Retired kindergarten teacher, cyclist, bead maker, turtle farmer, origami and quilling artist.
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?