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What do I do if I think I have sleep apnea?


#1

Hello,

So I have been a snorer all of my adult life to the best of my knowledge. This was not much of a concern to me until recently I have been waking up a couple times throughout the night and have not been feeling rested in the morning even though I believe I am getting about 7 hours of sleep.

I looked into this a bit online and sleep apnea kept popping up as a possible diagnosis. I was wondering if anybody could give me some advice on how to proceed? Are there ways I can self diagnosis myself? Do I go right to a doctor? Primary doctor or other? Just wanted some guidance on what to do next to try to address this issue.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Cheers,
Ben


#2

Hi Ben, welcome to the community forum!

My patient to patient recommendation is to go directly to a sleep specialist and ask for a sleep study. You owe it to yourself to either diagnose apnea or rule it out for your peace of mind.

If you have been researching, you know that leaving apnea untreated can be life threatening…sudden death, heart attack, stroke. I know you are taking it seriously or you would not have posted! Good for you.

Its a funny thing, before I was diagnosed I used to think I was sleeping 8-10 hours. My sleep study showed that I was getting the equivalent of 2 hours of actual sleep…the rest was constant awakenings due to apnea events. Now that is extreme, but true in my case. It took me a long time to realize that we actually have no clue what we do when we sleep. On the other hand, our bed partners are well aware of our snoring, gasping, choking, arm or leg flailing, restlessness, night sweats, multiple bathroom trips to urinate. Their sleep is often as disrupted as our own.

Find a doctor who specializes in sleep medicine and schedule a sleep study! Best wishes to you and I hope you’ll follow up and let us know how you are doing!


#3

Hi Tracy,

Thanks so much for the helpful advice and sharing your personal experience. Just had a couple more quesitons.

Being the ignorant 28 year old man that I am, I thought that I would not need any major medical attention, so to save some money, as I am working for myself, I got the basic catastrophic health insurance. :frowning:

It has such a high deductible, I’m assuming I’ll be paying most of this out of my own pocket, which is okay, but I just want to find the cheapest yet effective option. Does anybody know generally what a sleep study costs? Do the at home sleep studies cost more or less than the overnight at the sleep clinic?

One again, I really appreciate all your help.

Cheers,
Ben


#4

Sleep Study costs vary greatly from coast to coast. I have seen full overnight studies run from $1,200 to $5,000
Home studies, both attended or unattended (truly in your own home) vary as well and I have seen them as low as $300

You would have to call your local providers and find out what their costs are and ask for a discount.

Home study diagnoses sleep disordered breathing but there is no titration (determining your CPAP pressure needs)
Ask your sleep doctor if a home study and then AutoCPAP to titrate is acceptable for you.


#5

Thank you again for all this great information! I will do as you instructed this week and see if I can get something set up.


#6

First of all, want to give an update that I ended up making the leap and getting a sleep study done ASAP even though I don’t have health insurance and I am glad I did as I was positively diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea. Now its time to get this thing in check so I can start getting the sleep I need.

Obviously the next step is to get a CPAP machine and mask. I really would appreciate some guidance on how to go about finding the right one for me.

My prescription is: 11 CM/H2O

I don’t know if that matters or whether the fact that I am newly diagnosed matters. I have been trying to do research online and the REMstar A-Flex and Dreamstation keep coming up as some of the best CPAP machines, such as this article. I also have seen the Resmed S9 Autoset be referenced commonly as a great CPAP machine as well. I know it shouldn’t matter, but I have to admit, the Dreamstation looks pretty darn cool. It’s as if Apple designed it. :sunglasses:

In terms of the mask, I do sometimes breathe through my mouth, so I think I will need a full face mask. I also like to sleep on my side. Any suggestions?

I would really appreciate any guidance or advice on this topic as there are so many options, it is a little overwhelming. I thank you in advance.

Cheers,
Ben


#7

Hello Ben;
Both Philips and ResMed have outstanding APAP choices.
If you are using our CPAP Assistance program, you would receive the older model ResMed S8.

Masks are a very personal choice as our faces are unique. My best advise is for you to visit local proividers and try on several different brands and styles. Choose one that best fits YOUR facial features.

Now on to treatment!


#8

Reading this just now I agree with with Tracy to take advantage of the CPAP assistance program. You can utilize me if you need a licensed Respiratory Therapist to guide and help you in your initial set up. Ziggy at 630-546-0813 at your service (for free). Thank you. :wink:


#9

Hi Tracy and Ziggy,

Thanks so much for the advice. I really appreciate it. I’ll be sure to let you know if I have any more questions.

Cheers,
Ben


#10

Morning headaches, hypertension, snoring, obesity and abnormal weight gain, depression, heartburn, restless behavior, getting tired easily, reduced libido are all the expected symptoms coming along with
sleep apnea. Before the situation goes out of control, it is important to visit the doctor. Upon medical supervision, sleep apnea can be diagnosed using a sleep test called polysomnography and asked for provigil online 200mg. It can be done in two ways: polysomnogram while night sleeps to monitor the muscle tension, brain waves, eye movement,
heart rate, oxygen circulation in the blood and respiratory habits. The second type of polysomnography is a home test where the sleep technologist gets you hooked up to electrodes for monitoring your body behavior during sleep. Taking the result of these tests into concern, treatment is rendered by the physician
to cure the ailment.


#11

You should go directly to a sleep specialist. Sleep Apnea is not just about snoring though all though it is a symptom. There are alot of sleep disorders.


#12

Ziggy, that was super nice to offer some assistance. Kudos to Ben for taking the steps to get a sleep apnea test. So many folks, especially younger, do not take it seriously. For many folks, OSA is not diagnosed until is has been happening for years, if not decades. The sleep deprivation and extra stress on the cardiovascular system have cumulative effects. My hope for our field is that we start to change things by identifying folks younger and younger. Ben, keep us all up to date on your progress. Just so you know, with PAP therapy, there are three main measures to track (1) mask leak - you want this minimized so that pressure doesn’t get too low and the leak doesn’t bother you and wake you up; (2) residual AHI - this is a count of the number of apneas and hypopneas that you might still have while on therapy per hour of PAP use (i.e., a residual AHI of 5 would mean that you have 5 apneas and hypopneas per hour of CPAP use); and finally, (3) amount of PAP use - ideally you use PAP therapy whenever you are asleep, but realistically, you can build up to that over time.