Apnoea means lack of breathing. Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is a serious sleep disorder, which is mainly characterized by repeated stoppage of breathing during sleep. This type of apnea occurs when the throat muscles intermittently relax and block airway during sleep. A noticeable sign of obstructive sleep apnea is snoring.
The main symptomatology of OSA include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Loud snoring
- Observed episodes of breathing cessation during sleep
- Abrupt awakenings accompanied by gasping or choking
- Morning headache
- Difficulty concentrating during the day
- Mood changes, such as depression or irritability
- High blood pressure, etc.
Around half of the people with obstructive sleep apnea are overweight. Fat deposits around the upper airway may obstruct breathing. However, not everyone with obstructive sleep apnea is overweight and vice versa. Thin people can develop the disorder, too. Other people who are at high risk are hypertensive, diabetic people and smokers.
For diagnosing the amplitude of problem, you need to visit a Sleep Specialist/Pulmonologist. The test that is usually done is Polysomnography or Sleep Study. During this sleep study, you’re hooked up to equipment that monitors your heart, lung and brain activity, breathing patterns, arm and leg movements, and blood oxygen levels while you sleep. You may have a full-night study, in which you are monitored all night, or a split-night sleep study.
Management of OSA comprises of
- Lifestyle changes
- Some instruments to open the blocked airway like – Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), Mouthpiece
- Surgical treatment – Surgical procedures mainly aim to reducing weight in obese people, removing the excess tissue in neck and improving the airway opening. Bariatric (Obesity) surgery plays a significant role in this regard. Along with having a sustained weight loss, it has around 95%-100% curative rate of OSA.
So, if you are obese and also snore and not being able to reduce your weight, take the bold step in the right direction and visit a Bariatric (Obesity) surgeon for a life changing results.