Sleep Apnea

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by Julia M, May 1, 2013.

  1. Julia M

    Julia M DIS Veteran<br><font color =red>not clever, not wi

    Jun 10, 2000
    Hello, I am going with my mom to her doctors appointment tomorrow to discuss her sleep test.

    We received the report today, and it indicates severe sleep apnea.

    Her Apnea/Hypopnea Index (AHI) is: 51.2
    NREM AHI: 42.8
    REM AHI: 95.2
    Non-Supine AHI: 45.7
    Supine AHI: 91.0

    It seems like they will recommmend treatment, probably a breathing machine, which I know NOTHING about.

    Any advice or suggestions? My concern is that I have read that many people give up on the machines within 2 weeks, because they are cumbersome.

  2. StitchesGr8Fan

    StitchesGr8Fan DIS Veteran

    Jul 17, 2009
    They also make a mouthpiece now for sleep apnea sufferers. Of course you have to find a reputable place to have them made. But there are options besides a CPAP.
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  4. yoopermom

    yoopermom Come join Bravo by the fire...

    Sep 27, 2000
    I have at least five family members (including myself) who use CPAPs, and we all do so successfully except for one (and if you knew my aunt, you wouldn't be surprised:rolleyes1).

    The biggest key to success is picking out a setup that she is comfortable with. There are many variations on how they fit on your head and nose, and everyone likes a different one ;).

    Once you find one that's comfortable, it's largely mind over matter. After all these years I can't imagine sleeping *without* mine, especially since it's a matter of life or death.

    Tell her not to get discouraged, many people use them, and use them successfully. She'll be amazed at how much better she feels!

  5. minkydog

    minkydog DIS Cast Member

    Dec 8, 2004
    I agree with all of the above. I have used CPAP for the past 6 years. My mother and one sister have used CPAP for over 10 years. Speaking from my personal experience, CPAP has been a life saver. Prior to acquiring the machine I spent every night "flipping" over and over. I was exhausted all the time--I fell asleep at friends' houses, at movie theaters, in church, and behind the wheel. No matter how many hours I spent in bed, asleep, I never felt rested. That was because I have severe sleep apnea. The test revealed that I stopped breathing 70 times/ hour :scared1: I was so tired because I was constantly waking myself up to breathe, although I had no memory of it.

    CPAP was the best thing that ever happened to me. I use it every night. In fact, if I do not use CPAP I do not sleep, simple as that. It does take some getting used to . The first few weeks, I couldn't get through a whole night with it. But I figured even part of a night, was better than none at all. Eventually, I found that taking a little something to help me fall asleep also helped me tolerate the CPAP mask. Now I get good quality sleep and wake up rested every morning. I never feel sleepy during the day and I no longer fall asleep while driving or doing quite things.

    Best of luck to your mom. Reassure her that CPAP isn't a horrible thing. Encourage her to keep trying to adjust to it and not give up too soon. It really IS worth the effort. People who have untreated sleep apnea have high risks of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
  6. Bearybear

    Bearybear A firm believer in the unbelievable

    Jul 6, 2009
    My DH has sleep apnea and uses a CPAP. For the first week, it was harder for him to fall asleep, but he also said he couldn't believe how rested he felt in the mornings compared to before.

    Lots of people use CPAP machines and feel better for it.
  7. Disworldluv

    Disworldluv DIS Veteran

    Mar 9, 2012
    I have been using a CPAP machine for a year now. It took about 10-14 days for me to become truly comfortable with its usage. I sleep SO much better now since using the machine. Today's machine are quiet and easy to use. I tried one about 6 years ago and could not get comfortable using it and stopped. The type of breathing mask you use will make a big difference. Currently, I use a full face mask rather than one that just covers your nose. The full face mask allows you to breath through you nose and/or mouth without any problems. Good luck and enjoy a much more restful night's sleep.
  8. Sadie22

    Sadie22 DIS Veteran

    Feb 16, 2010
    Some people give up too easily and do not bother going back to their specialists or trying different masks to see if a different style of mask or a different type of machine (CPAP vs. BiPAP) might work better for them.

    Since treatment for sleep apnea can make the difference between life and death or at least the exacerbation of other problems, it's well worth pursuing treatment options.
  9. piglet too

    piglet too I will take a Mudslide please

    Jan 23, 2004
    My husband has been using a BiPAP for a year now. He noticed adifference the first night, but did play around a bit to find the right mask. The person came to our house to set everything up, and had several different masks and made recommendations based on how they fit him.

    Good luck to your mom, this machine has truly been a lifesaver for my husband.
  10. erincon23

    erincon23 <font color=blue>Everyone must have gotten a life

    Sep 25, 2008
    Be sure to find out if the specialist thinks your mom has obstructive sleep apnea or another type. If it's obstructive, a CPAP may not (I am not a doctor, just someone who's lived with an apnea sufferer for years) be as helpful as a mouthpiece. My DH has obstructive apnea, and we saw an infomercial for a product called ZQuiet ( - it's a piece of light plastic that you wear during the night, it pushes your bottom jaw out just enough to relieve the pressure on your throat. It's been (literally, I think) a lifesaver for DH. The first night, he didn't snore, stop breathing, shake himself awake, or exhibit any other symptoms of apnea.

    Within a week, he had stopped nodding off while he was driving, in meetings or at one of the kids' activities. He stopped snoring while he was sitting in a chair watching TV or out at the movies. He feels SO much better you can't believe it. He's been using the zquiet for about 6 months (had to buy a replacement a few weeks ago -- they last for 4-5 months), and he's a completely different person. My parents have commented on it -- he's awake to chat with them! It's not that expensive ($70), and you can try it for $10 for 30 days - if you keep it, they'll charge you the balance.

    Since you can try it for so cheap and see if it works, I really think it might be worth it for anyone who's concerned about this. A custom mouthpiece is very expensive and not necessarily covered by insurance, so you can try this way and see if a mouthpiece is helpful, before you pay for a custom one. Good luck at the specialist with your mom!
  11. Ruthiesmama

    Ruthiesmama Mouseketeer

    Mar 26, 2013
    Severe sleep apnea usually cannot be corrected with the mouth piece.

    In my opinion the most important thing is finding the right mask for the machine. Everyone's faces are different so trying out various ones is a must. The DME supplier should allow for something like a two week trial period for masks. I went through about three or four before finding the perfect one for me. Ive been using it ever since, for about four years.

    For me, I cannot imagine sleeping without my Bipap now. I am actually fearful of falling asleep without it. Once I found the right mask, and discovered how much better I felt and rested I was I never looked back. I did let my apnea go way to long untreated though, at the end I basically "slept" 22 hours a day because I didnt even have enough adrenaline to carry me any longer than two hours awake. The problem was, I was never going into REM sleep which is why I say I "slept". I had to take short term disability from work until I was being treated successfully. So my situation may be a little different than someone who didnt let it go so far and who may think they could still function without the machine?

    Good luck to your mom, it seems like she has good support if you are worried about her and going with her to her appts- I would think that has to help!!
  12. CPT Tripss

    CPT Tripss Registered

    Feb 26, 2006

    Listen to Ruthiesmama!!! Except there isn't really any need to worry about a non CPAP nap.
  13. I loveStitchnippyjon

    I loveStitchnippyjon DIS Veteran

    May 15, 2007
    I used to be so sleepy all the time--in the dead of winter I'd have to keep my car windows rolled down on my way home from work because I almost fell asleep so many times!
    I also have severe claustrophobia, so I was afraid I would never be able to use my CPAP machine. I started out with the "nasal pillow" that just sits below your nose, and once I got used to that I was able to use a regular mask. I think it really helped cure my claustrophobia! I also used to have TMJ problems from unconsciously trying to change the position of my jaw to minimize the obstruction. That's totally gone now.
    I totally can't sleep without my machine now, and I can sleep all night and wake up refreshed.
  14. piglet too

    piglet too I will take a Mudslide please

    Jan 23, 2004
    I tried to look back to see what my husband's numbers were, but I don't have the same data as the OP listed. I can say, however, that during his sleep study, he stopped breathing over 130 times in the first hour of them monitoring him. At his follow-up visit with the doctor at 100 days, he was averaging 1 time per hour with the bipap machine.
  15. Sadie22

    Sadie22 DIS Veteran

    Feb 16, 2010
    That depends on the severity of someone's apnea. It's good that we're all so concerned about each other. Maybe I first read about sleep apnea on the Dis, before I was diagnosed. When I heard the recording my son had made of me snoring, there was no question I was going to get tested and wouild do whatever the doctor ordered.

  16. hiwaygal

    hiwaygal Only someone as wonderful as Donna can get my PM's

    Apr 21, 2005
    Any update on the appointment OP?

    From webmd:

    I have used a CPAP machine for about 7 years. I can't imagine trying to sleep without it. I have tried several different masks and have found one or two that I can use. I keep searching for others. Sometimes I think my body just needs a change of pace. lol

    I hope your mom doesn't get stressed about the diagnosis or the machine. It WILL help.
  17. PeterPanic

    PeterPanic <font color=royalblue>I hate the squeeze thingy. I

    Oct 2, 2012
    15 years now. Can't fall asleep lying down without it. My quality of life improved immeasurably once I started using it. It's a real life saver for me. I really believe that I would be dead by now if I hadn't gotten my CPAP machine.

    If I dose off watching TV and I'm sitting up relatively straight, I can get some restful sleep and wake up slowly and normally, not gasping for air. But I don't believe it's the same for everyone. If my head falls backwards, I am awake quickly trying to get air.

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