We've updated our privacy policy.

Diagnosed with sleep apnea but I'm skeptical

5 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
Hbob4 +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

I was diagnosed with sleep apnea after doing a sleep study last night. I went for this sleep study on a whim. I've had a weight problem my whole life, but maybe it's gotten worse lately? Hard to say.

Anyway, they diagnosed me with sleep apnea and start talking about using a CPAP machine, which we all know will involve sleeping with a huge horrible mask on. No one's really given me a good reason why I actually want to do this, though. The clinician was very, well, clinical.

"You have sleep apnea. You should treat it by using a CPAP machine"
Why exactly?
"To treat your sleep apnea"
But why do I want to do that?
"Because we diagnosed you with sleep apnea"

They didn't make much of a value proposition for me. They seemed pretty disconnected.

Using the home sleep study was nightmarish. I hated having to sleep with something on my face, and it made it really difficult to sleep comfortably, turn around, roll over, etc. Not to mention my cats were trying to kill all the wires. If using a CPAP is even fractionally as bad as using the home sleep study machine, I can't imagine that it could possibly make my sleep more restful rather than less.

Furthermore, I don't feel like I'm particularly unrested during the day. It's hard for me to wake up in the morning, but who doesn't have trouble waking up? I yawn a lot, but I never feel hindered at work, and not to mention I'm practically the only software engineer in the world who gets by without drinking coffee. I take long naps on the weekend, but I've always done this ever since I was little. They can tell me I have some disorder, but frankly, I feel normal. I hate to use the S-word, but honestly this whole thing would seem kinda like a scam, if it weren't so well-accepted in the medical community.

I am however, interested in trying "treatment", even a CPAP, if it could make me lose weight, but I'm skeptical. I haven't seen convincing evidence of a causal relationship (as in that sleep apnea causes weight gain, not vice-versa) and I know very well that the science is out on most weight-gain causes. Do I eat more whole grains or less? Skim milk or whole? Everyone gives a different answer, so I'm very very skeptical of anything that is supposed to make me lose weight.

Does anyone have any advice on what I should do?

7 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
Thefroggydude +0 points · over 2 years ago

I can’t speak to the weight issue as I have been diagnosed with apneas but atypically am not overweight. I would suggest however that you google “untreated apneas”. Among other things you will find “Left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious and life-shortening consequences: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, automobile accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel, diabetes, depression, and other ailments.”. I have heart issues that were likely caused by untreated apneas. I strongly encourage you to take the advice of your sleep doc and do everything that you can to eliminate your apneas.

5 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
Hbob4 +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

No sleep doctor told me anything. It was just some lab clinician.

I don't have any of those problems, and I'm not convinced that I will suddenly start having them, just because I've now been diagnosed. If I start falling asleep randomly, maybe I'll reconsider, but for now, that's not a good enough reason.

3 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
chrisacker +0 points · over 2 years ago

Hi hbob4!

You know, I was in the same boat in 2004. I never thought i would have sleep apnea. I put on a ton of weight before diagnosis and went through a terrible depressive episode. Coumpound that with a bunch of other co-morbidity factors and i was one unhealthy guy.

fast forwar to today, i LOVE my CPAP/BI-PAP machine. I wouldn't go without it. It's kind of a pain, but i've already had my kids, so no one to impress.:) My wife needs earplugs with my mask every once in a well, but i'm a much nicer guy now than back then.

5 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
Hbob4 +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

Did it help you lose weight? What benefit does using it provide you?

3 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
chrisacker +0 points · over 2 years ago

Yeah, I lost a bunch because I felt like exercising. My mood changed dramatically and I wake up feeling refreshed when I sleep. No more wicked sore throat either!

5 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
Hbob4 +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

Well, that sounds good. But then again, the reason I don't exercise more is not because I'm tired, but because I find it highly painful. But still, if there's a chance I would exercise more/lose weight, I'd probably try the CPAP.

944 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
wiredgeorge +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Why don't you try and get a copy of your sleep study report. Look up the terms and see how many times you stopped breathing during the night. See what your blood oxygen level dropped to. What benefit? Breathing seems sort of important and having dips in your blood oxygen causes organ tissue issues; heart, brain, stuff like that. Do a little research on your own as there is lots out there on untreated sleep apnea.

5 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
Hbob4 +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

They claimed it happened 6 times per hour, approximately. I'm skeptical, since they made a big fuss beforehand about how inaccurate the home sleep study equipment is, and how it's bad that it's self-administered. I didn't even know if I was allowed to sleep in my side or stomach, but I slept in my stomach anyway, cause I can't sleep otherwise. I noticed that the little lights indicating that the machine was not getting good data were on several times throughout the night. I don't know if they got blood oxygen levels.

"Breathing seems sort of important"
You make it sound like you stop breathing, and the only thing that can cause you to breathe again is the CPAP. In actuality, you start again right afterwards, so you still get oxygen. It's not like I wake up out of breath or something. The whole concept sounds a little hand-wavy to me and not very rigerous.

What would you do if you were told you have a problem that is highly inconvenient to deal with, but you see very little current impact on your life, or proof that it will impact your life? I'm skeptical of whether the whole thing is overblown. Sleep apnea seems a little too trendy to me.

944 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
wiredgeorge +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Obstructive sleep apnea. Home test seems to show you quit breathing six times per hour for some period of time. When you quit breathing, your blood oxygen level can go low. If you have doubts about the accuracy of the home study (and you probably should as they are not nearly as accurate as an in-clinic study), you should pursue an in-clinic study. If it doesn't show the same result as the home study, then you will have to evaluate whether you want to follow up. If you came here for advice, that is what I can give but if you came to affirm your opinions/attitudes, well hopefully that won't get in the way of making sure you are not suffering OSA.

335 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
SleepDent +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Commentator

I am a dentist working in dental sleep medicine. I can assure you that obstructive sleep apnea is not trendy, it is potentially tragic. I have dealt with a large number of OSA patients. The condition has cost some of them their jobs, their marriages, their quality of life, their very lives. Now, having said that, let's put things into perspective. There is a huge difference between a patient who has very mild sleep apnea and is not symptomatic and moderate to severe patients with severe symptoms and the potential for life threatening medical problems. You need to know where you fall on the scale of severity. If you are on the very mild end, you certainly need not panic and be extremely concerned about it. But be advised. The yellow warning flag is now out there. Untreated sleep apnea never goes away spontaneously and it usually gets worse as people age. Remember, there are other options besides CPAP, including oral sleep apnea appliances, weight loss, positional therapy, minor nasal procedures, to name a few. Have your health care professionals explain them all before making any conclusions. Good luck to you. Arthur B. Luisi, Jr., D.M.D.

14 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
sophie +0 points · over 2 years ago
42 posts
bio
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
Turquoiseturtle +0 points · over 2 years ago

Yes, take it seriously and give treatment a try. I, too, was shocked to find out I had sleep apnea. I'm thin, cycle 200 miles per week, generally feel good. I was not waking up gasping for air. The apneas did not wake me up, but did keep me from reaching REM sleep. (No wonder I never had dreams.) What got me in to the sleep clinic was a heart issue, and after 6 months of trying to get to the cause of the heart problems, a sleep study was suggested. The results showed mild (6-9 per hour) OSA and central apneas. My only past experience (other than all the ads about how horrible CPAP machines are) was sharing a room with a friend 20 years ago at a conference. Her machine was noisy, but she was ok with it. Once diagnosed, I had an appointment time with 6 others. One man was so happy to be back on an insurance plan that would cover his supplies, and could not wait to get back to treatment. He also advised that I try all the masks/nasal pillows for the best fit. There were many to choose from at that appointment. What I chose was immediately comfortable, and has been used every night since. My doc says I should be the poster child for Sleep Apnea. And the machine itself is silent. The heart problem disappeared quickly, and I realized my concentration for reading and details improved significantly. Not sure how the cats will feel about it, though.

335 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
SleepDent +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Commentator

You make some very valuable points here. There is no "typical" sleep apnea patient. They come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. This patient does not fit the typical stereotype in that he was thin, fit, and apparently healthy. Keep an open mind when you are diagnosed, even if you are not the typical patient(older, male, overweight). It could save your life. Arthur B. Luisi, Jr.,D.M.D.

580 posts
Was this reply useful? Learn more...
   
[-]
sleeptech +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

A significant number of people with OSA are asymptomatic, meaning that they don't display any of the usual symptoms, just as you don not. However if a properly conducted sleep study has recorded that you stop breathing for periods during your sleep it is pretty unequivocal, and it will definitely have a negative effects on your long term health.

Topic locked due to inactivity. Start a new topic to engage with active community members.
Please be advised that these posts may contain sensitive material or unsolicited medical advice. MyApnea does not endorse the content of these posts. The information provided on this site is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for advice from a health care professional who has evaluated you.