SLEEP AND APNEA

 

Sleep apnea is Mr. Doris' second field of expertise after Interventional Pulmonology.

What is Sleep Apnea? 
Apnea is a pause in breathing, lasting for at least 10 seconds. Sleep apnea, which occurs during sleeping, can be divided into two main types. The central sleep apnea refers to breathing pauses when there is no effort for breathing. In other words, the brain does not give a "signal" to the lungs to take a breath. The obstructive sleep apnea refers to pauses in breathing, although there is effort to breath. The lungs try to draw air into the chest cavity, but because of obstruction at some point in the upper airway (pharynx-larynx) they fail. This type is the most common form of sleep apnea.

What are the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea? 
The patient himself does not realize his problem. Often, a partner who observes a possible snoring or breathing disorder is the one who will encourage the patient to consult a doctor. Some patients wake up at times, with their heart pounding loudly, sweating or with a sensation of choking. Poor sleep quality resulting from obstructive sleep apnea leads to fatigue and drowsiness during the day. This in turn can lead to morning headaches, difficulty in concentration, poor memory and reduced ability to work.

 

Is this a serious condition? 
YES, sleep apnea is dangerous and requires immediate treatment. Risks include heart attack, stroke, arrhythmias and high blood pressure. Sleep deprivation, which results from sleep apnea, has the same effect on one's ability to drive as alcohol consumption. People who suffer from sleep apnea are about 7 times more likely to have a car crash. Also, patients who neglect this problem without seeking medical advice have higher mortality rates than those who have successfully resolved the problem.

How can the doctor diagnose sleep apnea? 
Medical history and physical examination at the clinic can identify patients at risk from obstructive sleep apnea. Typical signs and symptoms of sleep apnea can be identified, and possible signs of respiratory tract obstruction can be seen. However, the diagnosis of sleep apnea requires a sleep study . A typical overnight study involves the patient staying over night in a special sleep lab. During the examination, brainwaves, muscle tension, eye movements, electrocardiogram, breathing, blood oxygen levels and breathing sounds (snoring, etc.) are continually monitored and measured.

How is sleep apnea treated? 
The CPAP (continuous positive airways pressure) device provides air under pressure to the airways through a mask applied to the patient's face. It is the most widespread and effective treatment of obstructive apnea. However, 
patients with mild syndromes can treat the problem with diet or under certain indications, with some dental device to correct their anatomical defect. 
On the contrary, many patients with severe sleep apnea are undiagnosed due to inadequate knowledge of relevant specialties.
The surgical approach although highly prominent they have strict indications and rarely solves the problems of obstructive apnea in adults, with nasal scoliosis correction procedures, removal of nasal polyps, tonsillectomy and pharyngopreopoplasty.

 

 

 


 

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