Forum · Newbie! Help! CPAP use without diagnosed sleep apnea>?

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[-] JenL2015 +0 points · about 2 years ago

Hi everyone! I posted an introduction. I don't have diagnosed sleep apnea, but I looked up and pretty sure based on my sleep study I have upper airway resistance syndrome. Basically, in the last 2 months my life has changed a lot. Because of injury and pain, I have to sleep on my back. That caused issues with my breathing while sleeping. I could feel my throat closing up, and my snoring would wake me up. I became anxious that I wasn't breathing. Sleep study 2 months down the road showed me waking up constantly to where I was hardly getting any sleep. I was snoring lightly the whole time. Oxygen showed ok, but I think I wake myself up before my throat closes completely. They said if I snored any harder it might be sleep apnea, but right now not. My whole family is on CPAP. I am 5'8" and weighed 188 pounds but am down to 170 because of loss of appetite and anxiety. Sleep study showed a lot of alpha waves too, like my brain won't go to sleep.

Anyway, because of this, they did not try me on a cpap and instead prescribed a sleep med, AMbien, which doesn't work that well for me, and I still wake up a lot, although sleep some better. Then, I tried mirtazapine but it makes me too useless during the day for the dose I have to take at night to sleep. I am on 6.3 mg right now and not sleeping that well but more alert during the day. Trying magnesium glycinate, but it makes me feel groggy too.

So, here are my questions: Does anyone have experience using cpap for snoring without diagnosed osa but with possible UARS? What are the options? I am on my own here. I am thinking about trying to use a cpap to see if that calms down the throat closing feeling and the waking with snoring. I have read about dental devices too but ironically that would cost me more than the cpap or apap. I have go to get some of this under control. Also, I worry about the face mask or pillows bothering me. Is there a less expensive way to try one out first? Not sure what I can do about the anxiety/racing thoughts. So much info on internet about why sleep aids are bad and to develop routines and such, but my anxiety is out of control and I am a very emotionally sensitive person.

Also, a friend of mine was given a cpap machine with nebulizer. Need to find out model. Not sure if I should try that or a newer machine.

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. I am desperate.

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[-] DanM +1 point · almost 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi @JenL2015. I'm sorry to hear you are having such a difficult time with your sleep. Do you know whether a board-certified sleep physician read your sleep study and reviewed the data? This is important to make sure the sleep physician has the entire clinical picture of what is happening during your sleep study, and so s/he can make sure they agree with how the study was reviewed and scored. CPAP and APAP require a prescription that specifies machine settings and several other things for an equipment provider to be able to supply you with the treatment. Too little pressure will not treat snoring and sleep apnea, and too much air pressure can cause other problems. If you are willing to pay out-of-pocket if your sleep study does not meet the criteria for a diagnosis of sleep apnea, you might consider talking to the physician about whether treatment might help with your snoring and with consolidation of your sleep so you have less awakenings. I do know of patients who have purchased machines with guidance from a physician in an attempt to decrease snoring and improve the quality of their sleep. As for masks and pillows, most take some getting used to by any patient wearing them for the first time. As a patient myself, I speak from experience. I encourage you to talk to your physician about whether treatment may be appropriate based on your sleep study findings along with your other symptoms, and you may consider providing the information on UARS and snoring that you mention in your posting. -Dan

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[-] DanM +1 point · almost 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi @JenL2015. Just a quick follow up post here. Depending on sleep study results along with patient symptoms, I have known of patients treated with CPAP for snoring and sleepiness/fatigue. I would encourage you to talk to your sleep physician about what you are experiencing. Sometimes sleep medications that cause relaxation can contribute to snoring and symptoms of sleep apnea because they help relax the muscles. As a result, the muscles that help support breathing and the airway become even more relaxed. Have you tried nasal strips to see if the help reduce your snoring? Please keep us posted on how you are doing!

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