Sleep Apnoea Forum Bringing Help + Support to the Patient

Hi all, I'm new to the forums. I'm trying to get treated for years of suffering. Thus far, no doctor has referred me for a sleep study. 

Basically because I don't fit the stereotypical apnea sufferer, I'm slim, I'm not older, I don't fall asleep whilst watching television and I don't snore. 

But, I have a very large tongue, a thick neck for my size and I regularly wake up snorting, I can't fall asleep on back back due to obstruction. 

I also do feel like I desperately want to sleep and want to shut my eyes I just don't spontaneously fall asleep. I go up to bed for a nap instead. 

Last doctor I've been seeing said no to referral, I don't fit. I am going to a new doctor on Monday to try again, this time armed with the results of a sleepview sleep study, same one that's on this site.

I am hoping that is enough for the doctor to feel a sleep study is warranted. The result was a AHI of 24. 

Only every time I go to a new doctor they want to start with the same things I've already had done a billion times, iron test & nose spray. 

Does anyone have any links to information that could backup my case? I've seen that in the American criteria, it says sleepiness OR insomnia. And I have heard a statistic that 40% of Apnea sufferers are not overweight. But I can't find UK guidelines, not a reliable source of statistics that won't get me the look of  "Don't believe everything you read of the internet".

Thanks for any advice.

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Hi Zachery and welcome (I did send you an email a few minutes ago). I'm sorry to hear you're struggling to get a diagnosis and you shouldn't have to prove that many of us are not overweight yet still have sleep apnoea (I'm not and mine's severe). In fact if you look at our charity website at the patient stories you'll see that none of the people on there are the 'typical' sleep apnoea sufferer!! http://www.hope2sleep.co.uk/patient-stories.html

Take the results from the SleepView with you to the GP and insist you get referred to your local sleep clinic, and perhaps refuse to leave the office until he/she agrees!!  Good luck on Monday and let us know how it goes.

Thank you Kath. Now I'm more confident that I sleep study is warranted, I'm going to push a lot harder. I'll give a update after Monday.

Hi Zackary, you can say to the doctor that you feel sleepy when driving during the day. This will guaranty you the sleep study. I highly doubt that you don't feel some desire for taking a nap while driving if you really have sleep apnoea.

Hi Milen, I never learnt to drive. Every time I went out to practice I felt like I wasn't alert enough to be safe. Particularly after two mistakes that could have caused a crash if I was unlucky.

I saw on a thread, I think on here, the recommendation to score in terms of how much you want to sleep rather then your likelihood of actually doing it.

Zackary, my sleep apnoea is caused by side effect of sinus surgery - my soft tissue in the throat got more swollen after the surgery. I lived for a year without realizing this because I didn't experience any sleep desire during the day. Even after it was confirmed after the mentioned 1 year period during an after-surgery 3D X-ray scan I still didn't took care because I didn't feel any sleep problems. Only after another half a year I started experiencing all sleep apnoea side effects. Unfortunately during this time I was relocating to different countries so I decided to postpone the exam. This mistake cause me the following - gaining 25 kilos on my already overweight body, increase in my blood pressure and heart rate, pre-diabetes diagnose and practically sleep-living through the day + 12-15 hours of sleeping during the weekends.

So I suggest you to take the sleep study no matter what. 

I appreciate the word of warning - I will definitely make sure I get a sleep study soon. Really, I should have pushed harder for a sleep study a long time ago. It's not so easy to do when you don't feel up to battling the doctor or even going to an appointment. If it turns out the screener is correct, then I could have avoided many years of suffering. Fortunately, I don't think I have any health complications at this point - but your reply warns me that I shouldn't delay.

I hope that you are OK but still better to check it in advance as sleep apnoea is very nasty, the symptoms could be hard to discover and even after discovering them it could be hard to relate. To tell you the truth I think that NHS must include this as regular 1 year exam, if not the full one at least they should give you a finger oxygen meter or something like that for a night.

It seems to me it would be much cheaper for heath centres to have a home screener - in the long run...

I agree Zackary, and it would be good for GP's to have them then they would know who needs referring to a sleep clinic.

Update. The doctor I saw was very good and referred me immediately, no questions asked. So if anyone else is in the same boat, get a sleep screener.

In fact any one reading this who has any suspicion of sleep apnea or suffers from fatigue even when you don't snore, are not over weight and no one has told them you that you stop breathing, get a sleep screener done. It's well worth the £50 to rent from hope2sleep. 

My doctor referred me two weeks ago, she said I would receive a letter giving me the option of which to be referred two.

I know waiting times are likely long, just seems like when we are talking about just that initial choice letter, I would have thought I would have gotten that.

Is it normal, should I be chasing it up?

I am wondering partly because I know recently my dad's referral letter wasn't sent until he rung up to ask, the hospital hadn't received the referral. :-/

But if I haven't been referred to a specific sleep centre, then I don't know who I'd ring to see if they had got it.

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