Home News What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and how does it impact your lifestyle?

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and how does it impact your lifestyle?

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

By Dr Benjamin Loh

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is the most common sleep-related breathing disorder where the person stops breathing for a short period during sleep resulting in fragmented sleep.

Cessation of breathing happens when there is a closing or narrowing of the air passage resulting in reduced oxygen delivery into the body system.
This can happen many times during the night. The low oxygen level signals the brain causing one to wake up transiently to restart normal breathing.

Patients with OSA often have an unrefreshed sleep and might experience daytime sleepiness leading to difficulty in concentrating during the day.

- Advertisement -

It often remains underdiagnosed and if left untreated for a long period, OSA can lead to severe complications later in life.

How common is sleep apnoea in Singapore?

A local study showed that up to 1 in 3 Singaporeans may have moderate-to-severe OSA. However, many are often undiagnosed.

Most symptoms occur at night and only observed by the sleeping partner, hence leading to poor self-awareness.

Who should be concerned?

Increasing age, males and patients with higher weight gain are at a higher risk of OSA. Patients with airway obstruction like enlarges tonsils and adenoids might also contribute to OSA.

Do you have OSA?

You might OSA if you have these

Night symptoms:

  • Choking episodes during sleep
  • Witnessed episodes of breath stopped
  • Snoring
  • Restless sleep
  • Nocturia

Daytime symptoms:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Impaired concentration
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Irritability
  • Morning headache

How to diagnose OSA

Based on the convenience and comfort of the patient, experts can do the evaluation of OSA through sleep study. Consider to having your sleep study perform at the comfort of your own home or in hospital.

What can you do?

Your can also treat your OSA through different options that reduce sleep disturbances and its effects. Effective treatment will ensure that your airway remains open during sleep.

Treatments should be suitable for prolonged use and tailored to your needs.

Lifestyle changes

  • Weight loss through dietary changes and exercising 
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Sleeping sideways

Medical interventions

  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
  • Mandibular devices
  • Surgical treatment

Why should you care?

You might be at risk of many health issues if you have OSA.

  • Daily living activities – daytime sleepiness and a lack of concentration, which may affect daily life activities and increase the risk of errors at work.
  • Accidents – Road traffic accidents are more common in patients with OSA than without.
  • Cardiovascular morbidity – Studies have shown that moderate or severe untreated OSA can lead to heart problems such as high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and heart attack.
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes – Risks of diabetes and diabetes-related complications are higher and OSA may increase the risk of obesity which also contributes to diabetes.
  • Sexual Health –Studies have shown that OSA is linked to sexual dysfunction in both men and women
  • Increase in mortality

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

JTC issues stop-work order on contractor that ‘erroneously’ cleared Kranji woodlands

Singapore – The contractor that “erroneously” cleared a forested area at Kranji has announced it has been issued a stop-work order by JTC and is assisting the developer with investigations on the issue. On Feb 16, state-owned industrial property developer JTC responded...

Clementi, Dover, Kranji: Singapore’s grand conservation plan is to plant trees and destroy forests

Yes, we love to plant trees. Since Lee Kuan Yew started the whole ritual, at least 10,000 saplings are planted every year since 1963 as part of the Tree Planting campaign. Impressive indeed. Singapore Clean and Green. At the same time,...

Ex-UOB vice-president charged with mishandling over S$5.4 million

Singapore—Sixty-five-year-old Ling Shek Lun, who used to be a  vice-president at UOB, has been charged with mishandling millions of dollars, reported straitstimes.com (ST) on Friday (Feb 19). Ling, a Singaporean who was charged in district court on Feb 10, faces two charges...

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

Theindependent