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Anxiety over diagnosis

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OUTTABREATH +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

Hello. I am a 39, 168cm, 114 kg, bmi 41, neck 18.5 inches and male with no previous medical history, except depression and anxiety.

Over the past 2 years I have had symptoms of sleep apnea which has become progressively worse. My main symptom is suddenly waking up taking deep breaths through my nose. This is followed by full awakening, difficulty going back to sleep due to anxiety and panic. This has steadily become more and more severe, from about once a month to 3 times a week for the last month, and for the last 10 days I have episodes almost every night.

I have always been a late sleeper and a late waker. I have noticed that the awakening happen mostly during or after day break.

I had 2 sleep studys and both showed different results. One showed a AHI of 52 another of 10.6.

I don't know what to believe. My wife says I snore but not very loudly.

I'm afraid that my apneas may be central for various reasons.

  1. They have become acutely worse over 1 month though I have lost a few kilos. How can this happen?

  2. I never hear myself snore, grunt or gasp for air. Just deep breaths when I wake up, through my nose.

  3. I have taken klonopin for last 3 years for anxiety and feel that may have damaged parts of my brain.

  4. These episodes happen no matter what position I sleep in, even on my tummy.

Is my reasoning sensible that I may have central instead of obstructive apnea or am I just fretting for no reason. None of the studies suggested an central issues but then I never had an apnea related awakening in either study with the deep breathing symptom, so the studies may have missed something important. My diabetes and blood pressure are normal.

One doctor suggested weight loss without cpap for the ahi of 10.6, while another suggested auto cpap therapy (AHI 52). Now I can't afford a 3rd study and am at a loss and frustrated.

Need advice, and most importantly need someone to tell me that I'm not having central sleep apnea just because of the reasons I mentioned above.

Note: severe sleep anxiety and mild depression due directly to the panicked awakenings. Can't think of anything else.

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Felicity63 +0 points · over 2 years ago

Hello OUTTABREATH! I'm a newbie, too, so I can't really answer your question about what sort of Apnea you have, or don't. My understanding is that AHI Numbers over 5 indicate at least mild Apnea. I know that you can't affort another test, but is there one sleep doctor you trust more than another? If so, can you make an office appointment and review all of the results with the doctor. Express your concerns and try to talk it out with him or her?

Really, only a doctor will be able to review, understand, and explain your entire history including the meds you take and anything else that may be related. I know one thing, Apnea can cause mood and concentration problems. Perhaps treating the apnea will improve other areas of your health, but that is definitely something you need to discuss with your doctor.

I wish you the best of luck! Let us know how it goes :)

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wiredgeorge +1 point · over 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

How far apart were these studies in time? Why at different locations? Any sleep study can document both central or obstructive apnea events and should tell you which you experienced. Knowing how far apart in time and the nature of the place doing the study might provide insight on why there is such a discrepancy in results.

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