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Newly diagnosed sleep apnea need some advice

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jbear20110 +0 points · 15 days ago Original Poster

Was recently diagnosed with mild sleep apnea after having a at home study which showed I had a AHI ~7, a total nadir oxygen saturation of ~86%, and 68% snoring for the whole night. From personal experience I'm maybe a little groggy the first part of the day and have occasional headaches but don't really have bad symptoms like falling asleep at the drop of a hat or being super tired through out the whole.

The sleep center is pushing me to go the CPAP route, but offhandedly suggest maybe looking into the oral appliance route or trying positional therapy first. Additionally I'm probably about 40 lbs overweight so I think simply losing the weight could help quickly too as a few years ago when I weighed less I had no symptoms of sleep apnea.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated going forward.

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Sierra +0 points · 15 days ago Sleep Innovater

I presume you in the US? In the UK their National Health Service will not treat sleep apnea unless it is over an AHI of 15. In Canada and the US the recommended treatment level starts at >5 for AHI. In your case oxygen seems fairly low, and I think snoring alone can disturb sleep especially if you have a sleep partner.

Dental MAD devices tend to be quite expensive compared to CPAP, but they certainly should be effective in the mild apnea (5-15) range you are in. An on line CPAP setup is in the $800-900 range. Losing weight of course would help and with an AHI of 7 you would likely get down into the normal <5 range.

It is kind of your call which way you go. At home sleep studies typically divide the number of apnea incidents by the time in bed. A lab sleep test will divide the number of apnea events by the time actually sleeping. For that reason at home studies can underestimate the actual AHI as we don't have apnea events when we are awake. So, it is possible your apnea is actually a bit higher than 7. Something to consider.

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