The articles and Patient leaflets published on this Blogg , have been originally written for the Geraldton Guardian's forthnightly Health Matters section or the - General Practice Website. I have researched topics , i wrote about, as thoroughly as I could and have listed sources at the end of each article. They are by no means purely scientific but reflect general medical opinion at the time of writing . Medicine and Health news move past, and some of the advice and opinions, will become outdated. Guardian articles were limited to about 400 words , which sometimes made the offering of a comprehensive view difficult if not imperfect. These articles shouldn't be used as replacement for propper medical professional advice and treatment and you are encouraged to seek medical advice and treatment from your doctor , pharmacist, appropriate specialist (physio, chiro...) on matters , if you are concerned.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Snoring, Sleep Apnoea and Heart Disease

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
“Snoring and Heart Disease”

It is widely accepted that overweight, smoking and lack of exercise pose risks to your cardiovascular system but snoring or even large tonsils? Yes it is true Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) a severe form of snoring , where the muscles in the throat and upper airway repeatedly collapse during sleep, is causing you to stop breathing , reducing your oxygen supply and disturbing your sleep. This often presents to the bed partner as snoring interrupted by scary pauses of breathing 10 seconds and longer. You might feel excessively sleepy during the day, your performance and drive suffers, you can become aggressive, irritable and depressed. The reduced oxygen supply, increases your heart rate , raises your blood pressure and consequently puts your heart and circulation on stress leading to chronic heart failure. Studies show that up to 25% of men and 10 % of women over 30 years might suffer significant OSA. But even 3% of children under 10 years suffer OSA, where surgical intervention like tonsillectomy can be life changing and heart saving in the long run. Risk factors for OSA are a flat round face, short and big neck , overweight , receding jaw line , enlarged tonsils (children), use of alcohol and sedating drugs , sleeping on the back and a family history of OSA. Several smaller studies have shown that treatment for OSA reduces cardiac risk, problem with this is though that patients often have other factors like overweight and might have an increased cardiac risk anyway. Physicians agree at the moment that severe OSA (30 breathing stops per hour ) especially when other heart risks are present demand treatment. There is no doubt that children with OSA benefit from tonsil- or adenoidectomy.
If you or your partner suspect OSA , than you should visit your GP , he should confirm the diagnosis by some simple questions, and refer you for sleep studies , which can be arranged by some pharmacies but also by a visiting sleep lab and are often done in your bed at home. Treatment in adults can be simple mouth guards, often CPAP , sometimes surgery, you should try and loose weight, increase exercise , stop smoking and avoid sedation and alcohol prior sleeping, sleeping on your side might also help. CPAP is a breathing apparatus supplying your airway with a constant positive pressure using a pump and room air, thus preventing collapse of your airway. You actually have a duty as driver to report significant daytime sleepiness OSA or not to the DPI, who might in turn put conditions on your driving, like to seek treatment. Treatment as unappetizing as it might seem in some forms , will guarantee you the thanks not only of your partner and neighbors but also be beneficial for your heart and lungs in the long run as well as significantly improve your overall performance – in essence snoring partners might require a little more than just elbow therapy.
Geraldton 30/8/2010
- Pedram Imani , visiting consultant ENT surgeon presentation on OSA in children 8 2010
- pulse story on OSA
- on OSA

1 comment:

  1. Every third person in this World is suffering from Snoring Problem. Now days, this becomes a humor. A proper measures should be taken to stay away from snoring problem. Snoring earplugs are one of the safety measures among all of them.