This used to happen to me all the time, starting about a year ago. I didn't really have other symptoms of apnea that I noticed except occasionally waking up gasping for air. Since I've been on CPAP, about 3 weeks, the waking obstructive events entirely stopped, although I don't know why (strengthened throat muscles because of the constant air pressure? The air pressure forcing a widening of the air passages?). I question if it's true apnea, because since you're awake and can consciously breathe to overcome it your breathing never actually stops, which you don't do when you're asleep, but the events seem highly related: if it's happening when you're awake, it's probably happening when you're asleep, but even more severely.
To update, I've had 2 more good nights of sleep with mask leak well under 24l/min. I even had my lowest AHI ever, at 1. I did nothing different that I'm aware of, it just stopped, although I have found the mask less uncomfortable in the last couple of days, so maybe I was picking at it in my sleep, and with the decrease in discomfort, stopped doing that. I'm still getting a little drowsy during the day, but I'm hoping with time that goes away. Thanks to everyone who replied with your advice and encouragement.
Thanks for the reply.
I'm pretty sure the majority of it isn't from mouth breathing, because I've woken up a few times and the mask was entirely off my face, and I've knocked it around while awake just by rolling over a little in bed. One bump against the pillow, and the hissing starts. Also, I haven't had dry mouth issues yet.
In a coincidence, I'm already using Costco pillows.
Last night was pretty good, leak at 20 L/Min and my lowest AHI (1.7) to date, with me trying to stay on one side all night. If I can keep it around there, I'll call it a success.
I have high mask leak (about 30 l/min). The reason I have high mask leak is I am a hardcore side sleeper -- I literally cannot sleep in any other position, and never have been able to. When I'm on my side, the mask gets nudged around by the pillow, and voila! leak. My AHI is well under control, between 2.5 and 3. So my questions are, how concerned should I be about the leaking, given that my AHI remains under control, and is there a better mask for side sleepers. I'm currently using an Airfit N20, and while I dislike it, I disliked the nasal pillow thing I tried out in the RT's office even more, although if the air leak problem is serious enough, I'd be willing to suffer through trying out the thing. My major concern about the air leak is that it seems to me it would be hard to measure AHI with so much air blowing out of the mask, which makes my number kind of dicey to rely upon.
I don't mind the numbers so much as I wonder if medicine knows which numbers to stress, or even if they have the right ones. It just strikes me as odd that I'd go from sleeping a solid 7 hours a day, and be able to function with no fatigue at all, to suddenly needing to take naps every day. I think I'm not snoring anymore, which is good, obviously the AHI is way, way down, which I assume is good, and I breathe better overall, which is good. But the drowsiness is quite frustrating, especially since it was what the CPAP is supposed to deal with, even though I wasn't experiencing it: the treatment caused the problem it's designed to mitigate. It's just strange. I'm slowly getting used to the thing, and have even figured out how to sleep on my side some (although the mask pops off a couple of times a night when I do), so I assume it will get better with time. At this point, I suppose I'm just venting.
Unfortunately, I have no choice but to stick with it, as I can't work without the doctor signing off on the apnea treatment as successful. I suppose I'll download OSCAR and start digging in to it further, although all the CPAP measurements are based on quality of breathing, not quality of sleep itself, so I don't think it'll be that useful.
One thing about the CPAP is that I had minor asthma, and it's entirely gone away since using the machine. Unlooked for benefits.
I'm running into an odd problem. Apparently I've had near-asymptomatic (Every once in a while I'd wake up gasping for air, but that was very infrequent) OSA for years; after a recent diagnosis as a result of work requirements that forced me to get tested, I was diagnosed, and began using a CPAP 10 days ago. Whereas before the CPAP machine I never felt daytime drowsiness, I now feel it daily. I tested at 34 events per hour prior to the CPAP; with the CPAP I'm at around 3.5, so it seems like a success, but about 4 hours after waking up I feel rundown and sleepy and want to take a nap. This never happened before, as I was always bursting with energy. With the CPAP I average 7 hours of sleep a day, exactly as I always have. I have no other symptoms, no dry mouth, dry nasal passages, stomach air, and while wearing the thing itself is awkward and unpleasant, I have no problems breathing with it at all. The only thing I can think of is the unpleasantness of the device is interfering with the quality of my sleep, but it seems to me that compared to 34 apnea events an hour, that would be minor. Has anyone else experienced this, or does anyone have any ideas?