Hello everyone. My name is John. I’m a 48-year-old male in Shelton, Washington, who was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea. I also have NAION (Non-Arteritic Ichemic Optic Neuropathy), which means that I had a stroke in the optic nerve of my right eye in July which caused 75 percent blindness in that eye. Coming to a diagnosis of sleep apnea is the result of me trying to determine what caused the blindness in my eye and trying to prevent the same type of stroke from happening in my left eye, which would then leave me mostly blind. Fortunately, my left eye is still good.
Since July, I’ve had several blood tests which found my cholesterol to be high (249) and my thyroid to be underworking. I am now on meds for both, which are working successfully.
I’ve also has my carotid arteries tested and they are fine. And I’ve had an echo cardiogram of my heart, which showed my ticker is doing okay as well.
So the only thing I can figure is that at some point at night, I stopped breathing for an extended period of time, and that deprived my brain and, specifically the optic nerve in my right eye of oxygen. The end result was that my optic nerve began to die. Thank God that I finally woke up.
A sleep test from about a week and a half ago showed that I stop breathing in my sleep 28.7 times per hour, which I’m told is on the upper end of moderate and close to severe (30) sleep apnea.
Tonight, I begin the second night on CPAP. I’m on the test machine through tomorrow night to determine my eventual air pressure. Then I will begin on my new CPAP machine, which is also equipped with a humidifier. I’ve opted for the nose pillow mask, which does not cover as much of the face. Although last night (the first night of use), my nose did become somewhat tender. The test machine does not have a humidifier, so my nose was dry most of the day, and as a result, I had a nose bleed earlier today. I’ve purchased some saline nasal gel to help replenish the moisture in my nose.
I didn’t sleep well last night because of the apparatus. I’m hoping that given time, I will become more accustomed to this so that I can sleep better. Knock on wood!
My wife is not yet sure of the trade-off: me snoring vs. a continuous whoosh of air all night. So this will be an adjustment for both of us.
Still, I’m trying to think positive about this, even though it is all a total bummer. My alternative is to give up CPAP and run the risk of going blind altogether. Doesn’t that suck?
So anyway, I’m just looking to talk with others about their experiences with CPAP and to see if anyone has experienced the optic stroke which led them through the same path I’ve traveled, eventually coming to a sleep apnea diagnosis.
You’re welcome to e-mail me anytime at email@example.com. Please no advertisements or spam. I get enough of that. But I’m open to talk with folks about this issue.