Hi, Since past year or so my other half and kids are complaining that I am snoring loud and they can't sleep. And there were incidents that my wife mentioned that I was gasping for air in the middle of night. So, I bought a Pulsoximeter to do overnight studies at home and generated a report using SpO2 Assistant but, not sure how to read it. Can someone help me understand if I have sleep apnea if so how bad, and do I need to see doc for this? Thanks for all help.
Here is my SpO2 Report for 04/17/2017 http://imgur.com/a/HCXYX
I'm not an expert at reading pulse-ox graphs, but here are the things that I notice in your pulsoximeter data:
1) The pulse-ox detected a total of 39 O2 desats in the 9 hours you slept with it. The pulse-ox you use defines an O2 desat as a drop in the SpO2 level of 4% or greater that lasts for at least 10 seconds. Each one of those 39 desats was most likely a real obstructive apnea or a real hypopnea.
2) The average length of your desat events is 41.3 seconds. In other words, when your O2 dropped by 4% it stayed low for an average of 41.3 seconds before returning to normal. That's on the long side---it's four times longer than the minimum time required to score an event.
3) Your calculated O2 desat index is 4.3 = (39 events)/(9 hours of "sleep"). While that technically makes it look like you might not have OSA or might only have "mild" OSA, it's worth noting that some people with OSA have events that do NOT involve substantial O2 desats. The American Sleep Medicine Association has two different definitions of "hypopnea", and one of them does not require a desat of 4% or more---an EEG arousal combined with decreased airflow is enough to score a hypopnea. It's also possible to have a full obstructive apnea without an associated desat. So the fact that your O2 desat index is just below 5.0 is NOT enough (in my opinion) to rule out OSA.
4) In eight of your 39 events, the SpO2 dropped below 88%. That's serious enough to warrant being investigated with a real sleep test.
5) Your min SpO2 was 84%, which is very low. Low enough to warrant being properly investigated with a real sleep test.
In conclusion, I think your SpO2 data indicates that you need a real sleep test. It could be that you have "mild" OSA in terms of number of events, but many of your events are really severe events---in other words, a quarter of your events in this test lead to SpO2 levels below 88%, which is considered significant. It also is the case that the events you have that result in O2 desats are also prolonged---they last 41 seconds on average. Given that the Pulse-ox may not be catching all
your events since some obstructive events do not have associated O2 desats and the reports of exceptionally loud snoring, I think a real sleep test is needed to determine the real severity of your sleep apnea.