Forum · Very Bad Test Results - Why No Symptoms?

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[-] HeatherWeather +0 points · 4 months ago

Hi, I'm Heather from the UK. I was referred to have a sleep study as a routine investigation as I am on the waiting list to receive a gastric bypass. I had the test and was immediately sent to chest clinic and then to be given a CPAP machine as my results were so dramatic. I suffered on average 121.8 apneas in each hour, the longest being an astonishing 88 seconds.

My question is, how come I never felt tired?! If I was so bad (doctor said "I'm surprised you are still alive" - so helpful), shouldn't I have been dozy and falling asleep all the time? I've now had my CPAP for 3 days and to be honest I have felt really tired since I started using it! I have slept pretty much all night each night, haven't taken it off in each 7-8 hour sleep and seem to get along with it fine.

I'm just wondering if anyone else had the same thing, i.e. no real symptoms and diagnosis coming "by accident" in a manner of speaking.

Thanks :-)

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[-] GregariousMagentaRoseCaterpillar4081 +0 points · 4 months ago

I was sent for a test because I had developed high blood pressure and I mentioned that I snored. I had no idea I had sleep apnea. My husband said I never stopped breathing. Testing showed I did. I did not really have daytime sleepiness or ever wake up gasping etc. I do not feel any better on the machine but I use it since I do know that my tests shows I stopped breathing and my oxygen dropped to 70%.

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[-] HeatherWeather +0 points · 4 months ago

My husband doesn't believe my test results are right. He thinks the machine wasn't working. I don't know who to believe. I guess I'm just going to have to use the machine until I have the bypass and lose the weight, then hopefully I won't need it any more. It's just that in all the research I've done, no other person has had even close to the results I got and not feel major symptoms. It seems crazy to me.

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[-] GregariousMagentaRoseCaterpillar4081 +0 points · 4 months ago

I did read about a person recently who had higher results than yours and she had no clue she had any issues except for snoring. I would be very surprised if the machine was malfunctioning and them not know it. Sleep apnea is extremely common in those who are overweight. When you lose weight, you might find you no longer have it. After losing about 100lbs, they usually retest you then. Your doctor will advice you about that though.

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[-] SleepDent +0 points · 4 months ago

Hi! I am a dentist working in dental sleep medicine. People vary widely in just how symptomatic they feel with obstructive sleep apnea. However, also keep in mind that your life is your life and you have nothing to compare it to. Oftentimes patients think that they have felt O.K. without treatment, but after four or five months of treatment, they do begin to feel significantly better and realize that they had overestimated how well they felt pre-treatment. This could happen with you. Time will tell. Arthur B. Luisi, Jr., D.M.D.

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[-] HeatherWeather +0 points · 4 months ago

Thanks all. After 3 days I am down to 3.4 episodes per hour so something is definitely happening!

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[-] SleepyMommy703 +0 points · 4 months ago

I've been curious about this as well but I'm on the other end of the spectrum. I have mild to moderate sleep apnea but feel horrible. Tired all the time, wake up a lot during the night, never feel rested, chronic headaches, mornings have been a struggle my entire life. I had a mini stroke just a few years ago at the age of 37 and recently returned to my neurologist because I'm having memory issues. All tests were normal so she suggested I get back on my CPAP as it could be sleep related.

I was on CPAP for 10 months before quitting for a couple years due to various problems. I can't say I felt a whole lot better during that time. Only thing that I noticed a significant change with were far fewer headaches. They were almost a daily occurrence but with CPAP they cut back dramatically. I had a little more energy a little less brain fog but still wanted to sleep most of the day.

The doctor seems to think there may be something more than the sleep apnea going on and did indicate that there are people with severe cases who don't notice any symptoms at all. I'm trying to stay on the CPAP this time around though as even if I don't feel great I know it's still better for my health if I'm breathing through the night.

Heather

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[-] sleeptech +0 points · 3 months ago Sleep Commentator

Hi I just wanted to make sure that you are aware than strokes are one of the main results of untreated OSA. It may not have been the reason that you had your previous stroke, but it certainly increases the chances of you having another, more severe, one. Also, even mild sleep apnoea can greatly affect your memory. So, in general terms, it would be very wise for someone in your position to persist with CPAP as much as possible, especially given that you are relatively young. CPAP could have a massive and beneficial impact on your quality of life over the next 50 years. Also, it is not unusual for people with mild (or even very mild) OSA to be very symptomatic, but it may well be that case that there are other things causing this in your case as well as OSA. Best of luck.

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[-] sleeptech +0 points · 3 months ago Sleep Commentator

HeatherWeather, research has well established that a small proportion of people with severe OSA are subjectively asymptomatic, so it's not unusual that you should have a very bad result on your sleep study but not feel tired. It is also no surprise that you do feel tired after having commenced treatment. An AHI as high as yours will (128.1 events/hour) will have been causing massive sleep fragmentation. You are supposed to pass through the different stages of sleep in a particular pattern, but because your sleep is disrupted every 30 seconds when you start breathing again, your sleep pattern will have been broken into tin pieces and you wont have been getting the extended periods of deeper sleep and REM sleep that your brain needs and craves. When you start using CPAP, that impediment to your sleep is suddenly removed and what often happens is that your brain tries to make up for lost time by having way more of the sleep stages it has missed out on than it should normally have in a typical night. This is know as rebounding. This can leave you feeling very tired and groggy for the first few days or weeks and is one of the reasons why we always tell people that improvement is usually a gradual process rather than instantaneous. Let us know how you are getting along in a month or so.

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