Discussions By Condition: Sleep disorders

question about sleep apnea

Posted In: Sleep disorders 2 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • March 16, 2007
  • 05:10 PM

My husband has sleep apnea. He sleeps using a cpap machine every night.
I understand that the machine helps him at night, but what can be done about the symptoms that occur during the day? He is only 44 years old. He falls asleep in the middle of our conversations (maybe I'm boring him), he falls asleep at the table, sitting down, and when driving. His concentration and memory are poor. I can tell him something and he appears to really be listening and comprehending, but 10 minutes later if I bring up the same subject again, he doesn't know what I am talking about.
I love my husband very much and I want to support him, and I will support him, but this is really ******n me too. Are there any cures for the symptoms that occur during the day? Are there any resources that can help me to better understand and work with him? I need help.


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2 Replies:

  • I would suggest your hubby also be checked for narcolepsy (spelled wrong,I'm sure!) if he hasn't already. Also, when he was diagnosed with sleep apnea, was it as a result of a sleep study? If yes, I would check the study results and see how he was classified...moderate, severe, etc. If he was "severe", it is logical to assume that maybe the cpap isn't working properly, or he either may not be wearing it properly or for at least 4 hours (from what I'm told) each nite. (He should wake up feeling pretty rested if he got the full use of the cpap, also from what I've been told.) I would check all that out first, to fix what you can. Then I'd head back to the doctor! Maybe he needs the pressure turned up on the machine. I wish you the best! (I had my dentist check out my mouth anatomy(?) to see what could be causing my problem. I had done alot of research...thick tongue, large ovula, etc. could contribute. Maybe surgery would be of benefit to your hubby??? ) Good luck.
    Donna2 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • I agree with Donna. Those aren't just "daytime" symptoms; they're classic symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea and of narcolepsy. My first thought is that his CPAP isn't working right, or may not be supplying enough pressure to correct his apnea. (Does he use the CPAP all night, every night? If he doesn't, he should. It can't help if he doesn't use it.) There's a test you can do at home to see whether the CPAP is having the proper effect. It's called overnight oximetry. It's a small machine that monitors a blood oxygen sensor taped to one finger, and records your blood oxygen level all through your sleep. After a night's sleep, you take the oximeter back to your doctor, who checks it and can tell you if the CPAP is effectively keeping the airway open. (I know all this because I have sleep apnea and use a CPAP.)If that all checks out OK, then the next suspect is narcolepsy. I don't know anything about treatment for that, but that's the next thing he should get tested for.If your husband hasn't yet had a sleep study, he probably will need that too.I have one other suggestion, from my own experience. After I started using my CPAP, it wasn't improving my chronic fatigue -- I still woke up just as tired as I had for years. I didn't improve until my psychiatrist (whom I was seeing for treatment of chronic depression) suggested that I might have a low degree of anxiety that was agitating me during sleep and causing me to wake up every 1-1/2 to 2 hours. That was a complete surprise to me. I've never thought of myself as an anxious person, and none of the dozens of medical doctors, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists that I've seen in my life had ever suggested it before. But my psychiatrist prescribed a low dose of a drug in the Valium/Librium family, to be taken at bedtime. And sure enough, that's what finally let me get full, uninterrupted, restful nights of sleep.I hope all of that is of some help, and very good luck!!
    AmateurHistorian 74 Replies Flag this Response
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