I’m sharing my experience because I desperately searched previously for information about whether I could be successful in getting off CPAP if I lost stacks of weight. My research showed a lot of negative answers and a lot of people scoffing at the idea and saying that weight was an over exaggerated variable considered with sleep apnea, but there wasn’t really many positive stories out there about people’s experiences (maybe because it is rare).

Anyways When I first got diagnosed with severe sleep apnea in Nov 2018 as a 36 year old female I was frustrated, I was not breathing more than I was breathing over night with an AHI of 37 and an average of 50 seconds of no breathing but the diagnosis was an amazing answer to my continuing fatigue.

I was obese and had already decided on bariatric surgery (gastric sleeve) and it was actually my surgeons requirement that his patients get sleep studies done that led me to my diagnosis. So I was eager to ask the sleep specialist whether my impending surgery could help my sleep apnea. He explained that many factors are at play, he had a look at my jaw and facial structure and explained that I do have a small jaw with less room for my tongue and so potentially even at an average weight I could have issues. He said that of the bariatric patients he sees whose only issue is weight that 2 out of 5 patients can have enough improvement to get off of CPAP and so it wasn’t a black and white answer, but I took those numbers and hoped for the best.

So fast forward to 2019 – I’m using my cpap every night, I had gastric sleeve surgery in April, and as of Jan 2020 have lost 48kg (105lb) and I feel great and I had a repeat sleep study done on 20th Jan, I was very curious as I use my resmed airsense 10 on auto and have watched the 95th pressure go from 14 to 5.4 and just sit there for months and I knew there had definilty been an improvement but I wasn’t sure if it was enough. I did start having difficulty fighting the air pressure like it was too much even when it was at 4cm which was new and weird, and the machine was reported me having central AHIs which I hadn’t had before.

Well I got my results back from a sleep study with no CPAP – 0 AHI, no more CPAP needed at this weight & age . I will need repeat sleep studies every 5 years OR when I start to struggle with fatigue because it’s likely that as I age I may need to get back onto CPAP but it might not be for 20 more years perhaps. If I ever gain weight more than 10kg I need to monitor myself closely for symptoms and have another study potentially.

Anyways that’s my story. I’m over the moon that I’m one of the lucky 2 out of 5s, it is wonderful that I don’t have to worry about this given I have young kids who are in and out of bed and it makes the whole cpap situation a bit complicated for me in some ways. I am optimistic for the future but also will be very conservative with symptoms and get back into the sleep lab at the first sign of issue and I know I will be closely monitored.

If anyone has any advice on how to clean and prep my machine and masks ect for long term storage that would be also super awesome as I have no idea!!

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