Anyone have Sleep Apnea?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by LDfan, Aug 22, 2002.

  1. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    Hi All,

    Anyone suffering from this?
    I went to an ENT about a year ago and talked about my snoring. I filled out a question sheet and talked to him. He said basically the next step is to do some kind of sleep study. I never got signed up figuring I can try to beat this thing myself.
    Well my wife is still complaining non-stop, I'm always tired and I hate my 45 minute commute home every day because I keep nodding off. I have to constantly pinch myself to try and stay awake. I'm afraid one day I'm gonna get in an accident. I just can't take it anymore and think it's time to do the sleep study.
    Anyone else have any experiences to share about apnea, sleep studies, and treatment options in general?

    thanks,
    Jeff
     
  2. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Nothing really to add. I know that people that have it are tired all the time. I actually told my doctor during a checkup today that I thought I might have sleep apnea because when I lay flat on my back, I sometimes wake up in a panic gasping for breath. So I now lay on my sides or my stomach. One of his residents said that perhaps I might want to think of a sleep study, but my doctor said he didn't think it was necessary because I don't exhibit all of the typical signs of someone suffering from sleep apnea. Instead, he told me it would help if I dropped a few pounds. [​IMG] I would definitely recommend that you enroll in the sleep study. At the extreme end of the treatment scale, I think there are surgical procedures that can be performed that will relieve or improve the condition.
     
  3. RichardMA

    RichardMA Second Unit

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    A friend of mine has it. He uses an oygen mask
    at night because of it. There are various quack
    cures out there for it.
     
  4. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    My wife has sleep apnea. She went to a sleep specialist here in Dallas, did the sleep study & now uses CPAP machine at night. It was an inconvience at first, but we both got used to it very quickly. The improvement in her amount of sleep, energy levels & general well being is excellent.
    Other people have had surgery & swear by it, her doctor isn't a fan of it, preferring the breathing machine.
    She was also advised to lose weight too [​IMG]
    There was a long thread in After Hours a while ago discussing sleep apnea - it may be worth searching for.
     
  5. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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  6. Marc S Kessler

    Marc S Kessler Stunt Coordinator

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    I have sleep apnea and have been sleeping every night for more than 10 years using a CPAP (continuous positive airways pressure) machine. This is NOT an oxygen mask. I feel that this probably saved my life. I had all the symptoms mentioned above. This is much less radical than going for surgery. I admit that it does some getting used to, but the benefits are worth it.
    Get the sleep study done and they will prescribe the best therapy for you.
     
  7. RafaelB

    RafaelB Second Unit

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    Hey-
    Two years ago, I had sleep apnea and went through the sleep studies, had a horrible time with the CPAP and had the operation.
    Never felt or slept better in my life. [​IMG]
    (My best friend had the same operation about four years previous and feels the same way)
    Rafael
     
  8. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    Whoops, you're right, Mark. It's a CPAP machine my wife uses. She calls it an oxygen mask because effectively it's pumping air at her. Sorry for the mistake - I've changed my original post.
     
  9. Patrick_M

    Patrick_M Stunt Coordinator

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    I just completed a sleep study and my breathing stopped 40 times an hour, so I have what is considered a moderate case of it. I get my machine sometime next week, and I will post if it helps me sleep any better.
     
  10. Marc S Kessler

    Marc S Kessler Stunt Coordinator

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    Patrick
    Just make sure a respiratory specialist fits you correctly with the head gear and mask. Believe me, that being done correctly will make a big difference. Give it a week or two to get used to it. After a while it will be as routine as wearing glasses. Good luck.
     
  11. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    I second what Marc says - don't get discouraged by your first few nights' usage.

    If it comes with a "humidifier" type plastic bottle, make sure to clean it out every night, otherwise it gets "yucky" in a couple of days.
     
  12. Darren Mortensen

    Darren Mortensen Stunt Coordinator

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    Mr. Jeff Remer,
    I am a Respiratory Care Practitioner, I deal with sleep apnea issues on a daily basis. I would be happy to answer any questions directly at my email: [email protected]
    Sleep Apnea has recently been brought into the spot light as a life threatening condition. For years this condition was over looked, but now with state of the art Polysomography equipment it is easily detected. This "Sleep Study" is a test done in a hospital setting on an outpatient basis.
    Usually, a preliminary test called a "Nocturnal Desaturation Study" is performed within a hospital setting or portable unit may be sent home with a patient. The Desaturation Study consists of a small portable Pulse Oximeter and a small wired sensor that attaches like a bandaid to a finger, or maybe clipped to the earlobe. This sensor records the patients heart rate and oxygen percentage during sleep. If apnea occurs, the oxygen percentage will drop and rise irradically, as well as the heart rate.
    The next step if the Desat. Study proves positive is a "Sleep Study" within a hospital. Here several sensors will be placed on your scalp, chest, face and finger. You will be set up with these sensors and allowed to sleep in a private sleeping room, these usually resemble a nice hotel room with a comfy bed. The bed is also rigged with motion sensors. There will be a infared night camera in the room so that the technician can visually see any movements or disturbances during the study. You will be asked to arrive in the evening to the hospital, the technician will spend about an hour preparing you and show you to the room. You will be allowed to sleep til morning and then will be awakened, unconnected and allowed to go onto home or work.
    All these sensors are transmitting information to the technicians room and is recorded via audio, video and computer graphics. The instruments will record neuro/brain transmissions (EEG), cardiac/heart transmissions (EKG/ECG)
    blood oxygen percentage (SP02),respiratory rate, nasal air flow, chest wall movement, muscle contractions, and eye movement.
    First thing most patients think is "How am I gonna sleep with all this crap on me?" Easy. You will. Patients suffering sleep apnea are often asleep within minutes of the study. They may have a few or several events of awakening. All the while they are never aware they have awakened. This results in fatigue and sleepiness during the waking hours at home or work or driving.
    Apnea robs the body of much needed oxygen. Suffocation. The heart muscle and brain are the first organs affected by this. This may lead to cardiac events, even cardiac arrest/death.
    Apnea is usually a result of an obstruction. The obstruction is frequent in patients that are overweight or having "thick" necks. The soft tissues of the tongue and neck, when relaxed will collaspe or occlude the upper airway/throat. This usually is evident in snoring. The air you are breathing while asleep will make noise when trying to pass through an occluded airway: SNORING. The snore is actually tissue reverberating from turbulent air flow, due to the obstruction.
    Well, now that we are all educated in Sleep Apnea. How do we fix it?
    There are several approaches to this. First, if the issue is obesity...losing the extra weight is recommended. The drop in tissue mass along the upper airway/throat and mass weight on the chest and abdomen will allow one to breathe much easier.
    The next step is usually mechanically assisted breathing machines known as CPAP {continous positive airway pressure} or BiPAP {inspiratory-expiratory positive airway pressure} units. The CPAP machine is like a small air pump that creates a subtle airflow, that when applied to the nose with a specially fitted nasal mask or nasal prongs, will supply enough airflow to keep the soft tissues open to allow for unobstructive breathing.
    In some cases, the airways are abit more difficult to keep open, so the BiPAP machine is used. It looks and sets up the same as the CPAP unit, however, it uses two different airflow settings. One setting is higher and during inspiration keeps airflow constant, maintaining open passages. During the exhalation phase, the machine senses this and decreases the flow, allowing for the patient to exhale passively and yet maintaining a small pressurized airflow keeping the air passages open.
    The CPAP/BiPAP units will be incorporated as necessary during the sleep study examination. The technician will "tweak" it to it's proper settings to match your individual needs.
    Most patients that I work with, once they have adjusted to the new device, NEVER sleep without it! I have some great testimonials from patients who have stated it has changed their lives for the better. Able to function without falling asleep in a conference, or while driving. No more jabs to the ribs from an unhappy spouse at 1:00 AM!
    There is also surgical interventions that can correct airway obstructions. Your physician will discuss all these alternatives with you.
    One more thing. There is also a form of sleep apnea known as Central Sleep Apnea. This is neurological form of sleep apnea, in which communication from the brain to the respiratory system is fumbled. This is rare, and is usually associated with brain injuries and the like.
    SOooooo. If you indeed feel you have sleep apnea or know of someone who does, I strongly urge you to seek medical advice. This is a potentially life threatening condition, that can be easily remedied.
    Here are a few symptoms and tell tale signs of sleep apnea.
    Restless sleep.
    Interrupted sleep due to snoring or gasping for air.
    Frequent headaches.
    Daytime sleepiness, frequent napping.
    Fatigue.
    Overpowering need for sleep, lack of concentration while driving or at inappropiate times.
    Loss of bladder control at night.
    Hypertension/High Blood pressure.
    Awaking feeling tired, or unrested from a nights sleep.
    Spouse says your snoring is ruining thier sleep!
    Hope this is informative
    [​IMG]
    Darren Mortensen, RCP/CRT
     
  13. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for all the info guys.

    Darren, WOW. Thanks for your detailed explaination of this problem. I was a little curious about the sleep study thing. I just had this image in my mind of sleeping in some strange room with a bunch of people watching me or something like that. I do have some questions I'd like to ask you so I'll be emailing you if you don't mind.


    Jeff
     
  14. Dan Keefe

    Dan Keefe Second Unit

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    Sounds like I have every symptom but bedwetting... Where does one go for a sleep study? A special doctor or just your local hospital...How much do those breathing machines cost?

    I know a big factor for me is I am overweight by about 50-60 pounds... I have been working the night shift for the last seven years and that has contributed greatly to my weight and poor sleeping habits...I am going back to day shift in three weeks hopefully that will start things turning around...


    dan
     
  15. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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  16. Patrick_M

    Patrick_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the tips on using the machines, guys. I am kinda nervous about wearing something on my face to sleep, it will take some getting used too. But if it is going to make me feel better, then I am certainly willing to try. Sometimes I feel like I havent slept in days, so I am really hoping that this will help and make me more alert and with it. [​IMG] Thanks again.
     
  17. Darren Mortensen

    Darren Mortensen Stunt Coordinator

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    First step is usually to see your regular physician, he then can order the proper study for you. He may recommend some initial lab work, and can refer you to the nearest Sleep study location.
    One obstacle some patients experience, is the fear factor. First, fear of the study. The screening or study, is actually pretty laid back. The set up procedure will have you thinking of a perm gone bad[​IMG] The sensors are applied with a water solvent adhesive, this will all be washed off when you shower in the morning. The rooms are set up to make you feel as comfortable as possible. Usually a queen or king size bed, television, private bathroom, etc.
    The second obstacle is fear of the CPAP/BiPAP units. Some patients have a claustrophobia of things or restrictions on their face. The latest designs of nasasl masks or nasasl prongs/pillows are very light and small. They have recently been using a soft gel filled liner on some masks to make them very comfortable. The masks are made from clear plastic, and some times gel. The nasal masks simply fit over the nose. Your mouth is NOT covered. The mask is held in place by velcro straps or sometimes a silk like cap (sorta looks like the caps the Apollo astronauts used under their helmets.)
    There are also Nasal prongs or pillows. These are smaller yet. A small plastic piece with two cushioned fittings is placed below your nose. The cushsions are fitted to your nostrils and held in place with small velcro straps.
    This doses appear cumbersome and uncomfortable. But like wearing glasses for the first time, you get adjusted and dependent upon it. Next thing ya' know, it is just second nature to wear.
    The signs and symptoms I listed above, certainly do not mean that you do have sleep apnea. However, are very common indicators of this condition.
    The equipment and study are covered under most health insurances. A company compatible with your insurance will arrange for delivery, set up and instructions of the equipment in your own home.
    Followup studies are usually done periodically to see if the equipment is still necessary or if adjustments are needed to increase or decrease airflow settings.
    Again, the units are portable, so they can be used on trips or vacations. And as with any electronic device, you can pick your own model and ammenities. Some come with heated humidifiers, or hand held remote controls. Some like the "Ramp" feature, which when operated allows the airflow to start out very, very,very, low and slowly increase to the prescribed settings. However, I have found that the majority my patients who opted for the "All the bells and whistles" units...usually just turn the thing on and go straight to bed....never using the ramp feature or remote control. I never could figure why they featured a small handheld remote. The unit is usually place on the night stand, and the remote just gets lost in your covers!
     
  18. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    How does the CPAP machine really work? I hear that it blows air in through your nose but how does that stop the snoring?


    Jeff
     
  19. Darren Mortensen

    Darren Mortensen Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff,
    The principle application of CPAP or BiPAP is quite simple. Air pressure applied to the soft tissue of the inner nose, mouth, tougue and airpipe (trachea) causes these to remain open, and not collaspe as with apnea.
    Imagine a fresh new plastic garage bag you have pulled from a roll. It is totally collapsed and difficult to open at first. Right? But if you blow air into it or "snap" it into the air to open it...it does just that, opens easily and remains open to due to the volume of air applied to the inside of it. Another example would be a balloon. The inlet of the balloon is your mouth. The inlet or mouth stretches to the larger portion, much like the trachea to the lungs. Apply airflow to the inlet and the balloon inlet begins to open...until air is reached the entire balloon and begins to inflate.
    Now, if you took the same balloon and just very gently blew into it...not trying to inflate it...but just keeping it from collapsing upon itself...well...you have just created CPAP (Continous Positive Airway Pressure![​IMG] )
     

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