What are the sleep-related breathing disorders?
- Snoring (most common)
- Snoring with occasional sleep apnoea
- Obstructive sleep apnoea
- Central sleep apnoea (most rare)
I was determined not to wear the mask from the A/Pap m/c every night for the rest of my life and so I looked at various devices and operations from various countries, I then discovered Braintree Dental Studio who advised they could help me with the mandibular device. They could not have been more helpful precise and professional. This is the best thing that could have happened to me as after all my efforts to stop me having to use the A/Pap m/c were finally realised.
In conclusion I would like to thank the people that made this possible who are Essex Sleep Centre who are part of Braintree Dental Studio and of course the clever company that designed and build these wonderful devices Sleepwell.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?
It is the complete obstruction of the airway by the soft tissues in the nose, mouth and upper neck. The difference between snoring and sleep apnoea is that you completely stop breathing for at least 10 seconds, so obstructive sleep apnoea is the more dangerous sleep-related breathing disorder. It is classified as mild, moderate or severe depending on how many apnoeic episodes you have per hour; in other words, how many times you stop breathing while you sleep. It affects well over 4% of males and 2% of females in the UK.
What are the symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?
During the night: Snoring, snorting, gasping for air, absence of breathing, getting up often in the night to urinate, involuntary limb movements.
During the day: Wake up feeling tired, excessive daytime sleepiness especially while at work or driving, lack of energy, lack of concentration, poor memory, headaches on waking, depression.
How is my lifestyle affected?
Snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea can profoundly affect your quality of life. It can put a strain on relationships owing to night-time sleep disturbances and daytime behavioural affects. You have less energy to perform daily tasks. It may also cause social embarrassment.
How is my health affected?
If you or your partner has sleep apnoea they are at increased risk of depression, gastric reflux (heartburn), high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, heart attack and even sudden death. To put this into context, people with obstructive sleep apnoea are more likely to be on multiple drugs to control blood pressure and 70% of all people who suffer from a stroke have obstructive sleep apnoea.
Why does Obstructive Sleep Apnoea affect my quality of sleep?
Quality sleep must be continuous and uninterrupted. Sleep occurs in different stages as we pass from a state of being awake to light sleep and then deep sleep. Deep sleep is comprised of Non-REM and REM sleep (also known as dream sleep). We enter REM sleep approximately every 90 minutes. People with obstructive sleep apnoea rarely get REM sleep as the obstruction in breathing tells your brain to partially wake you up, usually with a loud intake of breath. This may occur hundreds of times per night, so people with obstructive sleep apnoea wake up still feeling tired despite having enough sleep in terms of duration.
What causes snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?
Many factors including:
- Soft tissue anatomy – the size and position of the tongue, soft palate and muscles that control the airway size. The tonsils, uvula, nasal polyps, deviated nasal septum and enlarged nasal turbinates may be involved.
- Bony anatomy – the size and position of the skull, spine, upper jaw and lower jaw (to which the soft tissues attach).
- Genetics – men tend to deposit more fat in the upper neck; women after the menopause lose the protective effect that hormones have on stimulating the upper neck muscles.
- Age – muscle tone reduces with age so the muscles controlling the airway become weaker.
- Obesity – fat tissue constricts the airway.
- Alcohol, sedatives and anti-depressants – relax the muscles that control the airway.
- Existing respiratory disorders and allergies – reduces oxygen reaching the airway.
- Smoking – reduces oxygen reaching the airways and causes inflammation in the throat.
- Hypothyroidism – an underactive thyroid gland.
- Sleeping position – lying flat on your back increases snoring and OSA.
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