Sleep Apnea after concussion?: Hi All. I had... - Sleep Matters

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Sleep Apnea after concussion?

Bb1878 profile image
Bb1878

Hi All. I had an accident around 6 months ago when I was knocked unconscious after a head injury. I've since had a number of different issues e.g fatigue, headaches, vision problems, tinnitus, amongst others (ive posted on other forums about those). One of the more recent issues I've been having is serious sleep problems, I used to sleep soundly (my wife always said i could sleep standing up). Not anymore. I struggle to get to sleep now, and when I do drop off the sleep is 'different' than it used to be, sleep quality is awful, its like a bad trip (not that ive ever done that). I'm out cold now, literally unconscious (I used to be a fairly light sleeper before this) and when I wake up (which is multiple times a night) I have severe headaches, dry mouth, racing heart rate usually, and just feel rotten, feels like I've not been breathing in enough air, its that feeling. I've also woken up on occasions fighting for my breath, which has been extremely frightening. I've started sleeping on my side, propped up a little, which seems to help a little with breathing better. Reading the posts and other resources I think I probably now have sleep apnea to add to the list. Does anybody else suffer with this? And if so do you have any of the other symptoms also? I'm at my wits end now with all this, just seems never ending. Any advice appreciated. Thanks.

9 Replies

Hi Bb1878 I had a Heart Attack in April 2020 and ever since then i have suffered the same as you, i spoke to my GP and all she could suggest was to try a web site called Sleepio.com it is quite helpful and you keep a sleep diary and it suggests some exercises to do. I also spoke to my Cardiac Nurse and she arranged for me to have a sleep Apnea test at home and my score for that was 15 and the Specialist said he did not believe that i need to use the oxygen mask to help me sleep but he did suggest i tried "slep Pro" it looks like a gum shield but it did not work for me, i am now waiting for my next appointment to see what he suggests next.

Bb1878 profile image
Bb1878 in reply to Andy_c

Hi Andy_c. Thanks for your reply. Sorry to hear about your heart attack, I hope you are recovering well. I've been undergoing various heart checks as part of my treatment, so far I've had ecg, chest xray and various blood tests, all have come back normal. I've got an echo on 12 april so hopefully will find out more then. Thanks for the info on that website, and sleep aids - I will check that out. I didnt know you could get a home sleep apnea test, will ask my doc about that. Many Thanks and all the best.

Catsamaze profile image
Catsamaze in reply to Bb1878

The at-home sleep study is noninvasive and fairly easy to do, Bb1878. Going over the results with a doctor who is a sleep specialist can really help you get to the bottom of your sleep problem. Good luck and please keep us posted on how you’re doing.......

Bb1878 profile image
Bb1878 in reply to Catsamaze

Hi Catsamaze, thanks for the reply. I am definitely going to look into this, do u know if this at home sleep study can be requested via your gp or would need to go private? Cheers

Catsamaze profile image
Catsamaze in reply to Bb1878

Your GP can order it......

Bb1878 profile image
Bb1878 in reply to Catsamaze

Great - thanks for that

Catsamaze profile image
Catsamaze in reply to Bb1878

Sure thing....

Hi Bb1878 - over the years I suspected I stopped breathing during the night but never put it down to apnea being at play.I was born with genetic heart defect & thought it was related to that.

Alas I mentioned to my Dr several times over the years that I felt I could stop breathing at night - she did not take it further.

I self referred to a Sleep Centre - results from wearing a monitor through night revealed that I stop breathing on average 19 times - I am not overweight, do not smoke nor drink so never fitted profile for such.

It is hereditary (my later Father had this) and my sleep now is hugely altered on a CPAP machine - I usually wake far more refreshed.

Suggest you have a sleep study carried out to get answers - good luck ~

Bb1878 profile image
Bb1878 in reply to Megams

Hi Megams

Thanks for your reply. I suspect I do have sleep apnea also, but my gp hasn't taken it further either, to be fair tho I've had that many other issues at the same time it's not surprising. I'm not overweight, dont drink (anymore - complete intolerance to alcohol since my accident) and dont smoke. I used to be quite fit before this, regularily running 5k 3 or 4 times a week, i can barely manage a brisk walk anymore.

I'll checkout that private sleep clinics option , thanks for that and great to hear your condition has improved with the CPAP machine, hopefully I can get one of those once I can get a proper diagnosis. Many thanks and best wishes.

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