Forum · Central apnea?

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[-] UnderstandingEmeraldSquid6348 +0 points · over 1 year ago

My name is Brian. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and haven't received a CPAP yet. I bought a pulse oximeter and have been monitoring oxygen levels in blood for several nights. I am seeing a pattern that oxygen levels drop just when I am between wake and sleep. The rest of the night is fairly normal 89+. When I had my sleep study, I didn't sleep well and remember waking up frequently and think that this may have contributed to the diagnosis (as would have been in wake/sleep transition many times). Any thoughts on whether this really represents central sleep apnea or if this is normal?

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[-] Ruby +0 points · over 1 year ago

I am not a doctor but an oxygen level of 89 doesn't seem normal to me. Mine was at 86 and the doctor really got upset! In the three sleep studies I have had, I did not sleep much either. I was very surprised that it wasn't a concern to the doctor but maybe they factor in sleeplessness and frequent waking. Can you take these questions to your doctor/sleep doctor to find answers? It would be interesting to know more about what goes on during sleep tests and how they "read" the results.

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[-] DanM +1 point · over 1 year ago Sleep Commentator

Hi @UnderstandingEmeraldSquid6348. I agree with Ruby that taking these questions to your doctor may be helpful. As a sleep technologist, I can say that we generally like to see blood oxygen levels in the 90s during a sleep study. Even when blood oxygen is in the upper 90s, if there are respiratory events (like central apneas or obstructive apneas) that cause your blood oxygen level to drop more than 3 or 4 points or cause interruption in your sleep, you can still have a diagnosis of sleep apnea. Ruby is also correct in that time spent awake during a sleep study is taken into consideration. It can be normal for people to have brief pauses in breathing when falling asleep, and those situations are usually considered in a sleep study as well. I hope this helps, and please keep us posted!

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[-] BrainsNeedSleep +0 points · over 1 year ago

I am not a medical doctor either but 89 I have been told is not good, but it depends on how long, how often, etc. As for whether it represents central sleep apnea, I believe oxygen desaturations occur with any sort of event, obstructive or central, that lasts long enough (I may be incorrect on that) -- but you should look at the details in your sleep study report (be sure to get a copy for yourself!) -- it will tell you how many events were obstructions, partial obstructions, and centrals. If you have a mix of them, go to the article on here in the RESEARCH section by Dr Robert Thomas about complex sleep apnea. That might help. Good luck and let us know how you do.

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