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Sleep Apnea Cured?

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LaLaPorte +0 points · 3 months ago Original Poster

Due to the Philips Respironics Dream Station recall, I have stopped using my CPAP machine until my Air Sense 10 replacement arrives.

When I was diagnosed with sleep apnea (AHI = 16.7) last year I was a perpetual mouth breather due to environmental allergies and nasal congestion.

Over the past year I have retrained myself and revolutionized my life in the following ways:

  1. I trained my mouth to mew 24/7 unconsciously (tongue resting on the roof of my mouth, even when I wake up in the morning).
  2. I trained myself to nasal breathe 24/7.
  3. I perform nasal sinus rinses daily.
  4. I cover my mouth/lips with micropore tape while sleeping.

Now that I no longer use my CPAP machine that got recalled, I have noticed that I am sleeping well and feeling refreshed without it.

Is it possible that I have cured my sleep apnea by retraining my breathing habits?

Is having an additional sleep study performed the only way to confirm this, or could I set my CPAP machine to a really low pressure and see if apnea events remain unremarkable?

Thanks!

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Sierra +0 points · 3 months ago Sleep Patron

Setting your CPAP to the minimum 4 cm pressure will give you some indication of where you stand. But, the real test is a sleep study. The home sleep study should be sufficient.

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LaLaPorte +0 points · 3 months ago Original Poster

Awesome thank you very much.

Just out of curiosity, what motivates your attentiveness/activity on this forum?

Your input is invaluable and greatly appreciated.

I myself have realized how underappreciated/underdiagnosed sleep apnea is, and do my best to pay forward all that I have learned to those in my life.

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Sierra +0 points · 3 months ago Sleep Patron

I find that coming here and answering a few questions motivates me to stay up to date in the field of apnea.

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LaLaPorte +0 points · 3 months ago Original Poster

Makes sense.

So normally, with a fixed pressure of 9.5, my AHI is 1.0 even.

Last night, I set my fixed pressure to the lowest setting, 4.0, and my AHI came back at 4.4.

So somehow I am still having events in spite of all of the relearning/training I have undergone in terms of my breathing habits/posture.

Isn't <5.0 considered normal according to the literature?

Either way, it's still suboptimal.

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Sierra +0 points · 3 months ago Sleep Patron

Yes, the industry accepted apnea threshold is an AHI of 5. But, most achieve a level well below that. With my most recent settings my average is 0.8, and my wife's is about 0.6.

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LaLaPorte +0 points · 3 months ago Original Poster

So if I were to take a sleep study tonight and it came back with an AHI of 4.4, would the accurate/appropriate statements/conclusions be that:

  1. I do not meet the clinical criteria to be diagnosed with sleep apnea.

  2. In spite of my sleep study not supporting an actual diagnosis, I do experience hourly episodes of apnea.

?

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CharmingSalmonSeaLion1510 +0 points · about 1 month ago

There have been a LOT of debates spanning many years about that “AHI of 5” standard for treatment.
It’s a complicated and important issue and I will shortly start a new thread elsewhere on this on that subject. To some extent, it is a matter of what the insurers are willing to reimburse. But there are those who will tell you that a single apnea, if it lasts long enough, can do a lot of damage, especially if you are someone who desaturates badly.

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Sierra -1 point · about 1 month ago Sleep Patron

The NHS in the UK does not prescribe a CPAP until you are over 15 for AHI. In short they do not treat "mild" apnea.

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