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Can sleep apnea cause shortness of breath?

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Can sleep apnea cause shortness of breath?

Postby Theresa » Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:40 am

I've been experiencing extreme fatigue, shortness of breath & lightheadedness for the past several weeks. My family doctor recommended that I have a sleep study to check for sleep apenea, which I just had the first study last night. The technician told me that she saw me experience apnea, and that I'll probably have to do the second study. We are also checking my thyroid. My main question is this. Can sleep apnea cause shortness of breath during the day, or is there something else we should be looking for?

Postby Pennysfaith » Wed Aug 08, 2007 3:56 pm

Seems to me this has come up before...I don't have time to look right now, but maybe try searching "shallow breathing" up there on the top right...
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Postby Amos » Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:49 pm

With Sleep Apnea, we tend to breathe in short, shallow, and sometimes gasping breath.

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Postby Momkate » Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:07 pm

Newly diagnosed with OSA, I've been experiencing similar symptoms. The anxiety that results from such symptoms doesn't help much, does it! I'm attributing it at the moment to dehydration and heat illness as I was outside a lot the week it started and was in an unusual schedule that upset my routine. I encourage you to look up heat exhaustion, heat illness, heat stroke, dehydration etc.--especially since pretty much the entire U.S. has been under a heat wave.

I should probably also mention that my grandmother had thyroid stuff going on... so maybe it's just my turn starting up. I drank Gatorade (or if you prefer a healthier, no food coloring version, try the pedialyte section of a pharmacy). That seemed to bring fast relief--which is what the heat illness info said would happen. I only wished I had figured that much out sooner! And it certainly could be the sugar in the drink too that was the pick-me-up. Proper sleep that week probably would've helped. I wouldn't too quickly rule out anemia either. Your doc sounds pretty helpful.

Postby dunetraveller » Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:01 am

Theresa, Have you had a recent CBC to check for anemia?

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check it

Postby merywidow » Thu Aug 09, 2007 9:01 am

Have you been checked for asthma? When you are short of breath do this simple test. Exhale as much as you can very quickly and if it's hard to exhale for the last part and is squeeky or breathy, could be asthma. Also, have you been checked for heart disease? Anxiety can also have those symptoms. Never heard of OSA with those symptoms.
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Postby Theresa » Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:28 am

Thanks for all of the replies. My doc has checked for anemia, all clear on that one. We have checked my lung function, good there too. I have been on b.p. meds since my daughter was born, which was in 1996. I'm wondering if the b.p. med, which works by slowing the heart rate, combined with the sleep apnea is what's doing it. I just thought that maybe someone had experienced that as well and it just isn't reported as a symptom yet, KWIM? I haven't started treating it yet, I just had the first sleep study. Doc has also checked my kidneys & liver function. The results from the thyroid study should be in this afternoon. So far everything else has checked out fine, I'm an otherwise healthy person. It just might be anxiety from not knowing exactly what's going on. I've never felt this lousy before in my life! I do think I'm lucky that my doc thought of checking for sleep apnea at such an early stage. I've been reading a lot on this board, and one thing I notice is the comments from folks that went years feeling this way without being diagnosed correctly. For that I am thankful!

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