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Will CPAP help mild apnea?

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New2SleepApnea +0 points · 14 days ago Original Poster

Hi All,

I’ve just been told I have sleep apnea. Symptoms include poor night sleep, general tiredness during the day, waking headaches, vivid nightmares, restless legs and frequent sleep paralysis. I’ve also developed pretty bad anxiety which only appeared as my sleep quality degraded.

My doctor told me I have an AHI of 11 per hour. Which seems low compared to others. I’ve also read different opinions on if CPAP can help mild cases. So my question is has any one with mild sleep apnea experienced a big improvement in any of these symptoms using CPAP? Especially in relation to anxiety and quality of sleep?

Thanks!

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Ruby +0 points · 14 days ago Sleep Commentator

Each person is so different that experiences can vary widely. Did your doctor tell you to try CPAP treatment? With all the other issues you have it sounds like it is something to seriously consider. Will it your other issues? Probably not but it could help them. I also have restless legs and I can't say using CPAP has helped but then it might be worse if I didn't. When your sleep quality deteriorates, it is natural that anxiety comes into play.

I do hope others chime in on this with their experiences. Good luck.

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Sierra +0 points · 14 days ago Sleep Innovater

If you search around this site you will find others with similar symptoms and some that have in the low mild range of AHI that have done the CPAP. I'm not sure to what degree these symptoms have been addressed. In general CPAP can improve sleep, and reduce the number of arousals during the night due to apnea events. In the UK mild apnea is not treated under their healthcare system (NHS) with a CPAP. I guess they don't consider it serious enough. However in North America it is commonly treated with a CPAP. A dental appliance is the other option for mild apnea, and some use it with success.

One thing to check into before you make a decision is the type of apnea you are having. Most apnea is obstructive and is readily treated with a CPAP. If that is what you have an Auto CPAP could bring the AHI to less than 1, although it varies from individual to individual. However if a significant portion of your AHI is due to central apnea where the airway is open and not obstructed, then a CPAP really does not help, and can even make it worse.

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SleepDent +0 points · 14 days ago Sleep Commentator

I am a dentist working in dental sleep medicine. Yes, CPAP is effective in treating mild obstructive sleep apnea. The problem is that the compliance rate for users with mild obstructive sleep apnea is down compared to users with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. Typically, the mild patients are less symptomatic that moderate to severe ones and are thus less motivated to put up with the problems of using CPAP long term. Oral sleep apnea appliances are quite effective for patients with mild OSA and would be a good option for them because it is more patient friendly. Arthur B. Luisi, Jr., D.M.D.. The Naples Center For Dental Sleep Medicine.

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Turquoiseturtle +1 point · 13 days ago

My AHI was 8, some of them Central Apneas. My heart was acting up (definitely a source of anxiety) and my concentration was terrible. The heart problem disappeared and concentration is much better since I started CPAP. My AHI is now just under 1, with centrals making up about the same % as before. So, yes, there CAN definitely be an improvement. Good luck to you.

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New2SleepApnea +0 points · 11 days ago Original Poster

Thanks everyone for the responses. All 11 ahi were obstructive so hopefully the CPAP will help to alleviate the symptoms. Appreciate the advice. I’m getting fitted for the machine and mask next week. Finger crossed

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Tulip44 +0 points · 11 days ago

Just to add one more voice -- my score was 13, although I had periods in the night above 70. My doctor recommended CPAP. I sleep so much better! I used to wake often, end up getting up to go to the bathroom, lie awake before falling asleep, etc. Now I often sleep though the night. If I get up, it's only once, and I can go to sleep again. I adjusted well and have outstanding compliance, so I believe I'm getting maximum benefit. Pay more attention to symptoms than to score.

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S2S +0 points · 11 days ago

Just another voice to add.

I knew a few people that were told a CPAP machine would NOT help them. This was poor advice and I got them on a trial, it helped the first night with some of them, (getting used to the machine is always a problem for some) so they bought machines (AUTO) and bought masks (which can be the most expensive part) and all but one person found it helped them greatly. The other I went to their doctor with X, the doctor sent X to have a dental mouth MAD device fitted to help X, I don't know if this helped X but it is worth a try if CPAP does not help, in most cases it will.

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