Sufferers usually snore, and may wake up gasping or choking. Many people with OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNOEA are unaware of any disturbance of their sleep.
OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNOEA is a common cause of daytime tiredness, fatigue and poor concentration.
Sleep apnoea reduces the quality of your sleep and can impact on your overall health. It increases your risk of:
- high blood pressure,
- heart attack,
- type-2 diabetes,
- mood disorders,
- and motor vehicle and industrial accidents.
At Blooms the Chemist, we have access to overnight monitoring equipment that can allow you to have a diagnostic test WITHOUT having to go to an overnight sleep study in hospital. DURING MARCH ITS FREE!!!
Some of the known risk factors for obstructive sleep apnoea include:
- Obesity (but skinny people can suffer from sleep apnoea too!)
- Large neck circumference (>43cm for men and >40cm for women)
- People over 65 are a greater risk, but there are people of all ages who suffer from sleep apnoea.
- Family history
- Cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
- Medications, especially sedatives at night.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNOEA are wide and varied. Some OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNOEA sufferers do not exhibit all of the symptoms, however they will usually experience one or more of the following:
- Episodes of gasping, snorting or choking during sleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue or lethargy
- Lack of energy and endurance
- Falling asleep or needing to have a nap during the day
- Disturbed or restless sleep (sometimes diagnosed as insomnia)
- Poor memory and concentration
- Morning headaches
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking
- Irritability, depression, anxiety, mood and behaviour changes (including ADHD in children)
- Increased frequency of urination during the night
- Rapid weight gain or difficulty in losing weight
It is thought however that around 9% of women and 25% of men in Australia have clinically significant OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNOEA.
The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnoea in Australia is probably increasing due to the ‘obesity epidemic’. Despite this, a large proportion of Australians with OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNOEA remain undiagnosed and untreated.
OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNOEA is more common in males than females, and becomes more common with age.
Research studies show that mortality rate (death rate) increases according to the severity of sleep apnoea – even mild OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNOEA results in a 2.5 increase in mortality rate. Treating OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNOEA correctly eliminates this risk. OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNOEA is a known cause of sudden death at night time.
Patients with sleep apnoea are 4 to 9 times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNOEA) and Your Health
The continuous cycle of breathing cessation and arousal from sleep that occurs in patients with OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNOEA results in poor sleep-quality, excessive daytime tiredness, and contributes to a large number of other health problems, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Diabetes and insulin
- Cognitive function and quality of life – depression, anxiety, lack of motivation, impaired memory and concentration, mood and behavioural changes.
- Penile erectile dysfunction can occur in males with untreated OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNOEA. Reduced sexual drive also occurs in both men and women with this condition.
The 1st thing is to get tested. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnoea, you should try to minimise risk factors such as weight and alcohol consumption. The most common treatment is to use a CPAP machine, which provides a steady flow of air into your lungs over night. People who start using these machines often are flabbergasted at how much better they feel once they get a decent nights sleep.
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