Sleep Apnoea Treatment
The seemingly simple act of snoring can signal a potentially life threatening disorder called obstructive sleep apnoea. If left untreated, this condition can do much more damage than simply deny you and your partner a good night's sleep.
What are the symptoms of Sleep Apnoea ?
The main issue with sleep apnoea is that you may not be aware about the level of your snoring or that you're making gasping or choking noises in your sleep. If you live alone, you maybe unaware that you suffer from this condition. In some cases, heavy sleeping partners are equally unaware of your condition.
Apart from the loud snoring and episodes of gasping or choking, the symptoms of sleep apnoea include:
- Restless sleep and a sense of not having slept well
- Morning headaches
- Waking up with a sore, dry throat
- Excessive daytime sleepiness and lack of energy
- Feeling drowsy during low stimulus activities (such as being a passenger in a car)
- Forgetfulness, increased irritability and a decreased sex drive.
These symptoms could well be the result of other conditions such as long work hours, the side effect of medicines (such as beta blockers, antihistamines, sleeping tablets or others), chronic fatigue, alcohol abuse – and many more. That's why proper diagnosis is very important.
How is Sleep Apnoea diagnosed ?
We can diagnose & assess whether you suffer from Sleep Apnoea. During the consultation, we may take a complete medical and dental history and then conduct a physical examination of your mouth, throat and jaw. You may also be asked to complete a sleep diary (which will be provided to you) before being referred to a sleep physician, who will conduct a thorough 'sleep study'.
A sleep study is either performed in a dedicated sleep laboratory, or you may be fitted with special monitoring equipment (called a Polysomnogram) that enables you to complete the study in the comfort of your own home. During the study, signals from your brain will be recorded together with data relating to your muscle activity and breathing. At the same time, a small bandage-like probe attached to one finger will measure the amount of oxygen in your blood.
The results from this sleep study will be analysed to determine whether or not you have obstructive sleep apnoea and a further course of treatment.