Again (long but acurate by my experience)

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Posted by Brian K ( on April 27, 2001 at 18:11:31:

In Reply to: Does lack of ox. from sleep apnea cause or bring on Clusters? posted by wendy on April 27, 2001 at 04:27:35:

I know I've posted this before but for those who never read it:
I have had cluster headaches for 20 years, they started when I was between 14 and 15. They were not diagnosed until I was 29. At that time I started preventative medication daily (verapamil 240mg a day)and imitrex injections for abortive. In late 1998 I went through a sleep study because my wife suspected some form of apnea. Common symptoms (loud snoring, stop breathing and choking) I always awoke tired and used to find myself falling asleep in the afternoon (dangerous because I was on the road for work all day). My GP refered me to an Ear, Nose & Throat Dr. After explaining my situation to him he spoke with my wife and asked her for details. He recommended a sleep study after locating a large tumor on my adenoids (luckily benign). I went in for my sleep study and the results showed I had severe obstructive sleep apnea. Here are the details as taken off the report. I was studied for 7.1 hours and slept for 4.9, primarily due to a 1 hour awakening around midnight and another 1/2 hour at 4:30. My sleep efficiency index was 69.2%. The latency to stage 1 and 2 sleep were normal. The latency to slow wave and REM sleep were prolonged. There was a reduction in the percentage of REM sleep and an increase in the amount of stage 1 sleep. Overall there were 407 arousals of which 342 were due to respiratory events. No atypical EEG activity was noted. My respiratory disturbance index was 73. Apnea index was 35. Minimum oxygen saturation was 78.5%. For the entire night, there were 362 respiratory events. I spent almost 12% of the night below 90% saturation. Summary: Severely abnormal polysomnogram demonstrating obstructive sleep apne with oxygen desaturation and sleep disruption. OK, what do you do now I asked the doc. He stated surgery was my only real option, the cpap would not work for me due to the obstructions in sinus and throat. So, I had my tonsils and adenoids(tumor too)removed, additionally, my soft palate was trimmed up and my uvula removed, He also fixed my deviated septum. Having all of these things done was a pretty traumatic experience. I was in the hospital for 2 days and they wanted to keep me for more but I refused and said I was going home. I was in terrible pain for about 6 days. I couldn't eat, I couldn't even swallow water. They threatened to have me readmitted to keep me hydrated. I doubled up on the pain meds and forced myself to eat and drink again, afer about two weeks I felt a lot better. Well, I no longer have any signs of apnea. I am wide awake all day, I feel good. Oh yeah, the purpose of this story....I too thought that this would possibly help or cure my CH since O2 saturation seems to releive CH you would assume that a lack of O2 would cause them. Unfortunately, for me anyway, the absence of apnea has not helped my ch at all. I still get my usual episodes 2-3 times a year, although from Jan-April(one of my prime times) I only had 4 attacks spread out through the month.(very unusual for me as I usualy have 2-4 a day for 2-3 weeks, 2-3 times a year)and Like Bob said, my apnea was year round but my ch only episodic. Good Luck, I think if you get your Dr. to tell your insurance company that apnea may be present they will pay for the sleep study, severe apnea is life threatening and they don't want another lawsuit for refusing to pay to test you.

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