• 6 months ago

    Low SP02 During CPAP Therapy

    Diagnosed with Sleep Apnea (complex - obstructive / central), I had my tonsils removed in hopes that would remedy my situation. It did help reduce my AHI from 50's to mid-20's, but my sleeping has not improved and I continue to wake up throughout the night and feel fatigued in the morning, day and night. I've lost my mental sharpness and have become very irritable which has taken its toll on me personally and professionally.

    So I did an experiment in an effort to narrow down the scope of what is causing my issues. I live in Colorado and wondered if altitude was an influencer. I recently travelled to Mexico on vacation and thought I would test my Oxygen levels between two drastic elevations (6300ft and Sea Level).

    I didn't notice a difference in my sleep per se, but I did wake up much easier and with much more energy, unlike at home. What is interesting is that while I was at sea level, my SPO2 levels seem normal, hardly ever dropping below 90% (less than 1% of the time). However when at altitude, my SPO2 falls below 90%, which totalled 50 - 70% of my sleep time. See visualization (bar chart)

    My doctor wanted to put me on oxygen but of course insurance denied it (...to be continued). I'm considering if I need to move to lower altitude in order to get better sleep or if my sleep apnea and low SPO2 is a symptom of a much larger issue. I feel like I have to manage my own health because my Primary and Sleep Specialist want to treat the symptoms and not the issue.

    Any thoughts or insights?