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Need help understanding sleep study results

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SleepyAndGrumpy83 +0 points · over 7 years ago Original Poster


I have done a in lab sleep study and a home sleep study. (LONG story). I did the home study in May this year, the lab study was August last year.

My results from the home study are:

Night 1 TRT 8 hours 35 minutes ; AHI 22.5 per hour ; Avg pulse 73 ; CAI 0.2 ; 57 snores ; oxygen saturation 87% and 1 total minute with an oxygen saturation <=88% ; ODI 22.1

Night 2 (i think the nose mask fell off during this one) TRT 2 hours 26 minutes ; AHI 11.1 per hour ; Avg pulse 74 ; CAI 0.0 ; 61 snores ; oxygen saturation 90% and 0 total minute with an oxygen saturation <=88% ; ODI 15.8

The diagnosis is i have OSA, but can anyone make sense of this? How severe is it? Also, I was told these results came back NORMAL and I was fine. I requested copies of my studies because I have an appointment at another sleep center to get a second opinion.

All along we thought I didnt have it, and we have tried Ambien, Lunesta, and my primary doc finally prescribed a benzo which I refuse to take.

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wiredgeorge +0 points · over 7 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

There are professionals that look in on this board so keep in mind, I am not one of them. The AHI of 22.5 is in what is considered the moderate sleep apnea range. I am addressing the Night 1 score because if you were monitored for over 8 hours, seems like it would be more accurate/relevant. What an AHI is is that you stop breathing for a significant period of time. During this time, deep sleep is messed up badly and your blood oxygen saturation goes down. Without the deep sleep, you probably have shallow sleep where you are constantly dreaming and feeling like you need to get up and go visit the bathroom. The blood oxygen saturation issue is of concern as low numbers mean your organs may be damaged. The normal is up in the mid-90s. There are likely times when your blood oxygen saturation was OK but times when it was not and a doctor needs to explain this as it is measured constantly through your study.

Moderate sleep apnea is a not a real good choice of names as the issue definitely needs to be addressed. OSA means that the stoppage of breathing is the result of something blocking your airway. Generally a CPAP machine puts positive air pressure on that something and keeps the airway open. Besides CPAP there are alternative treatments of which I know little but these have been discussed on this forum so read through past discussions a bit. CPAP is usually prescribed by the sleep doc when obstructive sleep apnea is diagnosed and the prescription will include a pressure setting that seemed to fix the issue during the sleep study. It may also recommend alternatives to CPAP such as APAP or BIPAP which are basically variations on the same technology.

You had best rely on your doctor for help explaining all this stuff but you would do well to do some research because as with any medical issue, the explanations are full of medical jargon and mumbo-jumbo (sorry professionals). There are some pretty good articles out there on interpreting sleep studies if you just google "interpreting sleep study". Take a look at several as they are not always written so a patient can easily understand as some rely on jargon to explain jargon.

Anyway, you are just starting out and therapy will allow you to stay more alert during the day if nodding off has been an issue and eventually your energy level will likely perk up. I suspect that all of those sleep drugs you were taking were an attempt to mask the effects of OSA induced restless and shallow sleep. Last, go up to the top of this page and next to the search icon there is a pulldown where you can change your user name to something friendlier. A machine generates the ones that are assigned. Good luck and if you have any other issues/questions, holler!

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DanM +0 points · over 7 years ago Sleep Enthusiast Support Team

Hi SleepAndGrumpy83. WG is on target with the AHI (Apnea Hypopnea Index). In simple terms, apneas are usually when air is not moving through your airway, and hypopneas are when your airflow is decreased or becomes too shallow for you to maintain sleep or maintain appropriate blood oxygen levels. Zero to 5 events per hour is usually a level at which treatment is only warranted if there are other issues present. Up to 15 events per hour is considered mild, the 15 to 30 range is considered moderate, and >30 is considered severe sleep apnea. Keep in mind that even patients with mild apnea can feel exhausted and have low blood oxygen levels, so how your physician decides to treat your condition may depend on several factors. I think you are doing the right thing by getting a second opinion. Your night 1 results, based strictly on the numbers you have provided, are consistent with the diagnosis of OSA you were provided. A sleep physician should be able to interpret your results and get you started with an appropriate treatment. Best wishes, and please keep us posted on your progress!

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