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Another newbie with OSA plus sleep onset apnea

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Ripple +0 points · 17 days ago Original Poster

I was recently dx'd with moderate OSA (almost severe, 29 AHI), I have yet to receive a CPAP or other treatment. This past week a new level has developed that I find quite frightening. I'm finding that as I am falling asleep I awaken immediately. I don't gasp but I find myself breathing deeply through my nose. There was only one night this week that I was able to fall asleep without using Ambien. I'm afraid that the Ambien might put me out so deeply that I might stop breathing and die in my sleep.

I had a precursor of this some months ago while traveling abroad. I was lying in bed early in the morning trying to fall back asleep when every so often I would take these involuntary deep breaths through one nostril. I was not asleep at all beforehand as far as I knew and once this happened a few times I could feel it coming on. These breaths came with a snorting sound, but when it's happened this week not so much sound.

I just looked over my sleep study report -- I did SNAP at home -- and it looks like 80% of my apneas are thought to be of central origin.

I am really freaked out. Help!

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Sierra +0 points · 16 days ago Sleep Enthusiast

I am not a medical professional, just an apnea sufferer. An AHI of 29 is not that bad. However with 80% being central, that is a bit of an issue. Obstructive sleep apnea is well treated with pressure to hold the airway open. However with central apnea the airway is already open, so pressure does not help. I would recommend having a long discussion with your sleep doctor before a machine is prescribed. A standard APAP or CPAP is not likely to work, and a BiLevel machine is frequently prescribed, and it may not work either. You should ask about the need to get an ASV machine.

You should ask about any medical conditions that may be causing central apnea, or medications that may be aggravating it.

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sleeptech +0 points · 15 days ago Sleep Commentator

An AHI of 29 is not good, although it could be a lot worse. It's certainly of a level that you should do something about it. Sometimes events scored as central in a sleep study will respond to CPAP for various reasons, so don;t count it out yet. The best practice approach is a study in a lab where they can start with CPAP and see if it works, and If not they can swap to BiPAP (which is the standard treatment for centrals apnoeas). ASV may be required but it is only used in very specific circumstances and should always be done through a sleep lab and in consultation with a doctor because ASV can be risky if not used appropriately. Overall, don't get too worked up. In all likelihood you can be treated. Also, remember that the damage done by sleep apnoea is done gradually over years, not all in one moment, so it is important that it be treated but it doesn't all need to be done tomorrow.

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Sierra +0 points · 15 days ago Sleep Enthusiast

Here is a link to a study that found Bilevel was more likely to worsen central sleep apnea, compared to improving it. One would not want to get locked in to a Bilevel without doing a trial to see if it helps or hurts.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16236867

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