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AF Association
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Sleep apnea with af

Has anyone got sleep apnea as well as af I have af and had a ablation 2013 and was great but the af returned August 2017 went back in hospital and now on meds but am being in the prosess of tests for sleep apnea as it makes my af worse all the stopping breathing and no sleep and can’t lie down because heart goes fast and get palpitations does anyone else experience this.x

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Sleep apnoea is a well know cause of AF but not everybody with AF has it.

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T agree. Very often they go together, My EP ordered a sleep study right away and yes I had sleep apnea.

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Yes - treated with CPAP - it is the one treatment Which improved QOL through improved sleep above anything else.

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Yes use cpap ep wouldn't do ablation until I did sleep test

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That is good news. It just means being wired up for one night, bit like a holter monitor. It takes a while to get used to CPAP but once you do - that first night of unbroken sleep and waking up and feeling energetic.........

Good luck.

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I agree. The test was a very pleasant experience for me. My hospitals sleep lab had rooms decorated like hotel rooms in stead of the usual hospital decor. Ans they had sleep number beds. I was a little late starting my test because I was playing with my sleep number remote to find the most comfortable mattress firmness. This was in 2011 and I've using my c-pap ever since. I don't go anywhere without my machine. I even take it to the hospital . Often their machines don't fit me or workas well. I guard mine. Set it upmyself and don't even let respiratory touch it. irina1975 (was a nurse for 49 years and I have no problem being pushy/assertive over issues important to me when I'm in the hospital.)

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What is CPAP please?

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Ricky M it is a forced air machine with you wearing a mask or nasal device to keep your airway open during sleep, prescribed after a sleep study reveals you have periods of lack of breathing. It sits at your bedside (a small machine with a hose and either a face mask or nose piece) Most insurances pays for it when you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, a very big factor possible in people with afib, which I do. I read 50 % of people with afib have it, I do not know. I had no idea that I stopped breathing 30 times per hour as I have never snored, my husband said, well you kinda of make this really deep heave with your chest. I am like, Hey I am freakn gasping for air I guess! Took a while to get used to the machine, but I feel more rested now that I am used to it. I slept fine before( I thought) but I was just used to being tired and pushed on Anyway, now much much more rested.

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Thanks Spoiler. That is both interesting and informative. How did they decide you needed a sleep survey.........just routine?

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Continuous Positive Air Pressure. GP can do a questionnaire which will indicate whether or not sleep study is indicated.

All provided by NHS - but you can buy machine privately. Circa £700.

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True!

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It is too early to report here but I have had sleep apnea issues (test negative) and am now working on breathing exercises and using a nasal strip plus higher pillows; the latter not just under the head which causes a worse airways kink but more pillows under the mattress to raise the shoulders as well. Just beginning to see signs of waking up feeling fresh.

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Thanks for posting this as I have "mild" sleep apnea (and AF & HF), but I just cannot stand the cpap masks. I've even tried the sleep nasal pillows and nothing works. I was told I had an option if I wanted to use a cpap and it should help, but I can't do it. So I'll try the nasal strips, but can you explain what you do for breathing exercises?

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Sure mbheart but before I get there remember its too early to say whether they bring any improvement.

Nasal strips (not my tip but credit to Bob) are definitely a help, second the pillows under the mattress are helpful (sorry forgot who to credit here with that tip), on a double bed I have 3 lots of 2 across the head of the bed.

Third the breathing exercises are to expand the muscles in my nostrils (just my idea). I started with just taking big six deep breaths x3 per day and now on my x2 a day walk I do regular snorts (without the cocaine!), say 6 in a row and then repeat every ten minutes. The plan is to see if this expands the airway at the top of the nose, my thinking being a small improvement could make a big difference to my breathing at night. Time will tell, in the meantime it certainly gives you body a boost of oxygen which can be no bad thing! Good luck and let us know what you find out.

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Thanks -- I might try these ideas

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My husband has permanent asymptomatic AF and also had asymptomatic sleep apnoea. I however was suffering with his sleep apnoea as I was worried and also got used to the snoring but woke when silence fell!! After 47 years of marriage finally got him to seek advice and he now has a CPAP machine which has helped ME enormously and as the spec nurse said, he has the advantage that he no longer needs to get up to pee during the night

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I have apnoea and have been using a CPAP for two years but don't seem to be getting the waking up refreshed feeling. Could I ask what machine other people are using are they automatic? I have also tried a full mask and nose mask I have tried discussing this at the sleep clinic but to be honest they are hopeless I have thought about trying to adjust the machine myself but I don't know weather its a good idea.

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Your physiologist should give you instruction as to which machine, pressure etc. They fit you with a test machine for about 4 weeks - use the readings from that to calibrate a machine for you. I had a 2 hour masterclass on use of machine with a 1:1 follow up for any difficulties. I went through several masks before I found one that worked for me.

I recently bought a mobile one for travelling & that is intelligent so works put what I need automatically & works more like BIPAP - ResMed AirSense Mini. You need a diagnosis before you can buy one yourself in UK - it’s VAT excempt then.

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Thank you for the info

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I had gone into the ER at Arkansas Heart Hospital in afib, they did a DC cardioversion, they put you to sleep for that. When I woke up the Dr came in and said I needed a sleep study because my breathing was abnormal, I was shocked, but my husband had one done after requesting it from his cardiologist. He also was diagnosed after wearing a holter monitor with afib. His is not advanced like mine. Mine is persistent.

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