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Sleep apnea questions

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jmr106 +0 points · over 2 years ago Original Poster

Alrighty, here's a follow-up. I've had cognitive issues since I was a teen. I couldn't "get" things very well academically in high school. I was constantly tired and shaky all of the time. Doctors didn't know what was wrong. I'm 35 years old now and have dealt with this up until this point. I don't allow myself to drive because I'm so tired and feel like I just can't get it right. I'm scared I'll have a wreck. Within just a few minutes of getting into the passenger side of a car with someone, I'm ready to go to sleep. At home, I drift off to sleep throughout the day in my computer chair at random times. I have recorded myself numerous times over the past month or two. I snore with a rattle sometimes and I puff out of the corner of my lips sometimes, causing a noise that wakes me up.

I have had a sleep study. I slept for 2 hrs 45 mins for the whole study. Their bed/pillows were uncomfortable. 4.7 Hypopnea Index, 0.3 below the required 5.0 for official diagnosis. So during that less than 3 hours, I had 13 hypopneas and 50 "breathing events". Apparently my breathing gets pretty shallow. Even as I type this out, my sinuses feel blocked and I'm probably breathing in half as much as I should be able to through them.

I have gone to an ENT doctor twice. Deviated septum with right-sided spurring, which also showed up coincidentally on a previous brain MRI that I had a while back that she also examined when I took the disc to her. Apart from that, I feel like I can't breathe properly further up into my sinuses. The openings inside of my nostrils look too small. I can blow my nose, get stuff out and it still feels swollen/stopped up. I have always had sinus issues since I was young and it is a daily thing for me to pull little solid white globs of gunk out of my nose. Sometimes I can lay on my back after waking up from sleeping and when my body relaxes a certain amount, I hear this little "pop" sound in my nose or sinus cavity. I can actually feel a tiny vibration when it pops each time. I can't remember if it is when I inhale or exhale that it does it and it isn't always there if I just lie down to try to recreate it, for instance. I have to be relaxed. Could this be a polyp or something?

I do wake up feeling like my throat closes over sometimes, but I'm wondering if this isn't because of my sinuses and simply not enough air getting in through my nose to have enough pressure to hold my throat/tongue open, so it puffs out of my lips instead. Even when I sleep normally and hear my breathing, I breathe through my nose quite loudly and it literally sounds like Darth Vader standing behind me.

I told my ENT doctor about that and I voluntarily asked about a septoplasty to enlarge the airway in my nose, fix the deviated septum and whatever else may be wrong in my sinuses. She seemed to think that it may very well help get rid of that mild apnea that I have. So I'm a week into 3 weeks of Augmentin (I had a sinus infection and also we want to get rid of any swelling) before I have a CT scan of my sinuses. After that, surgery will likely take place if deemed necessary. I cannot deal with a CPAP machine. I asked for a referral to a dentist for a mouth device, but apparently those are horrific and move the teeth a good bit sometimes to the point where people stop wearing them due to it messing up their bite. Has anyone had success with a septum/sinus surgery like this with mild sleep apnea? I know that there is also some other stuff that they can do for the throat (I still have my tonsils and adenoids, for instance), but I have read that those types of surgeries have more risk for complications. My brother apparently had to have his septum, sinuses and adenoids removed at some point. He mentioned to our mother that his nose was "all twisted up inside". He had that done after he got married, so I presume that he must have snored really bad and that was how he found out and knew to get checked out. I had no idea that I snored like that or that I woke up that many times per night. So that's probably about 40-50 times per night that I'm waking up and over 100 breathing issues per night if the results of the sleep study are to be assumed for an 8-hour night of sleeping comfortably at home. I have noticed that my blood pressure and pulse rate tends to be up on days when I'm really tired.

I do have scalloped tongue, as well. The sleep doctor said that's a "classic sign" of sleep apnea. I've had that since I was quite young and sometimes those indentations from the teeth turn into canker sores on the side of the tongue. Nobody can tell me WHY sleep apnea causes the tongue to be this way, however. I can't find that info anywhere online. Do we really not know that in the medical community in general?

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Kinikea +0 points · over 2 years ago

I don't know much about the sinus issues you write about. I assume you are using nasal sprays. They do help. If you are curious about your snoring download the SnoreLab App to your phone. It is very helpful and easy to use. I have not tried a CPAP but am loving my dental device. My teeth have moved a bit but all is well.

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