Sleep Apnea - Going for a Sleep Study

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Randy Tennison, Feb 14, 2002.

  1. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    Well, I think I've finally figured out why I am exhausted all the time. I think I have sleep apnea. Since I became aware of the disorder, I have caught myself waking up taking a gasping breath several times a nite. Turns out I probably wake up 10 - 15 times a night.

    I went to an EENT doctor, and he said I have a big tongue (YEAH, BABY!), and a curved pallate, so I probably have sleep apnea. So now, I am waiting to schedule a sleep study.

    Anyone ever had a sleep study??? Anyone have apnea??? What treatment do you use? The CPAP machine looks like it truly sucks (or blows, as the case may be). I'm curious about the surgical alternatives. They have an RF surgery that tightens the skin on the soft pallate. Anyone know about it???
     
  2. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    Yep, sounds like you have it. I went to an ENT but haven't gone to a sleep study yet. There are several treatment options that should help. The latest one involves getting a shot in the upper-regions of the throat and will cause the tissue to tighten up. It's getting good results from what I hear. One of these days I look into getting some kind of treatment but until then long live caffeine.

    Jeff
     
  3. Scott_G

    Scott_G Second Unit

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    My brother did one. Snored like a freight train too.

    Test didn't take long. He'd quit breathing and never really get into deep sleep.

    Yea they gave him a cpac. Kind of strange looking, but its quiet and he now sleeps and doesn't snore.

    He looks a LOT better now getting sleep.

    I guess you get used to it.

    I shared a hotel room with him a few years ago. I was warned about the breathing and snoring. I spent the night in the bathroom with cotton in my ears.
     
  4. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    My wife suffers from sleep apnea too, and got a cpap machine last year. It's a *great* machine - she is no longer drowsy all day due to her lack of solid sleep, the snoring is gone, etc etc. The machine generates a low hum, but I got used to it VERY quickly. We have a nightly regime of changing the water in the 'humidifer' type flask, but that's a /very/ minor inconvience. It packs up into a smallish pack for travel.
    For the MAJOR health benefits & good nights of sleep we *both* get now, it's a very very minor inconvience.
    She says the sleep study was a little weird at first, but not a big deal - probes to measure your heart rate, breathing rate etc, but you get doped up & fall asleep [​IMG]
     
  5. Leroy

    Leroy Second Unit

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    I went and had one done, but it was inconclusive. The funny thing about it is that they want you to be comfortable and sleep as you normally would. But, you have a ton of wires attached to you and you can't really move comfortably. For me that meant sleeping on my back when I normally sleep on my stomach or on my side.

    Go figure.
     
  6. Mark Lee

    Mark Lee Second Unit

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    There was a very interesting article in last week's issue of The New England Journal of Medicine on the topic of sleep apnea, where they found that a group of patients who had sleep apnea and pacemakers for irregular heart rhythms showed improvement of their sleep apnea when their pacemakers were set to control their heart rates during sleep (rather than just to keep them from going too slow, which is what they were originally implanted for). It's still unclear by exactly what physiologic mechanism this action affected the patients' apnea (though they posited a number of possibilities), and obviously, implanting a pacemaker is a bit more invasive than I suspect most people want to get with regards to controlling their sleep apnea, but it's an interesting finding, nevertheless, and if they can fully work out the underlying processes, this may lead to other novel therapies apart from the ones they already have.
     
  7. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    This reminds me, I think I have sleep apnea and I forgot to mention it on my last doctor's visit. [​IMG] I'd often find myself waking up gasping for breath when I slept on my back. When I sleep on my sides or stomach, I'm fine.
     
  8. Bill Eberhardt

    Bill Eberhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    I have sleep apnea and I love my CPAP. I get better sleep now in 6 hours than I used to get in 8. No more falling asleep in the middle of the day. And who can't use an extra 2 hours a day to play? Hey, that's a whole DVD! [​IMG]
    It took me a while to get used to the CPAP, but now I put on the mask and I'm out in a couple of minutes. I don't know, maybe falling asleep has become a Pavlov type response to the mask.
    My wife loves it, too. Poor lady, before the CPAP, she had to wear earplugs to keep from going deaf.
    The trick to the sleep test is to pick your best side to sleep on and to stay there. It's a real hassle to try and roll over.
     
  9. John Beavers

    John Beavers Second Unit

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    I've had a CPAP machine for about 5 years now. You do get used to it, though in the last 6 months I've developed a skin reaction to the mask. Where it rests on my upper lip region I've developed an irritating rash-like area. I've tried ointments and such but it won't go away, and it gets more painful as the months go on. I may have to do the surgery or risk losing my upper lip at this rate [​IMG]
     
  10. ChrisP

    ChrisP Agent

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    Oddly enough, i'm going in for sleep testing tonight. I had been dreading the idea of having to use a CPAP, but your experiences help lessen my dread. My doctor mentioned that i looked like a good candidate for surgery, but would probably wind up on a CPAP in the meantime.
    Crossing my fingers that this is what it is, as i'm tired of being tired all the time.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    My wife was fearful of going on the CPAP too beforehand. Now she wouldn't give it up - it's made a *huge* difference to her quality of sleep, and thus, quality of life in general.

    Go for it, Chris.

    Her doctor here in Dallas wasn't keen at all on the surgery option - he says it's too inexact a solution & not always effective.
     
  12. Howard Williams

    Howard Williams Supporting Actor

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    Wow !!! Nice to know I'm not alone. I have not been clinically diagnosiseed as having sleep apnea yet but I'm pretty sure I do. After about 4 years of putting it off because of my fear of the dreaded CPAP, as a New Years resolution I decided to see my Doctor about it. I am schedule to pick up an Oximeter next week. I don't think this is the same as the sleep study you guys are refrring to. My cousin also has S/A. He says we wouldn't part with his machine for anything in the world. I too am just so tired of being tired. I'll definatly go with the CPAP instead of surgery for now.

    Good luck to all my fellow sufferers.
     
  13. Bill Eberhardt

    Bill Eberhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey John, have you tried growing a moustache? I use my CPAP with one.
    The only drawback I can see to using a CPAP machine is that I can't go bicycle touring or wilderness camping with it. Although I have heard of people hooking their machines up to a battery or a generator for less rustic camping.
    Could snoring be a good thing in the wilderness? I've never had a problem with bears or other wildlife. Maybe I frighten them off. [​IMG]
     
  14. Joseph Howard

    Joseph Howard Stunt Coordinator

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    I've told people for years that "I don't dream" when

    I sleep. (apparenly, because I wasn't really sleeping)

    My wife has told be for a few years "you SNORE!"

    Did the sleep study ("wires, wires, everywhere?). Diagnosed

    with sleep apnea.

    Did *another* sleep study with the CPAP. I slept like a

    ton of bricks, had more dreams than I ever had in my

    life, woke up that morning feeling 10 years younger, no

    dark rings under my eyes, more energy...felt WONDERFUL.

    I am picking my own CPAP up next week and I can't wait.

    I had no idea how friggin awful I felt until after one

    night of fantastic sleep with the CPAP, then the next

    night without one. ...... wanting that little gizmo.

    Dr. Joe
     
  15. Mark Schermerhorn

    Mark Schermerhorn Second Unit

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    I had sleep apnia as a kid. My mouth and throat aren't that big so my tongue would block everything off pretty easily and every night. I'd start having dreams about drowning and I'd wake up gasping for breath. Scared the hell out of my parents...they slept in the next room and my dad would hear me snoring like crazy, then I guess it sounding like I was choking and I would go silent. Problem went away when I had my tonsils removed.

    I started snoring again in college, but that was due to being overweight (it doesn't take much, for me anyway). It's wasn't sleep apnia. Once the weight came off I stopped snoring.
     
  16. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    Well, I just got my sleep study scheduled for the first Thursday in March. Thanks everyone for your replies. It has taken a lot of the stress off my mind concerning the CPAP.
    I, too, am sick and tired of waking up sick and tired. I'm looking forward to getting this fixed as much as I was looking forward to getting my lasik surgery. It seems like something that will be life changing!!!!
    Who knows, with good sleep, maybe I'll be in the mood to exercise, so I can drop my extra pounds! (Yeah, right!! [​IMG] )
    Chris, let me know how your sleep test went???
     
  17. RafaelB

    RafaelB Second Unit

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    I was diagnosed with sleep apnea about 20 months ago. As my best friend had the CPAP and then opted for the operation, I had my heart set on the operation. IMO it had quicker results and there was no reason to use a noisy machine (again IMO) as I'm very picky when I go to sleep (no noise, complete dark, etc.).
    Well, after the sleep test, they said I needed to try the CPAP before using any other alternatives. So I had to go in for another test. It was the worst night of my life. The mask wouldn't stay on my nose when I moved and I think that I didn't sleep any more than an hour. The ENT Dr. looked down my throat and said I had large tonsils, and a 'very fleshy' soft palette, which could very well be the cause. O
    Once I had the operation, the difference was like night and day for me. I was remembering dreams and am more awake.
    The operation was worth it- even the week or so of pain in my mouth (and since I was on a liquid diet, I lost some weight, too). [​IMG]
    Rafael
     
  18. Howard Williams

    Howard Williams Supporting Actor

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    Surprise Surprise !!!

    I got to pick up my oximeter today at lunch so I will be running my "test" tonight. The oximeter is a small portable CD player sized unit with a clip on finger device. Is this what you guys refer to as "the sleep test"? Or is that something different?

    I'm looking forward to some relief.
     
  19. ChrisP

    ChrisP Agent

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    So i just got home from my sleep testing.

    Howard, sounds like what you've got is a preliminary sort of testing device.

    Last night at 9pm i showed up, was given a room, sort of a mix between a hotel room and a hospital room, and paperwork. Once that was done, the applying of sensors began. Man, that's a lot of wires. sensors glued to scalp, temples, one right by my right eye, a long one running under my nose (the most bothersome one), my chin, my chest, my left ring finger, my legs, base of my skull, along with two straps around my chest to measure depth of breath. Once all this is rigged up, i read until i felt tired, at which point they hooked me up to the monitor. There was a mic in the room so i could easily call for help, get unhooked to use the restroom, etc. after a couple hours of restless sleep (because of the sensors, being in a strange bed, wife not there, etc..) i woke for a bladder break, at which point they put me on a CPAP for the rest of the night. I was testing at 90 events per hour. Apparently 30 is the cutoff for being treated.

    So I didnt sleep too great last night, but i could tell the difference once i got a little used to the pressure. I get my CPAP on Monday or Tuesday, as they didnt have the mask i needed there today.

    Go for it Randy. Even the little bit of help i got from it last night is showing, i feel more energetic this morning than in a long time. The tech told me i didnt reach REM sleep until 4:30 am, but was then in it so long that it was obvious that i was deprived of REM sleep. I even dreamt last night for the first time i can remember in a long while.
     
  20. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    I'm glad it went well for you, ChrisP. Sounds like you're going to really enjoy the quality of life increase it'll give you.
     

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