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Not feeling better with CPAP use

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DeDe +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

I've used CPAP for well over a year. The ResMed My Air scores are good, and I generally sleep with the machine on 6-7 hours/night. (I have been struggling recently, though.) My doctor says insurance will not cover a sleep study due to my good scores. Tried full face and nasal masks and settled on the Wisp nasal mask. My AHI is now almost always below 1, and with minimal leaks. However, I am still tired and weak a lot of the time. (I keep a journal and see little relation between a "successful" CPAP night and my physical condition.) I used dental devices for years, but they only dropped AHI from 22 to 15 and also caused migraines. I often feel that I sleep much more lightly with the machine. I am not overweight and have normal blood pressure. Most on this forum say they feel much better with CPAP. Has anyone had my experience with CPAP? Any advice?

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wiredgeorge +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

If you ResMed myAir feedback says your AHI is low, then sleep apnea is being treated successfully. If you feel poorly even after therapy, a chat with your primary care doc and a full physical might be in order as the tiredness and weakness may be the result of some other issue.

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SleepyMommy703 +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Commentator

I was in a similar boat and still feeling tired after 11 months on the machine and I gave up on it for a couple years because I was getting chronic sinus infections in addition to not really feeling any better. I went back on it this past summer and after a few months of still feeling really tired they did do another study. And my insurance did cover it so I'm not sure that your doctor is correct about that. First was an at home study to see if the machine was really working as well as it said it was. That picked up a number of times I was working too hard to breath so they ordered an in hospital overnight study with my CPAP. They determined my pressure was set higher than needed and I do feel a little better now that it was adjusted. Mostly less side effects, but all in all I'm managing better than I was. I also notice that I really have to use it for a minimum of 8 hours to feel decent. I still have some days that I'm horribly tired for no reason and so this last visit my sleep doctor prescribed Nuvigil to help me be more alert during the day. I haven't tried it yet, but it was a last resort after tweaking things for about a year.

We did do a thorough physical, blood work, etc. prior as well so I'd talk to your doctor and see what he/she suggests.

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Wynken +2 points · over 2 years ago

Hi DeDe - I'm in the same boat. Six weeks into cpap therapy I am just exhausted, While I may have woken up tired before, I still got through the day. Now, I find myself canceling morning appointments because I am just too tired, sleeping in the afternoons and making careless mistakes. While my numbers are good, I fear that I have just traded one problem for another...apnea for sleep fragmentation. Whether the result of apnea, a crying baby or a stressful event, sleep deprivation creates safety issues. I suspect that my sleep deprivation is the result of swiping at the mask (nasal pillows) all night. I also suspect that my inconsistent 'seal' numbers prove the point. I am so hoping that someone has answers for us. Sadly, I fear that I was better off before. Thanks for listening.

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DeDe +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

Thanks, everyone! I saw my doctor a few days ago and am waiting for results of blood tests. I'm also returning to the sleep clinic for more advice on masks. Regarding Wynken's comment, I often feel that I'm sleeping very lightly when using the CPAP. However, the doctor emphasized that the good scores mean that stress to my heart is reduced. Really between the devil and the deep blue sea, Wynken. I know what you mean!

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Bluedog +0 points · over 2 years ago

I am dealing with very similar issues and am very frustrated. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea years over 20 years ago and was unable to tolerate the mask at the time. Over the years, the fatigue only got worse so I have, after trying multiple masks and different devices, been recently pretty consistent with use and getting my AFI down below 5. However, I am still exhausted and it doesn’t seem to relate to CPAP use. I too, wonder if the waking during the night with loud noises coming from the mask leaking, or constantly readjusting it during sleep when the mask moves and air blows all over my face, is interfering with my quality of sleep just as much as apneac events? I can have a good night sleep ‘according to the device’ and still feel very tired, etc. No other explanation exists for the fatigue. My labs are good, no other health problems, etc, etc, and I have felt this way for years. The only constant is sleep apnea and I feel its still not being treated effectively so not sure what to do at this point. I’m so wanting to be one of those people that use it for five months and say their life has turned around and they are finally feeling well rested and “normal.”

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doctorlulu +0 points · over 2 years ago

Biggest hypocrite in the U.S., eastern Canada, Iraq and much of Mexico because I'm going to use that dreaded term, "Exercise". Maybe some of us would do well to start some light exercise, perish the thought for me! Used to work out 8 to 10 hours a day preparing to become a football player at the highest levels. Since that goal went bye-bye when I was injured, exercise is kind of blah to think about, but I know I should do some.

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wiredgeorge +0 points · over 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

You worked out 10 hours a day? The over training probably led to the injury bwhahaha

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doctorlulu +0 points · over 2 years ago

Lifted weights all day, every day. Didn't get a job. Didn't go on vacation with my family. Squats, curling, reverse curling, wrist curling, reverse wrist curling, military press, cheating military press, bench, incline, leg curls, hamstring curls, toe raises, rowing, dumbbell work, isolated triceps work, ab work, neck weight lifting, isolated deltoid work, several sets of 8 to 10 reps, 4 to 6 reps for bulk every other day, and ran for miles up hill, down hill, backwards and forwards, with ankle weights and a weight vest, on sand and pavement and dirt, 100 and 40 yards sprinting, bear crawl drills and calisthenics every night. That's all I did. Future was promising until torn ligaments changed my plans.

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