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Did anyone buy a overnight oxymeter? I just ordered my third.


I just ordered my third oximeter that can do overnight studies --  the first two I got were both cheap (about 200).  and quit working within a week.   I bought them at Walmart so I could take  them back.  Now walmart has a new model, 229$ and  I'm eager  for it to get here.  Yes, another "cheap"  one. Its a CHOICEMMED OxyWatch


The  "good ones" cost 1400-3000,  which is a lot, but even that would be well worth it, I think.  I will buy one of those, if this 3rd  one doesn't work for long.


The point is -- we all are talking about how effective these Cpaps are  - well, we can TEST it ourselves to an astonishing extent.    The  proof is in our oxygen levels as we sleep, for most of us.   And if a device can tell us that --regularly -- it's a good thing.


If we are desaturing, (getting low oxygen levels) even with CPAP -- we need to tell the doctor, asap.  He or she can figure out what to do.


Oddly these doctors don't seem concerned about  overnight levels -- they never ask about them, that I've seen.    You almost have to hit  them over the head with it.   Yet there simply is no more important piece of information he - or you -- can have.  If you knew only one thing about what was going on in your body, regarding sleep apnea, that would be it. AHIs and periodic breathing and leaks, all that, is useful information, but all that is about the need to keep our oxigen levels right.   So why not know what our oxygen level is?  And regularly!


And yes, it can change from night to night.    Plus, this is a great way to tell if your CPAP issues are having an effect in your cells.


Someday, these Cpaps will have that feature -- a built in oximeter, and they should.    They are recording a lot of other things - but this is really the big one.  The continuous oxygen levels are what it's  all about!


And WE should want to know it.    Everyone should know if they are going low on oxygen overnight -- even if we are young and healthy!   Oxygen, of course, is the primary thing in every cellular activity.  It affects EVERYTHING -- and profoundly so.


I just want to know if anyone else bought various oximeters for overnight and what kind of results are you getting.  ALso, is  your doctor "oxygen" minded.  He should be thinking and acting in terms of your oxigen levels, from what I can see.

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NOT ME! Bigger means more to clean. More room to "collect" stuff. "Just" big enough is big enough for me. *wicked grin*

How do you know you are not desaturating?   What were your 02 levels when you had the many AHIs?


That's my point, unless you have some special machine, you don't know what your 02 levels were when your AHIs were 20, do you?     I''m no expert, but ask your doctor, he probably assumes your many AHIs would - by defintion almost -- lower your 02, right?  


 I mean, what else could your oxygen levels do, when you had repeated AHIs?  How could it not go down?


It would really be surprising to me if your O2 levels would stay constant if you had frequent AHIs.   Am I missing something? 


Mark my words -- overnight Oxygen testing, since it is so cheap now, so easy,  and so important, will be a common test, the FIRST time we complain of tiredness or memory loss or whatever. In fact, it should be part of any routine basic check up. 


My own "regular" doctor agreed with me,  it's vitally important, and almost universally ignored until the issue gets really bad.  He agreed ---probably to get me out of his office!.


Mary Z said:

Wouldn't you know- I just got a call from my DME telling me my Doc has ordered a pulse oximeter on me for two nights.  This is after I sent him a data card showing dismal numbers (AHI continually high teens or over 20) and he decided not to treat it.  Evidently if I'm not desaturating he won't do anything else about my bad numbers.  I have been titrating myself, but it's back to the prescription for the next couple of nights.
My significant other told me that I looked like Hannibal Lector with the mask and the machine, while still on when I was taking it off, sounded like Darth Vader.  I can relate.

Mary Z said:
As  long as my O2 sats are ok when I go to the doc- I have three docs that check it on visits and I'm feeling ok during the night and when I wake up, I'm not going to worry about my nightly O2 sats. During my sleep study it never went below 95%.  I'm behind anyone who wants to keep track- don't want to give the wrong impression- but have you found anything dangerously low?  To tell you the truth I might check it myself if my partner wouldn't laugh me out of the bed.  She's already all over me (laughing) about how I live and breathe CPAP, CPAP,  CPAP.  Don't get me wrong if I was determined, I'd just do it and not tell her. It is a good idea for people you feel have Sleep Apnea and won't get checked.  It might give some valuable information.  And the more info the better.

Mark, I appreciate your excitement about any aspect of sleep apnea. Let me ask you what you expect the outcome of oximetry studies to be? What action will be taken if desats are seen? What action will be taken if there are no desats?


Funny thing- my DME  called last night and my sleep doc had ordered an overnitght pulse ox on me.  I had been self titrating and was starting to get some better numbers so I had to go back to the old prescription for two nights.  Needless to say after a night at 4/8 (I had titrated on straight CPAP to 11 with better results) my numbers were dismal.  I don't expect to have any desats- I had none during my sleep test.  The doc is scratching his head why in the sleep lab I had "no apneas" at 4/8 (unless they were only looking for centrals) and get home and start having AHI around 20 or more and AI consistently   5- 11. This is after three years and two docs I have finally taken matters into my own hands. The DME will send me the pulse ox results.
I'm very happy with my sub-$200 pulse-ox (a CMS60c). You can Google it, or send me a private message if you want to know where I got it.

Brian, thanks, I found some places.


I'm stunned and embarrassed, because I have googled and searched for overnight meters, seems like 50 times, and never ran across  that one.


What I especially appreciate is that  you used it and it works  -- I bought two and both failed.  I'm still waiting for the shipment-- I expected it Monday!


Thanks.  I might  just order that for 179,

Mark, I see in an old thread, , that you apparently don't have the optional software for your machine. You will get much more information about the effectiveness of your CPAP therapy from the software than you will get from a recording pulse-oximeter. Plus, you are already wearing the mask and do not have to sleep wearing another device like the recording pulse-oximeter.

I have a recording pulse-oximeter and it stays in a dark drawer because my Encore software makes it redundant.  It's your choice, but IMO anyone who doesn't have the CPAP software should spend their money on it first as it is much more valuable to a CPAP patient than an oximeter.

Wow thats great---  I will look into that. Thanks,  The link didn't  work for me but  I will google encore software.


But the  oximeter overnight is pretty simple, cheap enough now -- and I can send it to my siblings or  my kids or neighbors. You can't do that with a CPAP and  software, no  matter how cool it is.


And my whole point is -- we  need this information YEARS BEFORE  we  get CPAP!  That's my point..I wish I had this information when I was 20.  I want my three grown kids to have it -- decades in life before I got it.


Want to sell that oximeter in your drawer? LOL


But just to be clear -- does your Encore program get your Oxygen levels?   Isn't that the real deal anyway?   Sure, if  you want to know your AHIs, periodic breathing -(I don't know all  the lingo) that's  great,but isn't the  real deal your oxygen level? 


All that stuff lets you deduce or guess  at your Oxygen level.  Why not  get that information directly - if only to check your other information?


And mostly, get  your  overnight oxygen when you are still healthy and blissfully unaware of what a CPAP even is.


In fact, I just ordered extra oximeters to send it to my siblings or  my kids or neighbors. You can't do that with a CPAP and  software.


Im not  sure what your Encore records, I will sure look into it,.Thanks for  replying, its  a big help.

Mark Douglas said, "But just to be clear -- does your Encore program get your Oxygen levels?   Isn't that the real deal anyway?   Sure, if  you want to know your AHIs, periodic breathing -(I don't know all  the lingo) that's  great,but isn't the  real deal your oxygen level?"

No, not at all. It is the exact opposite. For the great majority of patients the breathing events are more indicative of the state of health than the oxygen levels.

Many patients would record a good or even perfect oxygen study while still having many unhealthy breathing events that cause arousals. The oximetry study would give them a clean bill of health and delay proper diagnosis.

On the other hand, if you see many breathing events on your CPAP software, you can be sure it is an unhealthy condition even if the oximetry study finds no desaturations.

So if we are talking about people who are known to have sleep-disordered breathing, then the CPAP software is a better tool to manage and improve therapy and health. For example, my CPAP software could show an unhealthy AHI of 10 while the oximetry study might show I have normal oxygen levels throughout the night. This would just mean I am having short events that likely cause many unhealthy arousals while not causing any oxygen desaturations.

Regarding your point about passing the pulse-oximeter around to relatives, I like that idea. If any of them show significant desaturations they need to see a sleep doctor. However, one word of caution, they could have normal oxygen levels yet still be suffering from very unhealthy breathing events and arousals.

Since we know people don't like to undergo in-lab sleep studies, passing around a recording pulse-oximeter is like a double-edged sword. On the one hand, if it finds significant desats in an individual, it might convince him to have a sleep study and get diagnosed. On the other hand, if it shows no desats the person may never go for a sleep study and his underlying condition may go undiagnosed for years.

You mentioned diagnosing your case years earlier. It is true that obstructive sleep apnea is a progressive condition meaning that it gets worse with age. So at a young age you might have had normal oxygen levels. A sleep study would have been required to see the breathing events and arousals and would be necessary to give a proper positive diagnosis. The oximetry study would produce misleading results that could delay diagnosis.

Personally, I think if sleep apnea is suspected, the individual should have a relatively inexpensive consultation with a sleep doctor. A good doctor will question the patient about symptoms and examine the patients facial features, mouth, and airway. An experienced doctor can make an OSA diagnosis at this consultation visit with 96+% accuracy. If the diagnosis is positive, the doctor will order an in-lab or home PSG for confirmation and full diagnosis.

So in summary, undiagnosed patients with symptoms should have a relatively inexpensive consultation with a sleep doc. CPAP patients should have the CPAP software to regularly monitor the effectiveness of their therapy. The data they will look at includes apnea, hypopneas, flow limitations, snores, mask leak, pressure, and others. If they can get this under control they should not have to bother with oximetry studies.

Mike C (at the beach and rubbing it in :), makes a good point about patients who have comorbidities such as pulmonary disfunction or heart disease. These patients can have their CPAP therapy treating their sleep apnea very effectively, yet still have desaturations because of other health issues. But again, these patients need to see a specialist dealing with their comorbidities.

Personally I am very disappointed at the low percentage of CPAP patients who have CPAP software and use it regularly to take control of and ensure the effectiveness of their CPAP therapy. I encourage you to get the software and regularly monitor your therapy and then go on board with me to promote this to other CPAPers.

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