Specialist expertise: COPD, Sleep, Snoring, Home Ventilation, General Respiratory Medicine, Respiratory Medicine.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea can affect everyday life. Common day-time symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, impaired concentration, morning headaches, and mood irregularity (‘short fuse’). At night the symptoms include loud (e.g., loud enough to be heard in an adjacent room) snoring or grunting, sensations of choking in sleep, waking up gasping, and jerking movements. The disruptions to sleep caused by OSA has been associated with increased risk of patients developing more serious health conditions including srtokes, heart failure, and hypertension.
Some individuals are more prone to developing OSA:
- Men over 50
- Women who are post-menopausal
- People with a BMI of over 28 kg/m2 or a neck/collar size of over 17inch (43cm)
Other risk factors include:
- Short stature
- Oronasal conditions
- Sedo-analgesic medications for pain or psychiatric conditions
- Large tongue or tonsils
- Craniofacial variants
- Pre-existing heart rhythm abnormalities
- Certain neurological conditions
There is also significant research that suggests between 30-50% of patients with high blood pressure, especially those requiring more than one drug for treatment, that snore have OSA. Individuals who smoke, or drink regularly also have a higher change of developing OSA.
Furthermore, there is now strong and emerging evidence that OSA is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease, hypertension and stroke (estimated 2-4x increased risk). There is also evidence that successful treatment of OSA can reduce diastolic blood pressure by up to 5 mmHg in trials. Over time, this might have a profound impact on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular risk.