Have Your Symptoms Improved Using a CPAP for Sleep Apnea?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Jeanette62, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. Jeanette62

    Jeanette62 New Member

    I had a sleep study a few weeks ago and just got the results in the mail. The study showed I have obstructive sleep apnea (severe). The recommendations of the sleep study are a trial of a CPAP machine.

    Since this is suppose to improve sleep and improved sleep should improve my energy. Since I will then be able to reach the deeper stages of sleep will my muscle tissues heal as a result so my pain will eventually decrease?

    Has anyone here experienced decreased pain as a result of improved sleep from the CPAP use?

  2. Musica

    Musica New Member

    I don't believe CPAPs guarantee deeper sleep, but certainly at least not having your breathing stopped and being "woken up" by your brain should help. However, you might still need meds to help Stage IV sleep, depending on the results.

    I am still getting used to mine, but I can't say I have had pain relief. Whether or not it helps with pain, sleep apnea can cause heart failure and stroke, so for those effects alone, it is worth pursuing treatment.

  3. tmckopper

    tmckopper New Member

    I am unable to tolerate my mask, but I keep trying. I don't think it helps with fibro. I hope your insurance will pay for the cpap, it is very expense. I keep trying different mask and hope one day I will be able to use the cpap all night. Good luck with yours!!
  4. JLH

    JLH New Member

    I sleep with a CPAP because I also have obstructive sleep apnea.

    I do sleep much better; however, it really hasn't decreased my pain level or fatigue. But, I have a lot of medical problems that cause pain and fatigue and all of my meds cause fatigue.

    My obstructive sleep apnea is what caused me to go into congestive heart failure. That was good enough reason for me to stick with it whether or not it helped my pain level!

  5. JLH

    JLH New Member

    There is a blue "gel" mask that is great. I have one of just abut every kind of mask that they make--and I like the soft blue gel mask the best!!

    My insurance will pay for a new mask about every 4 months or so (they are all different), so every time I was eligible for a new mask, I would try a different type until I found which one I like the best!!

  6. Jeanette62

    Jeanette62 New Member

    Hi Musica,

    I do plan on pursuing treatment for the health reasons you mentioned (heart, stroke), I was just hoping it might help clear up some of the fibro symptoms too.

    As far as meds: do you mean depending on the results of using the CPAP or results of the sleep study? During my sleep study it showed I got sleep during stage 3/4 of 57 min., but REM stage had 0 min. Do you think that meant I got stage 4 sleep or is REM considered stage 4? They did give me an Ambien so that may have affected the stage 3/4 results.

    So far I haven't responded well to the first 2 meds my doc has tried for the sleep. Both have caused racing heart beats. I've been tapering off the Amitriptyline and I'm down to 6mg and the racing heart beat is better, but not gone yet.

    My appt. with the doctor to go over the results isn't until Nov.23. unless they get a cancellation. That's a long time to wait to get my questions answered.

    Thanks for everyone's input.

  7. Jeanette62

    Jeanette62 New Member

    Thanks for the info about the blue gel mask. I'll ask the doc about it at the appt.

    I have a PPO insurance plan and I've had so many medical tests this year that right now the insurance has been paying everything at 100%. Hopefully for medical equip. it falls under the same deductable and the doctors office gets it processed before the end of the year.

    Thanks again for everyone's helpful comments and suggestions.

  8. orachel

    orachel New Member

    I just found out I have upper airway restriction today also! Weird coincidence. Also, I'm waking up 40x per hour. They're starting me on CPAP the 1st of next month.

    I was just PRAYING that this would cause a DRASTIC improvement in the severity of my pain and fatigue...it made sense that it would, as right now I'm getting way too little rem sleep (which affects cognition) and almost no deep sleep (which is when tissues regenerate)...I figured if they improved, my brain fog and pain would get better also.

    They also want me to have a surgery to remove excess throat tissue such as tonsils, adenoids, and uvula...and whatever else they find back there, I guess! LOL I'm terrified about this, as I've heard so many horror stories about people never recovering from a surgery once fibro is symptomatic.

    Oh well...will be optomistic and hope for the best still...but the fact that not one of you said it made a big difference is a little disheartening, to say the least! LOL

    And thanks for the Blue Gel Mask tip! I"m claustrophobic, so I might need the in the nose mask instead of the over the face mask....but will definitely check it out!

  9. Musica

    Musica New Member

    REM (dreaming) is actually Stage V, and Stage III/IV is the healing stage of sleep. My rheumy has done studies with Requip and Mirapex, both of which are used for Restless Legs but not approved yet for fibro. As with anything, they seem to help some people, but not others. The purpose of these meds is supposed to be helping to keep you in Stage IV, as so often in fibro as soon as you reach Stage IV the brain arouses you out of it so you don't get the healing, refreshing sleep.

    I use the Swift nasal pillows. I like it because there is less on my face and it is very easy to take off. I think most insurance allow a new mask about every 3 months. Mine actually allows it "as necessary", but it can get expensive to try a lot of different ones. Have you had the titration part of the study, where they have you sleep with a mask? When I went in, I was given 4 different ones to try BEFORE I went to bed, so I could see what I liked and get used to it ahead of time. I liked the blue gel mask, as well, but couldn't get used to having so much on my face. I hope you find something that works for you; it can take several months to start getting used to, then even longer to be compliant on a regular basis (wearing it 4 hours or more). I'm still getting there, so have patience with it! I was given a small prescription for Ambien to help me sleep with the CPAP.

    Good luck, the health benefits are worth the struggle, especially if it your energy is increased and your pain is decreased. Since poor sleep can certainly contribute to pain, hopefully better sleep helps some people to actually feel better and you will be one of those!
    [This Message was Edited on 11/07/2005]
  10. CAAnnieB

    CAAnnieB New Member

    Hi Jeanette,

    I'm going to bed now...To get all hooked up to my CPAP machine! Will write more in the A.M., but "yes", the CPAP treatment has improved ALL my symptoms!(First 2 weeks was dramatic in my improvement.) Now, I would never sleep without it.

    Nighty Night!

    Swoosh swoosh! (For those who are already on CPAPs!)

    "Hosehead" Annie or "Snuffleupagus", as my hubby calls me!
  11. rigby

    rigby New Member

    My cpap has not helped me. Have had it about a year. I just stopped using it as I still had head aches and fatigue. Was hard to sleep not that comfortable even with different masks. Sharon
  12. meditationlotus

    meditationlotus New Member

    Kept making me sick. I would just start to feel better from more sleep, and then I would get what seemed like the flu.

    The sleep lab said I may need a heated humidifier,and I now don't have health insurance.

    They told I could try putting a sleeping pad under my humidifier, but to be careful because THIS COULD START A FIRE.

    I hope to try this soon. I think a good nights sleep could to do much to help me. Hope it works.
  13. rbecca47

    rbecca47 New Member

    I don't beleave cpap helps with pain. I have had my cpap now for about four months. I find it helps with the apnea, but as far as a deep sleep, no way. I still wake up exhausted, like a ran a marathon. But I saw my pulmonary doc. yesterday.And he stated the my fibro, will cause sleep deprevation. And the only thing he recomends on that is less stress. (oh yeah right) Any way some people have had great results with cpap. We are all individuals, and react different to medical things
    I wish you all the luck with cpap, hugs to you
  14. ChungieDolor

    ChungieDolor New Member

    Hello Jeanette.

    I have had my cpap for a few years now. I have mild Obstuctive sleep apnea. Went through a few different masks since I am a very light sleeper. I also have to throw my husband out every so often since he snores like a train! Ear plugs do not work unfortunately, so we snuggle for a couple of hours and he goes to the other bed room. We have gotten used to this routine.

    Anyways back to the cpap. I have a mask that is like a tube that one wears at the hospital for oxygen. Just a thick tube with 2 inserts for your nasal passages. The Rt told me is was called "angel" and that it is probably better then all of those alien looking ones. However, some people do need those bigger masks.

    Still, I have not gotten used to the nang thing because it is noisy, and the cool air bothers me. I do have the humidifier as well. Will probably have to look into a warmer, if there is one? By the way, I also sleep on my side. And most docs will tell you if you are overweight, to lose some, which could help.

    Heck, I put a lot of weight on after the surgery in 98, and it is double trouble to get if off especially as you age, I also like sweets. Those are my excuses whether they are valid or not. I have lost some weight but it takes me a long time. I know sugar and fms are not good for eachother.

    You may have a different outcome with the cpap, since a few docs think fms comes from sleep deprivation. Who knows. I started getting sick w/this dd after gall bladder surgery. No more surgeries for me unless I have to. Trauma to the body did not help, and probably due to a very stressful job at the time. I hope it goes well for you!

    [This Message was Edited on 11/08/2005]
  15. Jeanette62

    Jeanette62 New Member

    Thanks for everyone's helpful input, I really appreciate it. It seems like everyone has a different experience. I do know I will stick it out as well since heart disease and stroke run on both sides of my family. I'm sure my grandmother must have had sleep apnea and she died from a stroke and had heart problems. At least I'll know of different options to ask about for the different masks at my appt. I wish more of you had better sleep and energy as a result and that it improved your pain levels. Looks like I may still have to do something to work on improving stage 4 sleep.

    They did have me use the CPAP machine for about 3 hours during the sleep study and showed me 4 different masks I could try. The one I tried was clear and fit over the nose and mouth. When they came in during the night to put it on, I went right back to sleep. The Ambien knocked me out until aprox 430am and then I layed there trying to go back to sleep until they came in to wake me up just before 6am. I still felt tired and groggy and ended up with a migraine that day despite the coffee they gave me.

    During the sleep study there was no sign of my restless leg problem either. I felt like I was in a straight jacket because not only was I hooked up to so many wires, but the sheet and comforter were tucked in very tight. No wonder I couldn't move my legs. I do remember as I tried to get to sleep wanting to move and not being able to because I felt so confined. At home I don't tuck in my sheet or blanket at night so I can move easier. I have my own blanket and my husband has his because I move so much I disturb him. I should have asked for help and had them loosen it all up, but the tech was busy for the next hour or longer checking in the next person and by then I fell asleep from the Ambien.

    Thanks Again,

    Have a great evening,

  16. AndieE

    AndieE New Member

    I hate my cpap!!! But.........I continue to try to keep it on at night because I know that I have to if I want to avoid heart problems. I do not think it affects my pain one way or another. All I do know for sure is that when I do get a good night, when I have gotten 6 hours or more of sleep with it on, I feel so much better and rested in the morning. Good Luck, Jeanette!