Sunday, November 6, 2011

How many apneic episodes equal sleep apnea?

Before I went to my first sleep study I had no idea if I had sleep apnea or not. My wife thought that something was wrong because my snoring was very loud and strange sounding, more like a grunt than the typical sound of someone snoring. At the time I knew little about sleep apnea other than the fact that it keep you up most of night, and making you feel exhausted during the day. One of the first things that I found out about this sleeping disorder was that the number of times that you wake up from it is a good indicator of how bad your sleep apnea is.
At the sleep study you are attached to many wires that record many things regarding your sleep. One of the main issues is how many times that you will awake in a given hour. This is referred to as apneic episodes, which happen after your breathing stops and you gasp for air which triggers you awake.
If you have had 5 to 15 apneic episodes than your sleep apnea is considered in the mild range, if the number of episodes 15 to 30 then it is considered moderate whereas 30 episodes is severe. I can’t remember what my number was but I believe that it was in the high range.
Of course at a sleep study they check quite a few things out but the number of apneic episodes is one of the most telling findings.
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