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sleep apnea & anxiety
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sleep apnea & anxiety

I know sleep apnea can cause anxiety and panic attacks. But can anxiety cause sleep apnea? I have a ventricular aneurysm and PVCs my doctors say are normal. I'm not overweight, I don't drink, not on meds. I've been waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air. I feel like my heart has stopped, I feel a warm sensation in my chest, I can't breathe, I begin to lose consciousness, then I feel a sudden release and my heart beats fast for awhile and I have a huge hangover-like headache for awhile after. And I certainly can't go back to sleep. This has happened a few times during the day too. Is this sleep apnea or an anxiety attack, and what's the proof for either? Thanks.
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107693_tn?1252868043
Have you been tested for sleep apnea, if so are you using the CPAP mask when sleeping... if not, you should  see a pulmanary doctor and cardiologist to check all this out.... I have sleep apnea,  I went  thru a sleep study.  I could get used to the mask, once i would wake up i would have anxiety attack that i could use the mask....but then there was a lot going on in my life... good luck..
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello,

When a person sleeps the airways are usually patent allowing normal passage for air entry. The upper airway that is at the region of the tongue and the soft palate is the most compliant (soft) part. So, this is liable to collapse and cause airway obstruction, causing Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

As the air way collapses the lungs do not have air entry leading to deoxygenation (decreased oxygen) of blood and the person wakes up. This period of non entry of air is called ‘Apnea’ and the waking up is called an ‘Arousal’. This keeps alternating and the person may not actually wake up all the time, but these repeated arousals can disturb the sleep architecture and cause fatigue, headaches and daytime sleepiness.

The PVCs could be causing the palpitations. I would advise you to consult a sleep specialist who would assess with first a sleep questionnaire, and then he may ask for a polysomnogram, which is an overnight sleep study as this helps to detect the apneas.

Hope this helps.
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