Still looking for a connection between apnea and a deficit of oxygen in the blood as was indicated as being dangerously low in my blood tests. My primary care M.D. sent me to my initial sleep study for this. After much agony and actually abandoning my full-face mask and the APAP machine entirely; I finally found a nasal pillow mask that actually works for me. To check on my blood/oxygen ratio I purchased an oximeter and according to it my ratio is now normal. I still must get yet another blood test to confirm it.
Because I had a very high number of red blood cells my doctor sent me for sleep studies, where I was dignosed as having mild apnea on either side, but extreme apnea on my back. The numbers have dropped slightly (partly because I could barely tolerate my first mask). Since switching to a nasal pillow it is much easier to use. I have not seen any reference to this blood problem on this forum (or elsewhere). Has anyone else been similarly diagnosed?
Mynda - I was diagnosed about 8 months ago, and used the big full-faced mask for about 5 months with considerable problems..but did manage to sleep 7+ hours most nights. However, I suffered with headaches, sores on the outside of my nose, air from the exhaust blowing in my eye...matting it and drying it out...finally bought some eye patches that helped. Then some surgeries (not related to Apnea) and I just stopped using the APAP...for several weeks. But, I did restart with a new device, a nasal pillow. It has been liberating!
I can again wear glasses and read in bed. and I can read the machine's data, and if it slips off, I can actually put it back on without getting up, or ripping it off. Still have some issues with a dry mouth, but the chin strap helps. My goal is to bring my high red-blood count down to normal.