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Symptoms - Constant or not?

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:10 pm
by Guest

I believe that I may possibly have sleep apnea so going to the doctors for a follow up appointment next week to investigate.

I've already had blood tests for extreme tiredness and fatigue that have all come back ok.

I think it's entirely possible I have sleep apnea because I rarely if ever feel refreshed after many hours of sleep and this has got progressively worse over the last 2 years or so; though I can safely say I've been tired in the daytime for about 15 years since I left school (I am now 29).

I've also noted that when I have tonsillitis it is totally horrendous when trying to sleep and as I have a small jaw & mouth etc. it would make sense I have this. I am also a male if gender is significant.

However I've noticed that I am not in the typical age range for this and although slightly overweight around my stomach, I am far from obese too.

One thing which I am interested in though which I would like to ask sufferers of sleep apnea is whether or not you constantly felt tired or if on occasions you did feel better prior to being diagnosed. I've noticed that on some days I feel more alert but on others totally drained. I certainly feel drained at least 75% of the time.

I am just asking because I am convinced that doctors will at least suggest all the fatigue is just psychological judging by my age etc. but would I be wrong to really push for a sleep study anyway?

Really don't want to waste the time of the NHS. I would prefer a home study that I could do myself though probably could afford it

To put in context I've given up driving lessons for a THIRD time in my life because I don't feel alert enough, can't concentrate on things and get regular minor illnesses like colds etc.

Even writing this feels like being in a daze, though not as bad a few hours earlier. Baffled!

Re: Symptoms - Constant or not?

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:27 pm
by Sleep2Snore
It would certainly be worth doing a home sleep study if you can afford to do it and if you have someone that can help fix you up at night there is a good machine on this site that should give you a good indication if you have sleep apnoea or not. Your age is nothing, there are a lot younger people than you that suffer from sleep apnoea. If you can afford to go private, it is the fast way t get a diagnoses and getting a machine if you need it, but it can be expensive.
You do not need to be fat to have sleep apnoea, though the profile is usually that of overweight people.
I didn't have much fat on me at all when I was diagnosed, but I did have a big neck, always did have. Built like a tank, but after working for about twenty years started to feel tired, doctor didn't know what it was and didn't really appear to care. Then my partner noticed that I stopped breathing during the night a lot, not for long most of the time, but a lot of times. Then she read in some magazine about sleep apnoea and she dragged me off to see the doctor with the magazine in hand. The doctors response was "No one has ever died of sleep Apnoea" this made the other half mad and the doctor got both barrels, he quickly backed down and agreed to send me to E.N.T? I was lucky that the doctor I saw there was also attached to the chest clinic, an old guy that never appeared to be in any hurry. He put me for all sort of tests and they all were clear, so he said he wanted me in to the hospital for one night for tests on a machine to test to see if I had sleep apnoea. To cut it short as it is a long story, it turned out I had sleep apnoea, he was surprised I was able to function at all when he got the results. I met a dentist who was as thin as a rake shaft, he had sleep apnoea. People with receding jaw lines can have it as well and some people with tonsils that swell up a lot can also suffer, but sometimes worse due to the tonsils. Try filling out this, it is just an indication that you might have it or not, though if you have Mild Sleep Apnoea it might not say you might have it. Same goes for a lot of home tests, if you are mild or even Moderate, it might not pick it up, though chances are it will. The The Black Shadow on THIS page should be a good home study, though I thing you need help to put everything on.
Even if you do go down the private road, you still will need masks and spares as well as servicing of the machine and filters. So if you do go down that route, go down the NHS route as well, you can use the date if you ask for a copy to show the consultant, then after you get a machine from the NHS you can use the private one as a back up. Or you can ask them to adopt your own machine.
I think you need to have a Polysomnography (or PSG) for short to really get to the bottom of things, but the machine mentioned comes as close as you will get to one without going for a sleep study. What ever you decide, don't just do nothing. After your diagnoses and your are on treatment (if you have sleep apnoea) you should feel a bit more alert, and if you are you can apply for a provisional (though you will need a letter saying you are on treatment and are fit to drive from your sleep specialist). Once you get driving, you will need to tell your insurance that you have sleep apnoea. If you don't they may void your insurance and you may find yourself in a lot of hot water.
Good luck whet ever you decide to do, the NHS will if you push your doctor do the tests for you, but it is a slow process these days most of the time.
Let us know how you get on.

Re: Symptoms - Constant or not?

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:40 pm
by Guest
Thanks for the reply, really informative. Can't believe the bit about the Dr's saying it doesn't cause death!!.... I am worried that due to my Dr's surgery turning down regular appointments etc. that it's just too overworked and that I'll be down the priority list for a sleep study of some kind due to NHS finance or something. It's definitely tempting to go down the self diagnosis private route therefore.

I'll see what they say at the follow up appointment first. Something has to change though that's for sure! Tiredness is getting ridiculous

Re: Symptoms - Constant or not?

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:18 pm
by Sleep2Snore
If you have the money, get diagnosed privately and go to the NHS after that with a copy of your results and a prescription in your hand.
That will at least make them pay some attention to you. Even your own Doctor can't ignore that.

Re: Symptoms - Constant or not?

Posted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:32 pm
by Guest
Just a bit of an update.

Managed to get a sleep study through doctors.

It will however be a home sleep study and not an overnight stay. I am worried as it will only be done over the ONE night and I've heard it only really picks up the severest types of apnea.

Just putting my faith in the NHS on this one, though I have to admit to being quite depressed. I am worried that nothing will be picked up and so I'll be back to square one of investigating this.

Each day seems to just be a battle in dreamlike state. I've even bought a light box because I am thinking that it may also have something to do with body clock but it seems I am clutching at straws.

Best wishes to those going through this

Re: Symptoms - Constant or not?

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:22 pm
by Sleep2Snore
Don't panic, it might be fine, if not ask for a sleep study in a Sleep Clinic.
Wait to see what the results are first.
Either that or let your voice be heard now!

Re: Symptoms - Constant or not?

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:44 pm
by Vince Green
Just for the record, I have never suffered from tiredness beyond what would be considered normal for my age. My problem was waking in the night with a feeling like a panic attack because the body pumps in massive amounts of adrenelin to wake you when you stop breathing.
Have you ever experienced that?

Your doctor got it massively wrong if he told you that nobody ever died of sleep apnoea. The opinion now is changing because over the years a lot of people went undiagnosed and their deaths were put down as natural causes

Re: Symptoms - Constant or not?

Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:02 pm
by Guest
I have woken up quite often with strong anxiety so perhaps relevant.

As an update the home study was inconclusive so I am now due for a vislab overnight stay. I'll give credit to the hospital for being quite fast with the appointments - better than I thought anyway

Apparently with the pulse oximeter, my oxygen levels were fine but I do have too much heart rate variability which needs to be investigated.

They said there was no evidence of sleep apnea yet couldn't be ruled out either. Any thoughts?

Glad that opinions on sleep disorders are changing; it needs to!

Re: Symptoms - Constant or not?

Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:55 pm
by Sleep2Snore
I can't remember what tests you had, I think you had blood tests, but what were they for?
Did you have a Thyroid test done and was in the "normal range", the reason I ask is that what is normal for you might not be normal for others.
If it is towards one end it might be worth asking the doctor to review this. Ask him if it might be at a level that could make you feel tired?
If you are waking early on in an Apnoea event it might not dip your oxygen levels that much, depends how quick your body reacts to the event.
It might be some central Apnoeas in there as well, just have to wait to see what the Sleep Study shows.
Central Apnoeas is when your brain forgets to tell your body to breathe, well, that is the simplistic way of putting it anyway.

Re: Symptoms - Constant or not?

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:37 pm
by Guest
I had a blood test for thyroid and anemia etc. Both were fine but no doubt could possibly be improved.
Not sure if it's also just extreme stress which is affecting heart rate even at night. It does feel as if I have a minor flu every day or that I am drunk
Luckily only have to wait until Monday night for the study

Re: Symptoms - Constant or not?

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:09 am
by Guest
Any updates on the fault of your overnight study?

I too am 29 seen to suffer from all the usual symptoms and have done for years really (napping when I can most days).

I'm curious to what the results of your stay were. Not sure whether to go to the doctors myself about this or not.

Re: Symptoms - Constant or not?

Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:17 pm
by Sleep2Snore
Go to the doctors and talk to them about it.
A thyroid test is a must (though I can't remember getting this done, though I may have forgotten as it was so long ago) then you have two choices, go through the NHS with sometimes long waiting lists, or go for a private sleep study, be it in a hospital or at home, a three night study is best, as it might take you a night just to get used to the equipment.
You can then use these results for the NHS, they may accept them or do their own, either way, it will find out if you have Sleep Apnoea or not.

Re: Symptoms - Constant or not?

Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:07 pm
by Guest
Just had letter back from the overnight study;

1) Not a great start as the video apparently failed!

2) Although my dip rate was less than 1, there was evidence of snoring and a few incidents of apnea/hypopnoeas

3) Apparently the number of apnoeas were low to give me a score of mild OSA at best

That said a few things to bear in mind if it's relevant was that

a) it took me hours to get to sleep in such a strange environment - wasn't comfortable all night
b) my heart rate variability in the original home study still has no explanation and
c) I am only 29 (perhaps it gets worse with age?)

I am going to be referred for CPAP treatment if a mandibular advancement device doesn't work

Overall I am just open minded but it does seems as if something is going on because of the heart rate variability score and the detection of snoring (I never really knew I snored)

So it just requires a lot more patience to find out. Might not be sleep apnea for me but at least treatment is being offered which I am grateful for

Re: Symptoms - Constant or not?

Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:49 pm
by Sleep2Snore
Was it a sleep study at home you had or in hospital?
The MAD devices do work for some with mild sleep apnoea, but they can be very painful to start off with.

If you are not to happy about your results you could do a home 3 night study with some of the more advanced machines they have now, then get the results. Or you could just buy a second hand APAP machine and try that, though you might have a bit of playing around with the low high settings. Masks are not cheap either. The problem is they (NICE) do not recommend CPAP for Mild patients. Money saving, but you might get worse in due course. If you are carrying extra weight, try getting rid of that, it will help and might even not bother you again.