By – Dr. Sundar
When a person’s throat is partly or completely blocked while they are asleep, sleep apnoea, or obstructive sleep apnoea, happens. What we call this as loud snoring
This can happen to anybody from children to adults and old aged peoples both males and females. Normally people sleep from 6hrs to 8hrs per day. It can range even lower in some people.
The breathing of a person with sleep apnoea can stop for anywhere between a few and 90 seconds, and they wake up briefly. These episodes, which can happen many times a night, are known as apnoeas. The sufferer is often feels very tired during the day and is unaware of it happening. Children with enlarged tonsils and adenoids snore very much and apnoea can occur due to blocking of the respiratory passages
Sleep apnoea ranges from mild, moderate and severe. In severe cases, sleep can be interrupted hundreds of times each night. The snoring so bad the partner has to sleep in different rooms.
Sleep apnoea can affect anyone, but is more common in people who are overweight middle aged who has a habit of snoring even day times and a family history of snoring. Obesity and other conditions like Diabetes Heart Disease Asthma and smoking all contribute to Sleep apnoea.
See your Doctor he or she will refer to Sleep apnoea clinic where you will be advised and fitted with Sleep apnoea monitor. From the computer your sleep pattern is analysed and your Doctor will be able to diagnose your Snoring as sleep apnoea mild to severe.
Sleep apnoea symptoms
- The symptoms of sleep apnoea include: snoring tossing and turning
- pauses in breathing while sleeping, which may be noticed partner children and friends
- waking up gasping or choking It can be a terrifying episode.
- tiredness and feeling unrefreshed after sleep. Day time sleepiness and sometimes dozing off while driving
Sleep apnoea is bad for your health. Apart from making you tired, it can increase your risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke and blood pressure
- can cause poor memory and lack of concentration irritability
- headaches and muscle cramps
- moodiness, depression and personality change and disorder
- lack of interest in sex, in both men and women
- impotence in men. and bad breath
It may also lead to motor vehicle and workplace accidents.
Treating sleep apnoea will help you sleep better, improve quality of life and reduce the risks of other illness. Partners will be feeling happy. There are various ways to help people to sleep better.
- Losing weight if you are overweight and life style changes like regular exercise. Proper healthy diets
- reduce alcohol intake, and not drinking any at all for two hours before bed
- do not go to bed in full stomach
- avoid sleeping tablets, which can make sleep apnoea worse
- quit smoking if you smoke
- stop drinking coffee at bed time
- trying nasal decongestant sprays, if nasal congestion bothers you. You can help by sleeping on your side — devices like special pillows and rubber wedges can help.
- an oral appliance fitted by your dentist, such as special mouthguards or splints to wear while you are sleeping may help in mild cases of sleep apnoea,
- a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) pump which feeds pressurised air into a face mask to hold your throat open while you sleep — this is often used for moderate to severe sleep apnoea
- This is proven to be very successful and you can use this for a long period of time.
- surgery, if you have severe sleep apnoea. They are expensive and not yet validated.
Sources: Lung Foundation (Obstructive Sleep Apnoea)
Sleep Health Foundation (Obstructive Sleep Apnoea)