Hope2SleepGuide

Sleep Apnoea Forum Bringing Help + Support to the Patient

Sleep Apnoea Information

 

WHAT IS SLEEP APNOEA?

 

The Greek word 'Apnoea' means 'Without Breath' which is where the name of the 'condition' called Sleep Apnoea (also spelt Apnea in some countries) is derived from.  Therefore, Sleep Apnoea means stopping breathing whilst sleeping!

Sleep Apnoea is a medical 'condition' which is only just being widely recognized in the UK.  However, it is a serious 'condition', due to the other illnesses it is linked to, such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, driving accidents, obesity, anxiety/depression and thyroid problems.  New research is being undertaken constantly and many more links to other medical conditions are possible.

In most cases, a person with sleep apnoea will be a snorer, and mostly (unbeknown to them) will stop breathing many times a night, ranging from mild cases of around 5-14 apnoeas per hour, 15-30 apnoeas would be a moderate case and 30+ is severe.  The apnoea (stop breathing episode) will happen whilst sleeping, and the brain (thankfully) sends messages to the body to start breathing again.  Unfortunately this cycle will repeat itself throughout the night.  The sufferer will often wake up feeling unrefreshed, but will not put this down to lack of sleep, as they are under the impression they have slept well, due to most people being unaware of what has been happening through the night.  It is normally the bed partner who may notice what is going on.  Many have reported of hearing their bed partner snoring, followed by a silent pause when they suspect their partner has stopped breathing (which they have!).  The sufferer will then usually make a snorting, choking or gasping noise, and they will start breathing again,but the cycle will continue throughout the night.


SYMPTOMS


A person with undiagnosed sleep apnoea may present some or all of the following symptoms:-

  • Daytime tiredness - often with the need for naps when circumstances permit.
  • Snoring
  • Sudden awakenings from sleep (but not always as many sufferers are unaware of waking up).
  • Lack of concentration, poor work or school performance and possibly memory problems or confusion.
  • Depression, anxiety or irritability.
  • Morning headaches and/or migraines.
  • Dry mouth and/or sore throat on waking.
  • Decreased sex drive.
  • They may already be a diabetic, have had a heart attack or stroke, suffer from hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia and other medical conditions which are still being discovered.
  • Many other symptoms can be present due to sleep deprivation.


CAUSES


There are several different causes why a person has Obstructive Sleep Apnoea or how it can be made worse, as follows:-

  • Nasal Blockage, due to deviated septum, narrow passages, congestion, allergies etc.
  • Large Uvula.
  • Obesity.
  • Overuse of Alcohol.
  • Certain Medications, such as tranquillisers etc.
  • Large Tonsils or Adenoids.
  • Large Soft Palate.
  • Receding Jaw.
  • Enlarged Tongue.
  • Smoking.
  • Brain slow to send messages to breathe (this is known as Central Sleep Apnoea and is not as common as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea).
  • Having a family member with Sleep Apnoea, normally due to inheriting craniofacial issues.


IF YOU SUSPECT YOU MAY HAVE SLEEP APNOEA


There are several routes to take, but the most important one is TAKE ACTION NOW!!

  • Book an appointment to discuss this with your GP, who should refer you to a Specialist to arrange a Sleep Study.
  • Ask your bed partner to observe you sleeping.
  • If possible, record the sound of yourself sleeping, or even a video recording.
  • You can take a simple Home Screening Sleep Test to check if you do have sleep apnoea.  These are particularly helpful for persuading your GP to send you to for a full sleep study at your nearest sleep clinic.
  • The Epworth Sleepiness Scale Questionnaire is normally one of the first things you would be asked to fill in.  This will give you a good indication of whether you need further help after adding up your scores.  You could print out your results and take them to your GP.  

Click Here to go directly to the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, fill in the questionnaire, press 'Analyse Results' then Print


TREATMENTS


  • CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) where filtered air is delivered from a CPAP Machine via a hose/tube and into a Nasal or Full Face Mask, preventing the airways from collapsing.  There are different forms of CPAP machines, such as APAP, BIPAP, VPAP and your sleep doctor will advise the most appropriate treatment for you.
  • Dental Appliances and Oral Devices can sometimes be a suitable option.
  • Surgery is sometimes a consideration.


SELF HELP


  • DO NOT drive a vehicle when tired.
  • Try to lose some weight.  Even losing as little as 10% of the body weight can reduce the amount of apnoeas.  Many diagnosed sleep apnoea sufferers have reported how much easier it is to lose weight once they are on successful treatment.
  • Try not to drink alcohol or eat within at least 3 hours of going to bed.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Try not to sleep on your back, and if possible, elevate the head of the bed by 4-6 inches.


STATISTICS


According to the 'American Sleep Apnea Association,' "Sleep Apnea (Apnoea) is as common as adult diabetes, and affects more than 12 million Americans.  However, because of the lack of awareness by the public and even some healthcare professionals, the vast majority remain undiagnosed and, therefore, untreated - despite the fact that this serious disorder can have significant consequences."

According to the 'British Lung Foundation,' "it is estimated that about 110,000 people in the UK suffer from Sleep Apnoea/Hypopnoea.  Prevalence is higher in men than women and higher in those who are overweight.  It affects an esimated 4% of males and 2% of females in the UK, although it is thought to be considerably higher in specific groups and occupations, such as long-distance lorry drivers and shift workers, where the consequences can be fatal or lead to serious injury if left undiagnosed and untreated.  It is also esimated that only 1 in 10 patients with the syndrome have so far been diagnosed and treated.  The rate of treatment in the UK is lower than most other developed countries."


CONCLUSION


Sleep Apnoea (Apnea) is a serious condition, due to its links with other life threatening illnesses.  Not only will you lower your risks of these other illnesses, but you will start to feel so much better in yourself when you are on successful treatment.  

 

PLEASE, FOR YOUR SAKE AND YOUR FAMILIES, DO NOT IGNORE YOUR SYMPTOMS, AND SEEK MEDICAL HELP NOW!!

Sleep Apnoea Forum

New to the Sleep Apnoea Forum? 

1. Stop by our Sleep Apnoea Welcome Center to introduce yourself to the SleepGuide community.
2. Start a New Topic of Conversation.
3. Post your photos - of yourself, your old CPAP machine, your new CPAP machine, your pet, something about you!

Interested in advertising, have a problem or need to contact us? Click the Report an Issue page.

 

Latest Activity

Ann Murch posted a discussion

New by wondering what to do next

Hi,my name is Ann and I stumbled across this site when looking to see where I could sell my CPAP machine but after reading some discussions, I now think that I may be better keeping it. I bought the  Sleep Cube as it was fully automatic and as I…See More
yesterday
Ann Murch is now a member of Hope2SleepGuide
Saturday
Cathy posted a discussion

New full face mask

Hi, I’ve been using the ResMed mirage Quattro since I was as diagnosed5 years ago. I’ve always hated it and found it so uncomfortable. Last week I bought myself a ResMed  airfit F20 with quiet air and it’s the best thing ever. Nothing covering my…See More
Jul 11
Kyla Davies joined The SleepGuide Crew's group
Jul 11
John Wilkinson replied to The SleepGuide Crew's discussion Welcome to our Forum - Feel Free to Introduce Yourself Here.
"Hi Sharon, I have been using a Cpap machine for 7 months. I too struggled with a full face mask (Simplus as issued by sleep clinic) but I changed from a large to medium size mask and it is a lot more comfortable and, because it fits better, I…"
Jul 9
Edam replied to Edam's discussion Double inhaling
"Using the Quatro Air is certainly working. My 95% pressures are still below 15 and also Im getting a much better sleep. I think the reason its working is that the inlet is lower on the Quatro Air and is also directed downwards. This direction of…"
Jul 9
Eric Swindon added a discussion to the group Buy-Sell-Swap
Thumbnail

Unused Masks for sale

 I am offering these never used masks (all in original packaging with User Manuals) for half the current retail price (check them at www.eu-pap.co.uk) , that is £50 or £60 including shipping within the U.K. …See More
Jul 8
Eric Swindon joined The SleepGuide Crew's group
Jul 8
Profile IconKyla Davies and Trina joined Hope2SleepGuide
Jul 8
Trina replied to The SleepGuide Crew's discussion Welcome to our Forum - Feel Free to Introduce Yourself Here.
"Thanks for accepting me! I am new to the sleep apnea world, but suspect I have had it for many, many years. It was just diagnosed as many of things. "
Jul 7
Sleep2snore replied to Chris Vesey's discussion Insurance
"To be honest, I never thought about what would happen if it was stolen or damaged while away!"
Jul 6
Sleep2snore replied to Chris Vesey's discussion Insurance
"The best thing is to ask your clinic, they all appear to work their own way, also if you are going abroad it is worth checking if it is still covered.  If not you might feel better if it were covered by insurance.  Ask if your home…"
Jul 6
Sleep2snore replied to Neil Jay's discussion Remstar M series repair?
"I went off on a tangent when my brain stopped working. Philips R|esperonics Customer Support Centre (Repairs and Maintenance) 0870 532 9741"
Jul 6
sharon replied to sharon's discussion struggling with CPAP
"thank you, i will try the suggestions, I reaaly appreciate the help Sharron"
Jul 6
Kath Hope replied to Neil Jay's discussion Remstar M series repair?
"I don't think Resmed would repair a Respironics machine Sleep2Snore although I could be wrong."
Jul 5
Sleep2snore replied to sharon's discussion struggling with CPAP
"You might need to try a good few masks before you fine one that works for and with you. Once you find one they will stop making it next week if your luck is like mine! Contact your clinic and check it is not to big or get another mask. Also make…"
Jul 5
Sleep2snore replied to Neil Jay's discussion Remstar M series repair?
"I think it is a Humidifier not a Dehumidifier but that is an easy mistake to make. The humidifier is controlled from inside the machine and as far as I know, the only repairer is ResMed UK. Someone tell me otherwise! The other option and maybe…"
Jul 5
Kath Hope replied to Neil Jay's discussion Remstar M series repair?
"I've not heard of any repairers here in the UK.  If it's the System One Remstar and it's under 2 years old it has a 2-year manufacturer's warranty.  If you got it from your hospital they will change it for you."
Jul 5
Neil Jay posted a discussion

Remstar M series repair?

I have a RemStarAuto M Series CPAP machine with a dehumidifier. The dehumidifier has stopped working. I have dome some testing and the humidifier works when hooked up to another Remstar so the fault is somewhere in the main device. I have tested the…See More
Jul 5
sharon replied to sharon's discussion struggling with CPAP
"thank you, I will look at the liners"
Jul 5

© 2018   Created by The SleepGuide Crew.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service