Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
Sleep Apnoea is a common sleeping disorder which occurs when you regularly stop breathing for 10 seconds or more during sleep. It can be mild, moderate or severe depending on how many times per hour you stop breathing (apnoea) or when breathing becomes very shallow (hypopnoea). Sleep Apnoea episodes may occur from 5 to 100 times per hour, with more than 5 Apnoeas per hour being abnormal and 30-40 Apnoeas per hour considered severe Sleep Apnoea.
There are 3 types of Sleep Apnoea: Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA), Mixed Sleep Apnoea and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (also called OSA), which is the most common form of Sleep Apnoea.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?
OSA occurs when there is a blockage or narrowing of the airways in your nose, mouth or throat. This is usually caused by the relaxation of the tongue, throat muscles, bone deformities of the jaw or face, or larger than normal tissues in your nose, mouth or throat.
Other factors which may make Sleep Apnoea more likely includes obesity, certain medications and alcohol before bed.
What are the consequences of untreated Sleep Apnoea?
If you suffer from Sleep Apnoea, you may have difficulty concentrating and feel tired throughout the day. Therefore your work performance may be suffering, you may fall asleep during conversation, at work or even while driving.
Sleep Apnoea causes a disruption in your sleeping patterns preventing you from reaching and maintaining the deeper stages of sleep.
When you stop breathing (apnoea) or have very shallow breaths (hypopnoea) it may result in lower oxygen levels in the blood. If left untreated this lack of oxygen can lead to serious health problems such as high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension), abnormal heart rate, heart failure, coronary artery disease (CAD) and strokes.
You also have a higher risk of dementia, sexual dysfunction, obesity, depression and diabetes amongst other complications.
Who is affected by Sleep Apnoea?
Sleep Apnoea affects anyone from age 2 to age 92. It was thought to be a disorder of overweight middle aged men, however sleep specialists are revising their opinions. Thin people often often have a long narrow pharynx (membrane-lined cavity behind the nose and mouth) which predisposes them to Sleep Apnoea. Children have tonsils that are often large relative to their small throats, which can result in Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. And post-menopausal woman often have the same risk as men.
If you feel tired or sleepy during the day despite adequate sleep duration, then Sleep Apnoea should be investigated. Especially if you are told that you snore or stop breathing during sleep.
Studies show that around 4%-24% of men suffer from OSA, and women around 2%-15%, with both men and women over the age of 65 around 20%-25%
Here at Ecomed Medical we supply masks and other medical equipment specifically tested and manufactured to cure sleep apnoea. Download our product catalogue now to see what we can assist you with.