Brian James wrote:I just had a sleep study and got done talking with a pulmonary specialist about my results. My symptoms are caused by my asthma, and during the sleep study I only averaged about 7 hypopneas per hour.
However, my oxygen saturation dropped to 72% at one point during the evening. All told, my oxygen saturation was in the 70-80% range for 4 minutes and the 80-90% range for 4 minutes. There was one 2 minute twenty second period of time where my oxygen saturation was below 90%. He told me that I needed to be fitted with a cpap machine if I wanted further therapy, but that mine was only a mild case.
I was wondering if anyone can help me since I didn't have a chance to ask these questions to my doctor. What are the consequences of having your oxygen saturation in the 70-80% range for 3 minutes throughout an evening? I understand that below 90% is considered hypoxemia, so isn't it dangerous if the oxygen saturation is 72%, even for a short period of time? Do people without "sleep apnea" have occassional decreases in their oxygen saturation to below 90%? Any help would be much appreciated.
I realize that my case is mild compared to most, but I figured that since my apneas are caused by bronchospasms, maybe the number of hypopneas aren't as much a concern as the very low oxygen saturation. 2 minutes seemed like a long, continuous period of time to be below 90%, but maybe it's more common than I realize, or less dangerous. Either would be refreshing.
Thanks in advance to anyone that offers help.
I think you have a good idea of your situation. The AHI index of 7 is just into mild apnoea (mild starts at 5 and goes to 14). The desaturations are a concern and must be rectified. There could well be a link with your asthma.
Ongoing desaturations effect your brain, as it needs oxygen to function............it will alsp effect your heart as the brain will instruct it to beat faster as soon as it gets starved of oxygen..........this, at a time when your heart should be 'resting' is not good.
Did you get a copy of your sleep report ? It is a good idea as it gives you a baseline from which to move forward.
As regards cpap, I would suggest that you rent one for a few months. An APAP machine with data card might be a good idea. My reasons.........with your asthma you might not be able to tolerate cpap and may require an ongoing adjustment (APAP) or even BiPAP. You should discuss this with your doctor as it is important to get the right equipment.