O2 monitoring with alarm

Logging, alarming O2 monitor as substitute for C/VPAP.

I was diagnosed with sleep apnea 8 years ago. I mentioned to my PCP during my annual physical (at 64) that I was chronically tired. Every time I sat down to read a book, I’d fall asleep after reading a page or two. I’ve always had a normal BMI, so I didn’t “fit the profile”. He recommended a doctor, and I went for a sleep test. I stopped breathing just once during my sleep test, but my O2 level dropped to 58, which got me my first VPAP. I needed a full mask, and went through a few models, until I found one that worked.
The VPAP machine essentially worked for me during interrupted breathing, by increasing pressure high enough to make the mask “walk off my face”, causing me to wake fully, to fumble for the reset button. I used the machine faithfully nonetheless for 7 1/2 years, rarely missing a night, and never removing the mask.
Last December I discovered a logging O2 level monitoring “ring” that continuously monitors O2 levels, and generates a silent, vibrating alarm when the level drops below a user programmable level. While it still forces a “wakeup”, no fumbling is required; just roll over. I like it much better than a breathing machine, and it works in the same fashion as my VPAP for me.
The device is not FDA approved, nor do I know of any doctors who prescribe this, but it works well for me, and between it and my Fitbit, I have an extensive history of my sleep patterns including O2 level, pulse rate, and movement.

I do about the same thing. I have an Innovo SpO2 data recorder what I wear like a watch. It tethers to a finger sensor. It wakes me if my O2 goes too low and I download the data in the morning. I also have a FitBit that indicates four sleep states. I download data to my computer from the O2 device and record data from both devices in a database/diary. I stopped using the asv/bipap/cpap when the doctor said that it isn’t helping with my central sleep apnea. I have very mild obstructive sleep apnea, but that’s not an issue if I sleep on a wedge pillow. The Fitbit says I don’t get enough REM, but lots of deep sleep. I keep trying things to get good REM, but so far, no luck. I do wonder a bit if the FitBit is accurate. Perhaps my central sleep apnea causes FitBit inaccuracies.

Wow that’s very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

pg3t: I wonder about fitbit accuracy too. I have been using a fitbit to monitor sleep patterns for about 3 years and I’ve found that it sometimes logs more sleep than I actually get. This seems to happen when I am lying very still reading or watching TV and I am still awake, but it is after the time the fitbit knows as my official bedtime. It also seems to happen when I am awake for a lengthy period of time in the middle of the night.

Thanks for the information.
My sleep doctor suggested that my apnea was likely a combination of obstructive and central. I have very few incidents per night, but they can be dangerously long when they happen, without some sort of intervention. I’m considering making a video of my sleep, to verify if my stoppages always occur when I roll on my back. I suspect that they do. I’m usually too groggy to notice my current position when my O2 ring alarm goes off.

I don’t know Fitbit’s algorithm for distinguishing the four types of sleep, and I suspect there’s a good deal of subjectivity in the decision points. I think it’s still useful, especially viewed over many months, or even years in my case, for getting a ballpark sense of what’s going on.

I used to use a wrist pule-oximeter similar to what you described and loaded the data every morning. Its screen died to that it was impossible to see it to be able to turn it on and set the parameters. I use the manufacturer’s software so it was impossible to integrate the O2 data into the apnea reports provided.
I bit the (very expensive) bullet and got the manufacturer’s SpO2 adapter that records into the machine and gives me integrated data.

If anyone is using the public domain apnea reporter OSCAR, it supports importing the SpO2 data from a few different devices and integrates that data into its report. The download and software are available with no charge.

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Today, sleep studies are required. The problem today is that patients want a quick fix. Therefore, surgeries are rarely performed. Appliances to advance the mandible are fabricated. People wear CPAPs. Crazy. I would opt for the surgery and the Ortho in a heartbeat

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