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Sleep Apnea or Atrial Fibrillation
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Sleep Apnea or Atrial Fibrillation

I have suspected for a while that I have sleep apnea because of occasionally waking up gasping for air, very restless sleep with many wakeups during the night, lack of restorative sleep, etc.  I really don't want to go for a sleep study unless I really have to, so I recently purchased a sleep strip which gave a reading of "3 = apnea detected".  Then I purchased a CMS50E finger oximeter.  Last night, the oximeter report showed that I had 8 SpO2 events and 119 pulse events.  One of the events showed an SpO2 level of 84 for about a minute.  For the first part of that event, my pulse rate was at 140.  I have atrial fibrillation that was treated by ablation about 2 years ago.  I still have episodes of AFib, but nothing like before the ablation, i.e., the episodes last for short periods (seconds or minutes) rather than hours.

My question:  Is it possible that the fall in SpO2 is related only to the AFib and not sleep apnea?  Would a sleep study be useful for this type of problem?  Would a CPAP help with this type of problem?

I am female, slim, otherwise healthy.
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933038_tn?1334442792
Hi restless,

AF is unlikely to cause what you are decribing and it definitely sounds more like a sleep apnoea problem as you have suspected. I suspect that the reason your pulse shoots up at the time that your SpO2 Sats are low is because your body is working the blood round quicker to try and get the oxygen to the parts of your body that its needed, since the oxygen levels have fallen. This is also not going to be helpful to your AF diagnosis.

I would definitely suggest that you go for a sleep study, probably useful to go and see your doctor who can refer you. The sleep study will confim if you have sleep apnoea, and then from there they will use there specialist knowledge of sleep disorders to best advise you on how to treat this problem.

Please have this checked out, it isn't good for your health, and the strain isn't good for your AF problem.

Regards Dee.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the advice Dee.  I've kept track of the spO2 and pulse events for a few nights.  Last night I had 32 spO2 events and 135 pulse events over about 7.5 hours and an apnea index of 4.3.  I will have to go for a sleep study.  I should have looked into this years ago but have been in denial!
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