
I'd recommend to contact our ApeuHelpdesk, see here:

De nieuwe ApneuRichtlijn kijkt niet meer zozeer naar de AHI, maar naar de lichamelijke en geestelijke gezondheidstoestand. Mijn persoonlijke advies zou dus zijn om een second opinion aan te vragen, praat er eens over!
Ook kan ik je aanraden om eens op onze website rond te kijken...
Arie KLERK: Member of the Dutch Apnea Association staff (https://apneuvereniging.nl) and proud to be the OSCAR Translations Team Coordinator. 
***Please help us: We’re always looking for more translators and language editors***

Membership in the Advisory Members group does not imply medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients, but just dedication to AB. 
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