Dr Rakesh Kumar Chaudhry MBBS, MD, FCCS (USA)
Consultant chest physician, Critical care, Allergy &Sleep Disorder Specialist
Interventional PulmonologistChandan Hospital Lucknow
Ex Senior Resident SGPGIMS Lucknow
Ex Registrar Respiratory & critical care Apollo Hospital New Delhi
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea and is caused by complete or partial obstructions of the upper airway. It is characterized by repetitive episodes of shallow or paused breathing (typically last 10-20seconds or more) during sleep, despite the effort to breathe, and is usually associated with a reduction in blood oxygen saturation. Many people may not think of snoring as a sign of something potentially serious, but not everyone who snores has obstructive sleep apnea.
As the muscle toneof the body ordinarily relaxes during sleep, and the airway at the throat is composed of walls of soft tissue, which collapses in this disease. Your brain senses this impaired breathing and briefly rouses you from sleep so that you can reopen your airway. This awakening is usually so brief that you don’t remember it.
Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, even in children’s, more common in male than female who are obese, Having a large neck size (17 inches or greater in men and 16 inches or greater in women), large tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jaw bone, deviated nasal septum, sinus and having a family history of sleep apnea.
Signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness (at work, watching TV, driving the vehicles)
- Snoring loud enough to disturb your sleep or that of others
- Observed episodes of breathing cessation during sleep
- Abrupt awakenings accompanied by gasping or choking
- Morning headache
- Poor concentration during the day, mood changes, such as depression or irritability
- High blood pressure,Nighttime sweating
- Decreased libido
If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase the risk of health problems, including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure, irregular heartbeats, and heart attacks
In addition, untreated OSA is responsible for poor performance in everyday activities, such as at work and school, motor vehicle crashes, and academic underachievement in children and adolescents.
Consult a medical professional, especially sleep specialist if you or your partner or family members observe the sign symptoms as discussed above.
Tests to detect obstructive sleep apnea include:
During this sleep study, you’re hooked up to equipment that monitors your heart, lung and brain activity, breathing patterns, arm and leg movements, blood oxygen levels and stages of sleep while you sleep.
This sleep study can also help rule out other sleep disorders, such as periodic limb movements of sleep or narcolepsy, which also can cause excessive daytime sleepiness, but require different treatment.
It is either lab based and home based test (in home based less parameter can be recorded only)
Now a days all over world Auto CPAP machine is the most acceptable and effective tool for treatment of OSA. This machine delivers a continuous positive airway pressure through a interface that fits into your nose or is placed over your nose and mouth while you sleep, which keep open the collapsible airway in throat.
Mild OSA needs lifestyle changes like lose weight, regular exercise, avoidance of alcohol, smoking and sedative medication before sleep.
No definite medication or surgery is recommended to treat OSA as effective as CPAP use till now.
So be aware of your sleep hygiene for your good health.