sleep apnea,how do you know?

coolmamaDecember 31, 2006

Just about everyone I know snores.So,how you know it is something more serious like sleep apnea?

My husband and daughter snore.My mom swears my husband has sleep apnea,that she can hear him stop breathing.I have never heard this.I mean,sometimes he stops fr a moment and snorts or coughs...but mostly he just LOUD.

Please bear in min I do not have health insurance and cannot go to a sleep specialist to have him tested.Just intrested in knowing symptoms,and how many people you all know who snores?

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Vickey__MN

There are questions that USUALLY mean sleep apnea is present. The snorting/coughing. Tired after a full nights sleep. Falling asleep at inappropriate times. Others saying you stop breathing in your sleep. Snoring alone isn't the only sympton (and you may have apnea without snoring). The only way to tell is a sleep test. AND you can snore and not have apnea....or bad enough apnea to be a problem.

Vickey-MN

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 5:19AM
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catherinet

I have sleep apnea, and it causes me alot of daytime fatigue, headaches. My husband didn't really notice it, but my children told me they could hear me gasping, snorting, and stopping breathing. I had a sleep study and it showed moderate apnea.....but I chose not to follow up on it for various reasons.
There is sleep apnea that occurs with snoring, and sleep apnea that doesn't occur with snoring.
I think daytime fatigue and difficulty thinking are the biggest symptoms.......although they also say that it can also cause high BP.
There are things a person can do to decrease his apnea.......like losing weight, sleeping on the side and not back, not drinking alcohol, etc. You might also try to figure out if you have an intolerance to some foods that cause some problems.
Some people sew a tennis ball to the back of their jammies, so that if they try to lay on their back, they can't.
Have you tried any of those nasal strips? They definitely open up your nasal area. In fact, it made my nose burn so much I couldn't use them! You could also try that throat spray, that makes tissues slick, so they don't stick together and cause snoring (which could cause apnea).

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 11:53AM
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coolmama

Thanks for the responses,;)
Yes,catherinet,we have tried the snore strips that go on your nose and the spray that goes in your throat...my husband continues to sound like he's trying to inhale his pillow
I think he has a stuffy nose alot and that's why he snores so loud.
I do not snore at all on the other hand,and I wake up frequently where I have not been breathing and I have to start real quick.I's kinda scary.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 3:53AM
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coolmama

Thank you wendy,that was very helpful. Although all of the reasons why someone might have it werent my husband by any means. He isnt obese or have any of those other things.Maybe it's his tonsils?
He does have mood disturbances though,LOL. I know it's not really funny. As soon as we get insurance he is getting checked out!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 2:14AM
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catherinet

Hi coolmama!
I just got my cpap machine a couple days ago! (And you're right......the whole process is NOT cheap! Just the first sleep study was something like $1,200. The machine is close to that.
I'm starting to wonder why so many people seem to have sleep apnea????? I certainly hope they've done studies that show that there actually ARE some people who sleep well, even though they snore. I'd hate to think all of this was "normal", but we're treating it like some awful affliction.
Maybe its our livestyles??......too many carbs or food in general, too little activity, not paying attention to day/night???? Now that I am treating my apnea, I'm discovering there are thousands (at least) who use these machines. I just don't get it. Why?????
Anyhow.......In talking with some people on sleep forums, I think a fair number of them are of normal weight.
There are 2 different types of apnea.......obstructive, and central (in the brain).
I think some people just have really floppy skin in the back of their throats and noses. Yes, I think big tonsils and adenoids can cause snoring. But mine were removed when I was 5, and I still snore. Alot just depends on the tone of your skin in the back of your nose/throat.
Some people get their uvula removed, but I don't think that helps much.
They say to never eat much before bed, and never drink alcohol then either.
I did have the sleep study, which showed I had apnea (along with a few other problems), but I just couldn't go through with the next sleep study, to determine what cpap settings I needed. I found a doctor who was more flexible, and allowed me to use an "auto" PAP machine, which adjusts to each breath, rather than needed to be pre-set, and I didn't have to have the second study.......so keep that in mind if you don't have money for everything. But the whole process is definately not cheap.
Also......I was told that even if I fix my snoring, I might still be exhausted all day, because of other problems (fibromyalgia, etc.).
Is your husband on meds that might make him sleep deeper or relax more than usual?
I always like to try to understand human behavior in terms of evolution. (I hope I'm not offending anyone).
But when you think about it, its probably good to snore loudly, to ward off any animals that might be coming too close to the cave at night!! Maybe we're making the wrong connections here, and our daily fatigue has more to do with the rest of our lifestyles???
Sorry for rambling!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 8:27AM
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lindac

Sleep apnea and snoring are not the same thing. Sleep apnea can kill....snoring is just annoying, unless it it a symptom of sleep apnea.
There are essentially 2 kinds of sleep apnea, one kind where the brain has an imbalance and the mechanism that tells you to breathe when your CO2 levels are high doesn't work...so you stop breathing. Usually the body's defenses kick in and breathing begins again...but not always. That's when the phrase "he died in his sleep" comes in.
The other kind of sleep apnea is obstructive. It's caused by an obstruction in the throat and when relaxed with sleep, it becomes worse and completely obstructs the airway...breathing stops and when the CO2 builds enough they start breathing again, which usually starts with a snort and a partial awakening. Annoying but not as likely to result in death unless it's from being sleepy during the day.
As to the evolutionary aspects of snoring, it would be just the opposite. You would not be able to quietly hide out in a cave and catch 40 winks if you snored loudly. Likely all the snorerers were eaten by a saber toothed tiger!
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 2:08PM
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catherinet

LOL Lindac......I guess I would be a goner!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 6:07PM
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coolmama

I agree though about how only 20 years ago,we never heard of this. It does seem to be a growing epidemic...weird.
No,my husband isnt on any meds at all.Although his snoring if he ever drinks alcohol is twice as bad! Lucky for me he rarely drinks.
Every person in his family snores. Maybe large adnoids or tonsils is hereditary?
I guess I better wait until next year and save our income tax refund then if it costs that much! Unless insurance covers any of it.
I'm still looking for insurance that doesnt cost and arm and a leg because it is no longer offered through my husband's job (small company,all other guys have insurance through their wive's jobs so they quit offering it to my husband.)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 6:11PM
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buyorsell888

Sleep Apnea can lead to pulmonary hypertension, high blood pressure between your lungs and heart which can cause strokes.

My doctor said it is very serious and should not be ignored and it is hereditary.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 3:51PM
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