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Mild vs. Moderate vs. Severe

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Mild vs. Moderate vs. Severe

Postby dkdc » Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:14 am

On the AHI scale I am mild with near 14. But realistically I might as well be moderate, it seems. I need to stop saying I am mild.

Anyone else have issues with the large spread within each category?

I suppose that isn't the only stat the docs look at - but my results said "mild - xpap may not be any help" (more or less)

This idea just occurred to me - and it is late - I may not be making much sense.

I have to wait yet another week till I even get an rx for a machine. Each step takes about a month.
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Postby darlindeb » Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:37 am

My sleep doctor told me he doesn't believe in mild, moderate, or severe...if you have sleep apnea, you have it. It's like being pregnant, you either are, or you aren't, you can't be a "little bit" pregnant.

He says even if you have low AHI, you may have other problems, which I do, I have low oxygen levels, and insomnia, which all factor in.
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Re: Mild vs. Moderate vs. Severe

Postby Daniel » Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:25 am

dkdc wrote:On the AHI scale I am mild with near 14. But realistically I might as well be moderate, it seems. I need to stop saying I am mild.

Anyone else have issues with the large spread within each category?

I suppose that isn't the only stat the docs look at - but my results said "mild - xpap may not be any help" (more or less)

This idea just occurred to me - and it is late - I may not be making much sense.

I have to wait yet another week till I even get an rx for a machine. Each step takes about a month.


I am inclined to agree with 'darlindeb'. If you have OSA, you have it. Your AHI may be only 14 or even 10......but with that you have OSA.

It is possible to have mild apnoea, but very severe symptoms.....such as EDS and low O2 sats. It is equally possible to have severe apnoea, with a relatively normal (say above 90%) O2 sats and little EDS.

Everything depends on how YOUR OSA effects you. To say that XPAP may not be any help is one strange comment.

It's your health, you do have OSA, you will have to ensure that it gets treated.............otherwise it will deteriorate.

Best of luck.

Daniel.
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Postby Linda » Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:26 am

I think darlindeb's sleep doc is wise.

I wince every time I see "mild" listed on a sleep study interpretation (I work in the office of a sleep lab). I will be asked to schedule patients to return for a titration. The patients often ask for specifics about their first sleep study. I usually look at the sleep study report before calling to schedule the titration. If the report says "mild," I won't say that to the patient. I know that the patient may think that "mild" means they don't have to be treated. If I know they're listed as "very mild" and they're reluctant to be titrated, I will schedule them to meet with our sleep specialist, a pulmonologist.

It's a vague scale, and often overused. And the scale varies slightly from lab to lab. Plus you can be "mild" overall, yet "severe" during REM or while sleeping on your back. Plus other factors describe your condition. A person with an AHI of 10 but averages 20 seconds an apnea when they're not breathing might be a little worse off than someone with an AHI of 10 but averages 10 seconds of not breathing. Plus, there's how long you likely had the condition, the levels of blood oxygen, and of course your symptoms. And, your untreated sleep apnea may have affected your heart and other health areas, for which struggling with a mild apnea is still serious.

I suspect the scale was used in part to flag those who are very severe, ones who are in more of an immediate danger, a kind of comparative thing. But as was said, whether mild, moderate, or severe .... it's still sleep apnea. Personally, I hate the term "sleep apnea" because it's misleading. It's not a sleep disorder.... it's a respiratory disorder (it just happens during sleep). Which sounds worse to you -- a sleep disorder or a respiratory disorder? So if you stop breathing a little or a lot, it's not good to be not breathing!

Don't get hung up by the scale descriptions; concentrate on your symptoms and your health.


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Postby CrohnieToo » Sun Jul 19, 2009 11:04 am

Oooh, Linda. I hate OSA being called a respiratory disorder as I hate to give the RRT association ANY fuel at all in the fight to horn in on sleep testing w/o training and their crying and whining that they might have to PAY for that training. An RRT is no more qualified than I am to run a PSG w/o the proper education and training.

And I sure can't say the RRTs I've met at the local DME supplier's are any too impressive w/their knowledge of the xPAPs they set up and provide to us.

Don't misunderstand! I have COPD. I have a healthy respect for a good RRT - when they stick to what they've been trained and eduated to do - and that AIN'T running PSGs!!!! Or for that matter even understanding xPAPs w/o some education and training. Just because they are an RRT doesn't mean they know diddley-squat about a CPAP!!!!!
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