Sleep apnea and recording pulse oximeter

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by bwilson4web, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    When you don't get enough exercise and eat and drink too much, you gain weight. This can lead to sleep apnea, a condition where the throat closes, often the tongue moves back, blocking the airway. Your body notices this and wakes you to clear the airway and go back to an interrupted sleep. Bad sleep leads to daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, and a false sense of 'may be I'm hungry' and too tired to exercise and the condition gets worse. Sad to say that has happened to me.

    After a sleep study eight years ago, I got a CPAP machine. It has a small pump, hose, and mask and increases the air pressure, 8 psi in my case, so the airway remains clear. A pain-in-the-*ss to travel, it meant getting a good nights sleep but it is bulky. But this past year, I learned I was 'grinding my teeth' and that led to a pair of caps on my lower left.

    My dentist fabricated a mouth guard to prevent teeth grinding but with the CPAP machine, this became a real bother. So when I visited my sleep doctor, Dr. Brevard Haynes of Nashville TN, I asked about mouth pieces that might substitute or replace the CPAP machine. He showed me a "somnodent" mouth piece that pushes the jaw forward. So I told my dentist about it.

    Sad to say, my dentist interpreted this as a snoring problem and instead fabricated a "snoreguard". This two-piece mouth piece appears to accomplish the same thing as a somnodent so we did it. An adjustable unit, my dentist has the adjustment pieces or they can be ordered from the manufacturer. But now comes the problem of finding out if it worked so I spoke with Dr. Haynes.

    A normal sleep study takes all night and can easily cost $4,000. If the snoreguard needs adjustment, another sleep study can get pretty expensive. But a recording oximeter provides a functional screening sysetem:
    [​IMG]
    I found this unit on eBay for $45. It uses two, AAA batteries and has the ability to record on a second-by-second interval both the blood oxygen level and pulse. Using the USB cable, the data is downloaded and saved as a CSV file.

    This is what sleep apnea looks like when I take a nap without the CPAP or snoreguard:
    [​IMG]
    Notice there were occasions when the blood oxygen level took a steep drive under 92%. In some cases, you'll notice the pulse increases which looks to be the signature of an apnea incident. I'm waking to clear my airway; it clears; and I'm back asleep.

    Now drink some beer and the apnea is even worse:
    [​IMG]
    In one case, it dropped down to 82%, not good at all.

    This shows how the CPAP machine works:
    [​IMG]
    Notice the absence of apnea events. My oxygen level doesn't even pass below 92%. The pulse peaks are probably just shifting around in bed, not uncommon when we sleep.

    Now I have a way to measure the effectiveness of the snoreguard. Initial data suggests it needs to move the jaw further forward which I'll work with my dentist. Then we'll know if I can sleep free from the CPAP mask, hose, pump, and power outlet.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  2. landspeed

    landspeed Active Member

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    Thread resurrection time. Recording pulse oximeters are great screening devices!

    304F6722-3175-4280-A7AE-6E89AAD5EEA2.jpeg 13E14B7A-F1D5-47E0-98E6-654AC093A0D8.jpeg 5B2B23C5-F795-4759-9325-74BA3472A75C.jpeg

    I got a recording pulse oximeter due to suspecting sleep apnea. I saw a sleep / resp doctor yesterday; I generally have few symptom except tiredness. However last night was a bad night and I am exhausted; the overnight recording shows why

    Can’t wait for sleep study because I can get this treated; also I will wear the recording oximeter to see how well it calibrated compared to their one (it does match the hospital oximeters at my workplace so......)
     
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    they are advertising something around here that replaces cpap for some people. not sure what it is because i don't listen closely
     
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  4. srellim234

    srellim234 Senior Member

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    Sleep apnea runs rampant in my family. After decades of everyone being in denial I finally got tested and was put on a Cpap machine in 2001. My brother and my son are both on Cpap now as well. We have four or five friends that got tested and diagnosed as a result of our success with it. My dad had it but he denied it all the way to the end and refused to get tested.

    I picked up a pulse oximeter about a year and a half ago on a clearance rack at CVS, right before the pandemic started. That was one of the best $17 I've ever spent. We were able to monitor our o2 levels all the way through the last year and a half. I use the instant pulse readings out on trails when climbing hills too. It helps me pace myself.

    Anyway, back to the Cpap. Since I got my first machine 20 years ago my wife is a really happy lady. She doesn't have to put up with my snoring at night anymore.
     
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  5. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    I would never sleep with this pig on my face - despite the better half insisting on it. However, that humidified warm air it shoves into my face? Some folks have cold weather allergies & the warm air allows a sneeze-free night. It's a collateral benefit! Only downside is if you jack up the humidifying temperature too high, coupled with surrounding cold air in the room, the air tube will sweat/condensate - & you will get the sensation you are drowning with all that rain going down your nose.
    It's like self waterboarding - so the better ½ can sleep in refrigerator-like temperatures.
     
  6. srellim234

    srellim234 Senior Member

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    You're making things out to be much worse than they are.. Depending on the severity of the sleep apnea there are nasal pillow masks that are very light, quiet and not obtrusive at all. Condensation is completely avoided by using a heated hose (I use one). Sleep apnea machines also work without any water in the humidifier.

    The flip side is that if you have apnea and don't treat it there are consequences like high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep deprivation due to a lack of REM sleep, constant fatigue during the day and, in severe cases, death. One of the crewmen on "Deadliest Catch" died a few years ago when he failed to use his CPAP and stopped breathing in the middle of the night.
     
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