New pacemaker and sleep test ??.

I’ve only had my pacemaker for about 2weeks and I’m still trying to get used to everything. My cardiologist wants me to have a sleep study. I’m not totally against the idea but told him I need to wait a while, maybe 6 months. I know lots of people who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, get all the equipment, only to stop using it after some time. 

I would like to hear from anybody who has been diagnosed, pro and cons on the Cpap and sleep apnea treatments.



Sleep Test

by Theknotguy - 2020-06-09 17:14:50

Question here is how bad is your sleep apnea?  Does your cardiologist know or is he/she going on a report from another medical person?  If you've been in the hospital and someone has seen your problem that may be a reason to push forward as quickly as possible.  Is there a report from your spouse?  

The person who has the sleep apnea can be very accustomed to poor sleep and may not feel the need.  However that doesn't mean they are getting good sleep and they have avoided danger.  My spouse would start thrashing around, kicking and scratching because she was unable to get enough air.  Upon waking I'd show her the scratches I had and she still wouldn't believe she was having trouble sleeping.  Finally, after her blood pressure sky rocketed she finally accepted the fact she was having problems and got help.

If you are having problems the risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or some other medical issue can be quite high.  While the timing may not be the best your cardiologist may be seriously concerned about you having a problem.  

I've had a CPAP for quite a while.  The hardest part is getting a good mask and a good fit to the mask.  Once that is done, you can get really good sleep.  

I hope you can get help soon.  

Sleep apnoea

by Selwyn - 2020-06-09 18:56:03

As the Knotguy says sleep apnoea can cause major and permanent damage to your health, if not death. My daughter is a specialist in the subject and my son-in-law is a nurse dealing with CPAP.  Having CPAP can increase the quality of your life and your longevity. Without having sleep studies you will never know the extent of your problem.

Personally, I had episodes of asystole ( heart stopped) when I was asleep and never knew about it.  Thank goodness someone had the good sense to have me monitored at night.

Sleep test

by Sisterwash65 - 2020-06-09 22:38:10

 Thanks for the feedback. I have not had the sleep test yet, but my doctor thinks I might have it based on lung pressure from my Echocardiogram. I know I snore, especially if I’m on my back. My preferred sleeping side is my left. 

Getting this pacemaker was a shock, I wasn’t expecting it ! I want to have a period of time to adjust to my PM and later have the sleep study.

treating sleep apnea

by Gemita - 2020-06-10 07:05:36

Hello Sisterwash65,

I agree wholeheartedly with both Theknotguy and Selwyn about the importance of treating sleep apnea and only through a sleep study (preferably carried out in hospital) can we really learn how we are sleeping and how many sleep apnea events per hour are occurring.  It will tell us all sorts of important info too like how quickly we fall to sleep and the depth of our sleep, whether we have restless leg syndrome, which types of sleep apnea we have (central or obstructive).  If I remember correctly we need more than five episodes per hour to occur to get a diagnosis of sleep apnea.

I had a sleep study a few years ago and had 35 events per hour occurring while trying to sleep on my back, although no events while sleeping on my side.  My first sleep test was fraught with difficulty because I just couldnt fall asleep with all the wires and pads attached to my body!!  Everything about sleep apnea is troublesome, even getting a diagnosis !!  I had to have another sleep study and didn't fair much better but they got a bit more info as I managed to get a few hours of sleep.  

I was advised due to my arrhythmias to have a trial of CPAP but after months of trying I still struggled to get to sleep, despite many mask changes and even nasal pillows (the softest and least bulky of all the masks).  I also suffered from nose bleeds while on CPAP due to sinus issues.  My sleep consultant eventually advised me to stop immediately, praising me for my attempts and urging me to consider techniques for keeping me on my side during the night.  It is not ideal but better than nothing. 

I hope one day there will be a more tolerable treatment for this very common but serious disorder since too many people are unable to cope with CPAP and give up treatment way too early.  I wish you a better outcome and good luck with the pacemaker


Sleep apnea causes a lot of heart disease

by CyborgMike - 2020-06-13 02:40:17

So, if you do have apneas at night (and large drops of O2) then your quality of life is suffering, your health, and more heart damage is being done. The in hospital sleep study is not fun, because you are hooked up to a lot of wires, but it is thorough.

I had mild to moderate sleep apnea and I really didn't want a CPAP machine. I worked with a specialized dentist to make an oral appliance that moves my lower jaw forward at night. That was enough to eliminate my apnea, although it took a lot of adjustment and retesting. I feel a LOT better when I wake up. As a side note, I bought a pulse ox reader and tested myself at home in the months following the appliance. I also use an app on my phone to track snoring (SnoreLab). The "epic" snoring on the phone app closely corrolates to drops in pulse ox for me, so I know generally how my appliance is working. 

Going through the PM and sleep study at the same time is not fun, but it could be the fastest path to getting back to healthy. 

I love my CPAP machine!

by LondonAndy - 2020-06-13 16:11:47

My symptom was waking up suddenly in the middle of the night, feeling as if I had forgotten to breathe, which was alarming.  Sure enough I was diagnosed with sleep apnaea, and got a machine.  They are very quiet running, and I started with a mask that fits over the nose, which I thought was fine.  But then a friend told me he uses a 'nasal pillow', where there is litterally a small flexible plastic bit on the end of the hose that is shaped to gently fit into the end of the nostrils, and so the assembly becomes even more light weight and comfortable.  It would be no good for people who sleep with their mouth open though.

I also have a "SoClean 2" device that you rest the end of the CPAP hose into once you are out of bed and it does a sterilisation procedure that takes a total of about 2 hours.  They're quite expensive but aid hygiene. 

sleep apnea

by TMAC - 2020-06-13 19:40:39

I am a retired orthodontist who treated sleep apnea patients with dental appliances for 15 years using dental devises that advanced the lower jaw to open the airway. I had 95% success with the devises but there is a major downside.  The pressure transferred to the teeth from the devise moves the teeth just as any other orthodontic devise and can literally destroy the bite. I ultimately ceased the treatment for this reason.

Another choice of treatment is jaw surgery wherein one or both jaws are advanced thus opening the airway and eliminating the apnea.  This is delicate surgery and needs to be done by a highly trained oral surgeon but the results can be life more cpap.

It is importent to note that sleep apnea can be a very serious problem especially on top of other health issues and attention to diagnosis and treatment, if needed, should not be delayed.

As a side light I am a newbie too having a PM (3 days) and look forward obtaining advice from all of you.  Feeling good so far., wondering about being abl to ride my new e bike.  

Sleep apnea

by Sisterwash65 - 2020-06-13 22:10:56

I have also heard of the dental mouthpiece for apnea but I don’t know of anyone who uses one. Makes sense that constant use could throw your bite off !!  I know several,people who have been diagnosed and bought all the Cpap equipment, only to eventually stop using it. I have a good friend who says she will put it on at night but when she gets up the next morning, it’s on the floor ! 

I really appreciate all the input and I will most likely decide to do the sleep study in a few months. I know that if I go to sleep on my back I WILL snore!

But I favor sleeping on my side. Usually feeling rested in the mornings too

Thanks again All !.

Dental Appliance

by CyborgMike - 2020-06-14 23:34:13

The dental appliances will definately mess with your bite, so they are not a silver bullet. I really like my appliance, but I do need to use a bite plate in the morning for twenty minutes while I get ready to correct my bite. I also have exercises to reposition my jaw. I see my dentist about every three months to check my bite. It is a lot of work, but I travel every week (err - used to before covid), so the mouthpiece is a better travel option.

The CPAP machines are still the gold standard. They work the best at getting O2 into the lungs, as long as you can tollerate them.

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