Sleep Apnea Question

My name is Billy and I’ve been recently diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea (AHI: 19). I just recently turned 37, I’m 6’2 without shoes, 250 pounds naked with a neck circumference of 19.25".

Is it possible to have sleep apnea when a person is within a one weight range, and not within another lighter range? My doctor told me that you either have sleep apnea, or you don’t, and I’m not sure how to I’m suppose to take that.

I believe I’ve had symptoms of sleep apnea as far back as ten or more years ago. It seemed that whenever I was over 240 pounds, I’d experience symptoms, but certainly not when I was between 200 and 230. Is this even possible?

Just laying on the couch, on my back, watching tv, something in the back of my throat prevents me from breathing requiring me to open my mouth to breath again. I figured that was enough evidence for potential sleep apnea.

Actually sleep apnea is an insidious disease that does not play by previously thought rules. That said, now that you know you have it the most important thing is to do whatever you need to do to combat it. I’m sorry to hear you have joined our ranks but I’m glad you found us and if we can be of help we gladly will so welcome to the group. May you have better health and long life.

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I believe extra tissue in one’s throat can make apnea worse, but I don’t believe that losing that would make the apnea go away.

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Thanks for the replies afronative and louise.

I have the DreamStation (APAP) with humidifier and an under-the-nose mask. Just reading through the forums, and from hearing the stories from people I know using an CPAP/APAP device, there’s a lot of people that find them uncomfortable. The other night, for the first time, I put mine on and wondered what was so uncomfortable about it.

I still woke up several times the past two nights, so I assume it’s not working yet. I’ll be waiting a week before data is collected and evaluated.

If you download the Dreamstation app called DreamMapper, you can check your data every morning/day and generate reports (14 days, 30,60,90).
There is also a screen display on the device that your doc can turn on that shows your AHI total for the night, the week(average), & 30 days(average).
I was just switched to APAP by my new doc (pulmonologist/sleep apnea/respiratory specialist) and he turned this screen on and several others. (See my other post for details).

I use that same mask and nose cushion and find it very light and comfortable. No leaks. Easy to clean daily. I wear a very thin fabric chinstrap under it as well. My hair is long and heavy, so I put the mask’s headstrap under the hair and then tighten it, so the hair doesn’t push it off. No issues. Doesn’t bother or mark my face. I don’t wear the little soft covers(?) that come w it; I find them hot.

I read your post and signed up using my computer. My menu’s were turned off, and the sleep company I took my study with, they enabled those additional menus on my machine.

Regarding my previous message, all those times my maskfit was actually very poor according to my phone conversation, so I changed the size of the nose piece to a large, and tightened the strap on the back.

Last night (23rd), my AHI was 2.7 during the 3 hours I had the mask on. The average over the past three days is about 7. However, I’m finding that I’m waking up, the final time, without the mask on not knowing how it happened. So far, these past three days, I started with the mask on, but woke up without it on.

Before I was having nightmares nightly, but I haven’t remembered a dream since. If I’ve had a nightmare, I don’t remember it. The thing is, I find the mask sitting on the desk beside me, like I had placed it there. It’s not found randomly placed, so I’ve had to have placed it there with intent.

I don’t remember waking up any, not even to go to the bathroom, which could be as many as seven times a night before. Hmmm, something is weird here.


[A Thought, For Thought]

Given this APAP machine can detect episodes of apnea, then would it be possible, with proper sanitizing, for someone else to use it to potentially detect sleep apnea? That was just a thought that came to my mind as it seemed a possibility.

Sounds like you’re removing your mask. When you see your dr, be sure to discuss this.
In the meantime, you could try clipping the strap to your hair or collar, and if you wake up trying to remove it, see if you could train yourself to put it right back on and go back to sleep.
PS These machines are medical devices prescribed for individuals.

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I’ve been training myself to put it back on as you said, and it’s getting better. I believe I’m going into a much deeper sleep and therefor don’t remember waking up a lot of times.

Is there anyway to view the dream mapper data by the hour instead of by the total time? The first thirty to sixty minutes are the most brutal for me because I just keep waking up gasping for air along with rapid heart rate. As I’m falling asleep, I notice my breathing becomes extremely shallow without any obstruction, it’s like I’m giving very little effort to breathe, or I just stop breathing right as I’m falling asleep and have to consciously make an effort to do so.

The sleep doc says that it’s probably anxiety and not related to sleep apnea, so I started reaching over and pressing the knob to see what the pressure reads, and notice it’s usually between 9 and 10. According to what I was told regarding APAP, the pressure rises when it notices shallow breathing or no breathing at all, and it drops when all is well. Thus, it appears I’m not imagining things.

My first hour has been better since I started pre-heating the humidifier and using the ramp. It took me a couple of days to settle on ramp setting and time. Right now, pressure 5 at 15 minutes is good. LOL, I also have to remember to press both “on” buttons: big one and the small ramp one next to it. If I get up in the night for more than a few minutes, I use the ramp again when I get back in bed.
As to minute/hourly pressures, I don’t know. I think the rep told me that now that I am using APAP and the doctor turned on the 90%pressure feature, that he will have access to all my nightly readings, so perhaps you could get that detailed info when you see your doctor.
Lastly, I now get a screen that shows the hours I slept when I first turn off the machine. If I turn that dial to the left, I get the AHI screen, and the Periodic Pressure, and then the 90% screen. If you get that, you could check it when you wake up during the night, but of course, then you are waking up your brain and interrupting your sleep again.