1384923_tn?1308414240
Sleep Apnea
The past few nights I've been waking up suddenly gasping for breath, this has happened in the past but only a few times.  It's not like the dream where you are falling and you jump awake..this is not being able to breathe.  I see that this is also a symptom of Chiari.  

Anyone else have this?  How long has it happened and how long does it last?

Thanks,
Karen
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5 Answers
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620923_tn?1452919248
Hi...yes, sleep apnea and other sleep disturbances are a chiari related issue.

Do u have a chiari specialist?...if not u should try to get one soon, this is a symptom that needs immediate attention.Once this starts it is a sign ur symptoms are progressing.

If u can not get in to a chiari dr soon, call ur PCP to get u into a sleep clinic for sleep apnea testing.

"selma"
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1179332_tn?1297482590
I had that horribly b4 surgery...I couldn't sleep most nights. Thankfully, after surgery it has got much better..I get it here and there but nothing like b4. I would almost describe it as breath holding..when I wake up I feel like I have to get the breath out first b4 I can get some in. Definitely mention this to your Dr...

Try finding a good neck position while you are sleeping (I can always feel the pressure working up in my head in a bad position). Some ppl actually put something under their mattress to raise the end w/o putting pressure on your neck. I really felt the sleeping position was related to how bad the apnea got.

For me, I would go through several nights of this and then it would relent a little. A really important thing is just to tell yourself that you will wake up and breathe...so try and not panic b/c that would even make things worse for me...

Carolyn
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Avatar_universal
My experience is a lot like that of Carolyn's. Before I had surgery I would also occasionally wake up gasping for breath. And according to my wife I snored quite a bit as well. I haven't snored or had any apnea issues since I've been decompressed.

Have you been diagnosed with a CM or seen a nuero specializing in Chiari yet? Like Selma said this isn't something you want to wait on.
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Hi, I havent had surgery for chiari but I was dx with sleep apnea 2yrs ago and was prescribed a c-pap machine. My cardiologist told me that sleep apnea may contribute to my heart beating faster during the day. I would also wake up gasping for air..it was horrible. Once I felt like was was gona faint and never wake up, very scary. Later on i found out that it is one of the many symptoms of chiari.
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539750_tn?1226525277
Yes, I have sleep apnea and am going to take a sleep study soon.
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