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The Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Forums

Newbie help - is it Apnea or just snoring issue

Talk about all aspects of sleep apnoea. Request help from others with the same problem, tell your story, exchange tips & techniques ..

Newbie help - is it Apnea or just snoring issue

Post by Guest » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:49 am

Hello All,
I’ve come across this forum several times over the past year, but today is the first time I’ve posted as I am getting close to the end of my tether and do not know where to turn for advice.

For the past 2.5 years I’ve been under treatment of Sertraline for Anxiety primarily (with links to low mood / depression). I have also done “Mood improvement” courses. I have felt for the past 12-18 months that my Anxiousness and low mood have far reduced, but I am struggling daily with tiredness and fatigue. This tiredness prevents me from functioning properly and as a result I am only capable of doing 20-30% of the work I normally do, and being self employed, there is no boss to thrash the whip, and no sickpay; so as a consequence my finances have been massively overstretched – which then makes me a bit anxious – bit of a vicious circle. Coping, just financially.

I’m mid 30’s, male, 5’11”, 100kg (approx. 220lb), BMI 32. I was around 190lb (85kg) prior to this treatment. I am aware I need to lose weight, and eat very carefully, but struggle to get the motivation and energy needed to do exercise to burn calories to lose weight.

I’ve been in regular contact with my GP, who unfortunately has been changing annually, so do not tend to get continued care from 1 person. I’ve had blood tests for Thyroid, Liver, Diabetes done over the past 6 months, and all were ok. Then GP wasn’t really interested in sorting the tiredness/fatigue.

Due to a recurrent neck issue – Torticollis, I invested c.£2500 into a new bed and mattress, which has helped the neck issue and regular Chiropractic adjustments help to keep me straight. Due to this, I find it most comfortable to sleep on my back.
The result of this is that I snore badly. I snore every night, regardless of time I sleep, or amount alcohol drunk. I’ve tried sleeping on my side and front – the side leaves me with a sore neck, whilst I struggle to breath easily when on my front.
I’ve used a “SnoreLab” app on my phone, which regularly registers my snoring as “Loud” or “Epic”. I pick up on this device regular snorting and gasping.
I have also purchased a Pulse Oximeter, and have over the past 4 weeks tried to use this as much as possible.

Over the past month, the outcome was that my average O2 levels throughout the night were:
• Basal SpO2 level of 94-94.5% average throughout the night
• Average low for “events” is 91-92%.
• Lowest low’s were usually around 88-89%, with a couple of 83/84%’s. There were also a couple of unusual ones at 60%, so I have discounted those as unreliable.
• The above also corresponded with spikes in Heartrate.
• Now, the unusual thing is that I only have around 10 events each night – whereas I read that its common to have 10 per hour.
• At least 40-50% of the night is spent with O2 levels below 95%.

On the Epworth score I tend to be around 13-15 points depending on the day. I’ve never fallen asleep, and would definitely not do it whilst driving. I find I can daydream when sat at my desk, and do anything other than concentrate on work. Morning headaches and poor short-term memory also occur.

Following these results, I spoke with my GP who reluctantly agreed to refer me to a Sleep Clinic, which I believe could be a 6 month wait.
I’m reluctant to go Private, as 1, I cannot afford it, and 2, if I only have 10 events per night, I don’t think that I’d fall under the OSA diagnosis.
I am wondering though if my Basal Sp02 level of 94-94.5% is the reason for the fatigue – low oxygen in general during the night?? My daytime reading is usually around 97-98%.

Other background info, as a child I had my Adonoids removed when having Grommits fitted. I used to have a frequent bought of Tonsilitus, but touch wood, I’ve not had that for at least 4-5 years. Had Asthma as a Child, but have been “grown out of” for 20+ years.

I have tried the following snoring aids:
• Nose strips.
• Nose dilators – both cylindrical and wishbone shaped.
• Finger pressure rings.
• Mouth guards.
• Tongue retainers.
• Low pillows and high pillows.
• Sleeping on front – still feel rubbish next day.
• Sleeping on side – not as bad, but then torticollis neck issue kicks in.

I am wondering if I should pursue the NHS Sleep Clinic, try a private Sleep Test for speed (bit worried as I do not have many events), or stop focusing on Apnea and look for another cause??

Any help or suggestions would be most appreciated.
Thank you for reading.

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Re: Newbie help - is it Apnea or just snoring issue

Post by Sleep2Snore » Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:01 pm

It is difficult to diagnose you, but at least you have supplied some information.
At a guess I would say you have Mid Sleep Apnoea that you could sort out with getting out there and walking fast or swimming, though you may be one of the unlucky ones that it will not be cured by loosing weight. You may have some form of sleep disorder like insomnia (if you find it hard to get to sleep) or Mild Sleep Apnoea. Once your blood oxygen gets down to 80% or lower you should have that investigated.
British Snoring do a Home Study Machine that might do you, but it is no replacement for a Polysomnography but is a lot better than others, though you will need help to get fitted up. I would go for at least two nights or three if you can, but speak to them first. The machine is called Black Shadow and will give them a lot more information to diagnose you. It is at home so you will be more comfortable.
A sleep Clinic test is a lot better, but this is as close as you will get. If you can't wait, this might be a good option, or go for a private study at a clinic.
As I say, it looks as if you may have Mild Sleep Apnoea, though it is hard to predict until you have the test.

Other ways of cutting down the cost is to get checked out, then buy an APAP second hand, but you will still have to get fitted for a mask, these are the most troublesome area and expensive one. Most users go through quite a few masks before they can get one that they can use and works for them. Most are around the £100 mark, so if you need a few masks before you get one that you can use, you can see how it can get expensive.
Have a look at this page and see what you want to do.

You could just buy an APAP second hand, but you need to know if you have it or not. If you do buy a second hand machine, buy an APAP and not a CPAP as the APAP will adjust to the pressure you need, but it still needs a bit of setting up as the nearer the lower pressure is to the higher one it get to the easier it is to get on with it. But this is easy adjusted by yourself. Getting a mask to fit you properly will be the worst thing.

Mild Sleep Apnoea usually get worse if you do nothing, your get up and go has got up and gone, so unless you get out there and do something you will put on weight and it will only get worse. If you get out there and loose some weight, you may be lucky and get rid of the Sleep Apnoea.
I know a few that have done just that, but you have to keep at it. Slimming world will also help you loose weight and you will never feel hungry.

Good luck in what you decide to do.
S2S - Sleep2Snore


Re: Newbie help - is it Apnea or just snoring issue

Post by Guest » Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:17 pm

thank you for the detailed reply. i was struggling to upload a printout of my some of my data, but i do think its a mild apnea or bad snoring causing the low oxygen throughout the night - maybe not enough to stop breathing, but enough to prevent non-restorative sleep.

quite correct - i'd love to lose weight, but feel too knackered to get up and do it. I'll have a look at the slimmers world things too.
i've just ordered a second hand machine - all i could afford at the moment - just to see if it helps over the next few weeks, as i need to see an improvement at work. i'll have a look into the masks. If it works, then i'll get a newer better machine. Hopefully i would have seen the NHS consultant by that time.

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Re: Newbie help - is it Apnea or just snoring issue

Post by Sleep2Snore » Thu May 04, 2017 12:30 pm

Loosing weight will not always cure Sleep Apnoea, as I found out!
However, it will always help with your health in general.
You should get yourself checked out as there is a lot of problems can follow Sleep Apnoea.
Heart attack, strokes, high blood pressure etc,.

Don't just sit on it, do something, go to your doctor and get a referral to a Sleep Clinic.

Best to be sure.

Let us know how you get on.
S2S - Sleep2Snore


Re: Newbie help - is it Apnea or just snoring issue

Post by Guest » Fri May 05, 2017 6:18 pm


For what it's worth I was offered an appointment for a sleep study at the local hospital. I attempted to book the appointment (online) several times and, each time, I was informed that there were "no appointments available at present, please try again later"!!

After five weeks I went back to the GP and asked about alternative local hospitals (I live close to the county border) and, lo and behold, three weeks later I was sat in front of a consultant! Yes, I did/do have OSA and use CPAP but at least I am awake during the day!

Worth considering this option of requesting alternative sleep study centres?

Good luck


Re: Newbie help - is it Apnea or just snoring issue

Post by Guest » Mon May 08, 2017 12:11 pm

thanks for the reply. i too, am on the border - with Oxfordshire and Wiltshire, so hopefully when i get my referral through i'll compare both. From the earlier research i've done, it appears that Oxford might be 2 months quicker than Wilts.... we'll see.

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Re: Newbie help - is it Apnea or just snoring issue

Post by Sleep2Snore » Mon May 08, 2017 6:18 pm

It is always worth a try if your doctor will do it for you. :)
S2S - Sleep2Snore

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Re: Newbie help - is it Apnea or just snoring issue

Post by JohnMicelli » Mon May 15, 2017 3:11 pm

I really think you should try that private sleep test you speak about. See the results, maybe you don't have sleep apnea and I am pretty sure that those doctors will figure out why you are snoring.

If is sleep apnea, I am sure the doctor will tell you about the sleep apnea machine. It not only helps stop the snoring, more importantly, it helps the person suffering from sleep apnea breathe easily and have a good night’s sleep. It contains a small mask or a prong connected to the machine through a duct.

The machine contains an air pump which helps in pumping air into the body. If it is a mask, the snorer has to wear it covering the nose and mouth. If it is a prong, the snorer has to fit it into the nose. This helps the flow of oxygen into the body, and prevents the snoring.

If you are not sure about sleep apnea, don’t jump into a conclusion. Try for milder remedies like sleeping on the side or reducing weight. Sleeping on the side helps prevent the tongue from falling back at night and blocking the passageway, but you have some neck issues. Excess fat, especially around the neck is a major cause of snoring. Start an exercise regime , also,limit alcohol intake, especially at night. If you are a regular smoker, get help and stop smoking.


Re: Newbie help - is it Apnea or just snoring issue

Post by Guest » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:31 pm

long time no write.

Follooing my Sleep Study in June, i have today seen the consultant. She confirmed that i have a Mild OSA. She is happy for me to continue with my Autoset10 machine, and was impressed with the knowledge i had of the condition, and that i had self diagnosed.
i'm just relieved it now has a name, and there is nothing more sinister amiss. The Hospital trust have issued me with a new mask, went through a proper mask fit session and demonstration of the device - although i'll be continuing to use my current own device, as the Hosptial currently issue the older model.

Thank you for all those who have commented, and gave me the confidence to buy my machine back in May. There is no way i would still be in business with my company if I had not taken those actions at that time. I've gone from working 4 hours a day to 8-12 hours.

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