Hi Jenn and welcome to the hose head club!!
Many people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) don't snore. That unfortunate stereotype keeps many people from being properly diagnosed while their health continues to deteriorate. You are following in the path of many people with OSA before you. The ASAA has many purposes, educate the public, which we do a fine job here, educate medical professionals, help formulate and put into place guidelines and policies. I hope that you will pay it forward and do your part to help educate your peers and regular folks that you might come across. You could play a part in literally saving lives. I was dismissed and discounted by medical professionals for about 7 years before I was properly diagnosed. I was having severe sleep disturbances and depression and my psychiatrist hounded my physicians until I got a sleep study. Now it is one of my lifes’s missions to try to help others from having the same fate.
Many people think sleep apnea is just about feeling fatigued, but here are some of the effects of untreated OSA:
The effects of untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are severe and systemic. Some of them are; increased blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack and stroke (from the constant cycling in and out of hypoxia and increased blood pressure), heart arrhythmias, nocturia (because the increased pressure in the right heart ventricle makes the body think there is too much blood volume so urine is produced), headaches (especially in the morning and probably due to hypoxia), fatigue (duh), memory and concentration problems, weight gain (sleep deprivation causes weight gain for several physiological reasons, one being the alteration of the hormones leptin and ghrelin), apnea induced seizures, there is a link to diabetes, there is a link to GERD, night sweats, depression, anxiety (each apneic event is a true suffocation and elicits the "Fight or Flight" adrenalin response), Fibromyalgia-like symptoms, impotence, decreased libido, relationship and job issues, car accidents, etc.
Also, keep in mind that there is no stereotypical OSA patient. There are men and women, thin and thick, old and young (see our pediatric forum), fit and not so fit. And, in one study of 405 men and women OSA patients, 30% did not even snore.
There is much research in the area of sleep apnea. If you go to PubMed and put in “Obstructive Sleep Apnea” you will pull up 15526 papers. Also, if you go to the interesting links section, you can read a sampling of some of these papers and abstracts under “The Metabolic and Cardiovascular Effects of OSA”.
You were moaning because you are being truly suffocated. Many people have what I call “apnea dreams” where they dream someone is trying to hurt them or other kinds of nightmares as their bodies try to reconcile what is happening to them as they sleep.
You said your apnea is severe, so weight loss will typically lower the pressure required to keep your airway open (sometimes it increases it), but you most likely will not cure your apnea. Weight loss seems to cure OSA in cases of mild apnea when the weight gain caused it to begin with.
Keep asking questions and posting your progress. It is a new twist in our lives for everyone here and we are all on equal footing.
Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
Marilyn Vos Savant
That which does not kill you makes you stronger-Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich must of had apnea.