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May, 2016

Sleepin Disorder - Sleep Apnea Treatment at Sakra World Hospital

10 facts about Snoring and Sleep Apnea you should know

1) WHAT IS SNORING?
A block of airflow through any part of the breathing passage in the mouth and/or nose causes turbulence & vibrations of the soft tissue. The sound that these vibrations cause is called snoring.

2) WHAT CAUSES SNORING?
When we are awake the upper part of the airway to the lungs is held wide open by muscles. However, when we are asleep these muscles can become rather slack allowing the airways to narrow, causing turbulence & vibrations. 

3) WHAT CAN PREDISPOSE TO SNORING ISSUES?
•    WEIGHT: Excess fat, especially around the neck area, squashes the airway 
•    SMOKING: causing nasal lining to swell and produce excess catarrh. This results in nasal congestion 
•    ALCOHOL/SLEEPING TABLETS: causes a decrease in the tone of the muscles that keep the breathing passage open leading to airway collapse

4) WHAT MEDICAL CONDITIONS CAN CAUSE SNORING AND SLEEP APNEA?
Conditions causing the nose to become blocked
•    Recurrent cold or allergies      
•    Nasal polyps     
•    Deviated nasal septum
Conditions causing the throat to get choked up
•    Large tonsils
•    Large uvula and soft palate 
•    Bulky back of the tongue

5) IS SNORING A SERIOUS PROBLEM?
Snoring may seem to be just a personal problem affecting only our partner and family. It can also be a social problem, especially when we travel. But Snoring may also be a sign of a more serious condition called SLEEP APNEA or OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) which can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, lung problems and diabetes amongst a whole list of other medical problems!

6) WHAT IS OSA (OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA)?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when there are repeated episodes of complete or partial blockage of the upper airway (Apnea) during sleep. During such episodes, the brain wakes up and ensures that breathing resumes (usually with a loud gasp, snort, or body jerk). These episodes can interfere with sound sleep. They can also reduce the flow of oxygen to vital organs and cause irregular heart rhythms.

7) ARE THERE ANY TESTS TO CHECK IF I HAVE OSA?
•    Polysomnography (Sleep Study): This is an overnight test which monitors our sleep pattern, sleep breaks, heart and lung activity while sleeping oxygen levels etc. 
•    Sleep Endoscopy: A thin flexible camera is used to look for obstruction while the patient is asleep

8) CAN I DO SOMETHING MYSELF TO TREAT THIS PROBLEM?
Sometimes snoring can be treated with changes in lifestyle, such as: 
•    Weight loss
•    Quitting smoking
•    Reducing the use of alcohol, sedatives and sedating antihistamines
•    Changing your sleep position to the side and/or elevating your head and neck

9) WHEN SHOULD I MEET AN ENT DOCTOR?
In most cases, a person with OSA is not aware of these repeated awakenings because they occur below the level of consciousness. One should consider meeting an ENT doctor if:
1.      Complaints of snoring from partner/friends/ family
2.      Feeling of daytime tiredness, sleepy feeling,
3.      Poor quality sleep with problems of memory, concentration, and mood changes.

10) WHAT CAN BE DONE TO TREAT THIS?
•    CPAP machine
•    surgical procedures  
•    Newer minimally invasive radiofrequency reduction procedures​

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