Retired kindergarten teacher, cyclist, bead maker, turtle farmer, origami and quilling artist.
My apnea is/was mild and I did not feel a huge difference in how I felt when I started treatment. I had none of the typical symptoms or apparent risk factors before diagnosis. (Apparently, about half my events are "central" though how my machine can tell the difference is a mystery to me.) Among friends, I am known as the energizer bunny. Get up early, ride my bike to work, teach kindergarteners all day, ride home, cook, create, do stuff, crash about 9. I always needed a solid 8 hours of sleep. Did not notice exactly when apnea became a problem, but my heart started acting up. After diagnoses, and starting treatment, the heart problem vanished, and I noticed my concentration definitely improved. I could once again get lost in a book for hours.
I was one of 6, in a group appointment, getting fitted for CPAP mask. I was none too sure about this whole thing. The gentleman sitting next to me was so happy to be back on insurance and able to go back to using CPAP, and gave me the best advice of anyone. Get the RIGHT mask and fit for a successful experience. There were a multitude of brands and types to try. The closest I got, was still not quite the right fit. Turns out there was an extra small size nasal pillow, not included in the standard Swift FX package, but definitely available. It pays to be persistent and get what is best for you.
Thanks for something positive.
My diagnosis of sleep apnea came as a complete shock. There was no gasping for breath, no snoring, seemed to sleep well, 8 hours with no apparent waking, but my concentration for reading had definitely suffered over the last several years. I attributed this to aging. I also blamed aging for my average speed as a cyclist dropping drastically. 2 and a half years ago, my heart began acting up, and over the next 6 months of testing, the PVCs became more frequent and eventually left me with worrisome chest pains. The Dr. could find no cause for the PVCs, and eventually a sleep study was ordered. A combination of OSA and central apnea in the mild range was the verdict. That's still 40-60 events per night. No REM sleep, no dreaming. (When others talked about dreams, I always commented on my complete lack of dreams.) I started treatment immediately after diagnosis. There is so much negative about those "horrible CPAP machines" that I was not thrilled about the prospect. I am happy to say, my choice of mask etc. was totally workable from day one, and (until this week*) has been used every single night. My AHI average over 30 days hovers around .5, I'm again reading a book a week and I feel better cycling, but sadly speed is not coming back. A.G.E. syndrome, most likely.
*spent 3 nights in hospital with hubby, who broke a hip in cycling accident last week, when a car pulled out on us.
Yes, take it seriously and give treatment a try.
I, too, was shocked to find out I had sleep apnea. I'm thin, cycle 200 miles per week, generally feel good. I was not waking up gasping for air. The apneas did not wake me up, but did keep me from reaching REM sleep. (No wonder I never had dreams.) What got me in to the sleep clinic was a heart issue, and after 6 months of trying to get to the cause of the heart problems, a sleep study was suggested. The results showed mild (6-9 per hour) OSA and central apneas. My only past experience (other than all the ads about how horrible CPAP machines are) was sharing a room with a friend 20 years ago at a conference. Her machine was noisy, but she was ok with it.
Once diagnosed, I had an appointment time with 6 others. One man was so happy to be back on an insurance plan that would cover his supplies, and could not wait to get back to treatment. He also advised that I try all the masks/nasal pillows for the best fit. There were many to choose from at that appointment. What I chose was immediately comfortable, and has been used every night since. My doc says I should be the poster child for Sleep Apnea. And the machine itself is silent. The heart problem disappeared quickly, and I realized my concentration for reading and details improved significantly.
Not sure how the cats will feel about it, though.
I was diagnosed about 2 years ago with both OSA and central apneas, about half and half. I was quite surprised, as I had none of the normal symptoms. The sleep study came after several months of trying to figure out the cause of PVCs, premature ventricular contractions. My apnea is mild, but still 50-80 per night---yikes. I started treatment immediately, adjusted to it very easily and always use my machine. The PVCs went away, and there was a near instant improvement in my concentration. I was back to reading a book a week, something I had not been able to do for some time. And dreams came back. . .could not say how long it had been since I had dreamed.
Right now my 30 day average AHI is .5, total AI is .4 and central AI is .3. All good, but there can be days when apneas go back to 4-6 per hour, which is still lower than my tests showed. I wonder why this happens, but when I call the clinic, they check my numbers, say things look great, no reason for concern. Another thing that happens is a zero reading after 4-6 hours of sleep, then I get up for a bathroom break, and the AHI can be 3 or 4 events per hour for the night, meaning 20-30 events (total hours of sleep x # per hour) in the last hour of sleep.
So, should there be follow up visits so I can get some answers? Can anyone explain why there are spikes in apneas, that come in clusters, 2-3 in a week, then back to my normal, less than 1 per hour, for weeks at a time?