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

Glassdaisy joined The SleepGuide Crew's group
20 hours ago
Edam replied to Edam's discussion Double inhaling
"Its me not the machine. The S9 has been checked by Resmed and no fault was found but the circuit board was changed as a precaution. I have used another S9 but had the same problem. I have been told by the hospital that despite my AHI being under 1…"
Tuesday
Sleep2snore replied to Edam's discussion Double inhaling
"Don't rule out a fault with the machine or restricted airflow. I would also not rule out that you might be one of the few that needs a different machine. In any case, it should not go to 20 and sit there, I would get it checked or replaced. If…"
Tuesday
Edam replied to Edam's discussion Double inhaling
"Before I make a decision I am going to try something different. I have noticed that when it goes up to 20 most times it has done so when the pressure has dropped to minimum which is 12 at present. I will increase the minimum pressure to 14 so…"
Monday
Edam replied to Edam's discussion Double inhaling
"I think its time to make a decision. Either buy another make of APAP or get referred to another hospital which supplies a different make"
Monday
Sleep2snore replied to Edam's discussion Double inhaling
"That is hard to believe.  A pressure of 20 is quite high and very few require that amount of pressure. 1 ltr/min is nothing, the machine should cope with that without any problems at all. A lot of people get mixed up with pressure and…"
Sunday
Edam replied to Edam's discussion Double inhaling
"I thought I had this problem solved but it got stuck at 20 again last night. My 95% pressure was 19, AHI  0.1 and leak 1 l/min. Sleepyhead shows that it was stuck at 20 for approx 30 mins ."
Sunday
Debra Wells is now a member of Hope2SleepGuide
Nov 9
Sleep2snore replied to Ruth Furniss's discussion Cold air
"Don't know what machine ou have, but a heated hose can help a lot. You can get them as a stand alone but it is not ideal. If your machine has the facility for a heated hose it might be worth the investment. Heating the room will help."
Oct 30
Sleep2snore replied to Renee Rowlands's discussion Recommendation please for Oximeter purchase.
"There are plenty on the market, but one thing I would make sure it did was to store the data for printing or downloading. There are plenty that say they do this and don't, so be aware of buying off Amazon or Ebay."
Oct 28
Kath Hope replied to Ruth Furniss's discussion Cold air
"Like you say yourself Ruth, warming up the bedroom will help, but also if you don't have a heated humidifier then that would help - as will covering the tube with a Hose Cover."
Oct 28
Steve Bacall is now a member of Hope2SleepGuide
Oct 28
Ruth Furniss posted a discussion

Cold air

Hi I have sleep apnoea & Copd this is my first winter using cpap, found it very hard to sleep last night because of breathing in cold air was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on how to warm the air up besides sleeping in a warm room? I…See More
Oct 28
Mark Darbyshire is now a member of Hope2SleepGuide
Oct 20
Bill Thomson added a discussion to the group Buy-Sell-Swap
Thumbnail

ResMed DC-DC converter for S9

I have for sale a converter which allows the S9 machine, which requires a 24v supply, to run from a vehicle 12v or 24v DC socket, or direct from a 12v battery. The converter can power a humidifier and heated tube as well as the CPAP machine,…See More
Oct 13
Bill Thomson joined The SleepGuide Crew's group
Oct 13
Sleep2snore replied to Chris Vesey's discussion Cure for wind
"It would depend if there was a smell or not "
Oct 9
Sleep2snore replied to Edam's discussion Double inhaling
"I'll be interested to know what you have found.  Give it time so you can prove what is happening. I had my machine pulse at full pressure for the second time when it was switched on, turning it off then on again a couple of times with a…"
Oct 9
Mark bowerman is now a member of Hope2SleepGuide
Oct 9
Renee Rowlands posted a discussion

Recommendation please for Oximeter purchase.

Hello everyone!I would very much like to check my oxygen levels during the night.  Can anyone recommend an Oximeter to purchase please?My mask is a F&P Brevida which has soft straps and one of the straps slips up my head during the night, making…See More
Oct 7

© 2018   Created by The SleepGuide Crew.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service