Sleep Apnea and Atrial Fibrillation

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Sleep Apnea and Atrial Fibrillation

Postby mesocosm » Sat Jun 18, 2005 11:32 pm

Here are some links to some recent articles about the association of atrial fibrillation and sleep apnea. Medical science is beginning to connect the dots between these two conditions.

http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content ... /110/4/364

http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content ... 25994.21v1

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/ ... _114819649

http://www.nature.com/ncpcardio/journal ... o0027.html

http://www.heartinfo.org/ms/news/520060/main.html

http://www.lifeclinic.com/healthnews/ar ... ory=513397

http://www.meridianhealth.com/index.cfm ... ug0504.cfm

http://www.healthfinder.gov/news/newsst ... cID=520060

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/health/bri ... 041007.htm

If you have atrial fibrillation for no apparent reason, ask to see a sleep disorder specialist. I had atrial fib for 5 years before my doctors pointed me to a sleep specialist.
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Postby musiclover » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:28 pm

Did using CPAP "cure" your atrial fib? I've been using it since I first got AF and even had another sleep study and had my pressure changed and I'm still having episodes of AF.
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Postby mesocosm » Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:04 pm

musiclover --

I have only had one episode of AFib since I started CPAP in May of 2005. It occurred one night when I tried a new masked and I ended up pulling the thing off. I use the Hybrid mask now and things are much improved.

From Feb of 2000 until Feb of 2005, I had 5 episodes of AFib. The sixth time (after starting CPAP that mentioned above) happened in Mar of 2006. The first four times I self-converted and the other two times my doctor converted me with a drug called rythmol (sp?). They never had to "shock" me back to a normal heartbeat.
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Postby musiclover » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:09 pm

mesocosm - thanks for your reply. Your original post was a long time ago so I didn't know if you'd see mine.
I really think that my sleep apnea has a lot to do with my a-fib. The morning I woke up in a-fib this time, I'd had a bad night on CPAP because I was getting a cold and my nose was stuffed up and I remember waking up coughing a couple of times so I think that may have triggered this episode, not being able to breathe right. I hadn't had one in 6 mos, since my new sleep study and my pressure got lowered from 13 to 8. I did the new sleep study because I was having more episodes of a-fib and I thought that maybe the pressure was too high for me (I had lost about 25 pounds). And I think that was what was happening. And now this is interesting, I went back into normal rhythm today, on my own, after 12 days. Last night I taped my mouth shut with surgical paper tape because my chin strap wasn't keeping my mouth shut and I think I was having leaks. So I got a great night on CPAP and went out of a-fib. Hmmmm...

I had my first episode of a-fib in Dec 2005, right after I had a hysterctomy and the nurses all asked me if I had sleep apnea because my oxygen was always low when I was sleeping. That prompted me to have a sleep study done. I had no more episodes in 2006 but then last year I got 3 in a row - April and 2 in Sept, which prompted me to have another sleep study. Then nothing for 6 mos till now. I've always been converted with meds after about 3 days. This was the first time I was left to go on my own. Thank goodness I don't have to have cardioversion now! That was really stressing me out.

I think it's a tricky thing, finding the right mask, pressure etc. I'm going to check into the hybrid. I just ordered the Mirage Swift II so I'm going to try that one. I've been using the Fisher-Paykel nasal mask and it's actually been working well - as long as I can keep my mouth shut!
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Postby mesocosm » Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:56 pm

musiclover,

It took me a over a year and a half to find the right mask. If you are a serious mouth breather (like me), then you should give the hybrid a try. It doesn't sit across the bridge of your nose like some of the others. It uses nasal pillows but it completely covers your mouth... so you never have to tape your mouth shut. You get the same effect whether your mouth is open or closed. Dry mouth can be a problem at first, but after a while you get to where it is not as bad. It took me several weeks to get it fully "tuned up" the way I like it. The first version had terrible headgear, but they have since corrected that problem.

I am on CPAP with C-Flex at 15 cm H20 pressure. My C-Flex drop is set at 3 and I have a heated humidifier... it is a must for a mouth breather. Some Full face masks leak terribly at pressures > 12. The hybrid leaks a little now and again at 15cm... but once you tinker with the straps on the headgear for a few nights, you can usually get it stopped.

Best part is... NO AFIB!!!
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Postby musiclover » Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:44 pm

Well you have given me hope! Thank you!

I am definitely a mouth breather and now I wish I'd ordered the Hybrid instead of the Swift. Maybe they will let me exchange it if I don't open it and use it. I looked at the Hybrid online and I really think it may be a good one for me so I'm going to order it. It looks really comfortable. And I don't ever want to have issues with a stuffy nose again and possibly go into a-fib again, if it is caused by that.

I'm a side sleeper - do you think it will work okay with that?

I have my cflex set at 3 also. And a heated humidifier too. I thought a pressure of 13 was high. I can't imagine being at 15. Going down to an 8 made a big difference for me. Do you use oxygen with it too? My first mask was a full face and at the 13 pressure, I couldn't get the leaks to stop. That's how I ended up trying the nasal with the chin strap and then just using tape over my mouth. I really don't like doing that. I'm really excited about trying the Hybrid.

That's awesome that you don't have a-fib anymore. Cross your fingers that it works as well for me! Thanks again!
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Postby mesocosm » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:21 am

I sleep on my side and it works fairly well. I won't say that it is excellent on your side, but it is better than any of the others that I have tried.

No, I do not use oxygen.

There are a bunch of reviews about the Hybrid on this forum and most folks love it, but there are folks that hate it also. Those are worth reading if you can find them. You should be able to do a search for "Hybrid."

I have found that in the treatment of OSA (& AFib), knowledge is everything! The DME companies aren't going to educate you about the equipment. They want to sell you the cheapest piece of junk so they can get the highest payout from your insurance. The doctors and therapists do a good job about educating you on the disease, but they don't often know all the latest gadgets, masks, etc. I have found the information on this forum to be very useful in helping me treat my OSA. This particular disease is one that you have to be knowledgeable about and proactive about.

Best wishes to you and let me know if I can help! There are alot of folks that are in the OSA "club" but only a few of us in the "OSA/AFib" Club. I know what you are going through! Let me know how it works out with the hybrid mask.
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Postby LaPopessa » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:24 pm

It was while trying to figure out my afib problem that doctor ended up sending me to a sleep study & discovering the apnea. (I was never sleepy during the day, so didn't think about it).

I have had afib episodes since being on CPAP (8 months on so far), but am hoping that this will eventually help them to go away.
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Postby musiclover » Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:02 pm

Mesocosm, My journey with sleep apnea has been a lonely one, till I found a couple of webites like this one. DME companies DEFINITELY are of no help. It's great to be able to share with other CPappers and get feedback and advice.

I got my Mirage Swift II and have slept a couple nights with it and I really like it but it doesn't solve the mouth breathing problem. The thing I like about it is that I don't have to deal with any leaks at all but it's going to take some getting used to the nasal pillows.

I ordered the Hybrid and got it a couple days ago and tried to fit it to myself last night and I ended up getting a little frustrated. I think the large mouth part is best for me but even then I was getting leaks if I moved my mouth a certain way. I did try to lay on my side with it and it actually will work really for me if I can get it fitted right. I'm going to try it again tonight so cross your fingers! Any tips you've found helpful will be greatly appreciated!

LaPopessa, I hope CPAP solves your afib also - for all of us!
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