When Snoring Is Just Part of the Puzzle in Sleep Apnoea

 

Untreated obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) refers to when people stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep – sometimes up to hundreds of times per night.

This means the brain – and the rest of the body – may not get enough oxygen, making the brain wake you up briefly to take (or gasp for) a breath, although you may not even remember waking.

Although nearly one in ten people suffer from sleep apnoea, there are many adult Australians blissfully unaware they are victims of this serious sleep disorder.

SYMPTOMS

One of the more obvious symptoms of sleep apnoea is snoring – although not all snorers have sleep apnoea. As an aside, snoring has a whole raft of sleep issues in itself!

If you don’t have a sleep partner to complain about your snoring, choking or gasping during the night, you can look out for other symptoms, such as being constantly tired and perhaps irritable (no wonder, after being awake half the night); lack of energy; poor concentration; weight gain; regular headaches; frequent urination during the night; insomnia; a sore throat and lowered libido.

HEALTH ISSUES

Science has linked fragmented sleep with an array of serious health issues, affecting physical, mental and emotional states, which compound over time.

Sleep apnoea is extremely common among people with Type 2 diabetes and obesity, also raises the risk for both disorders.

One of the body’s main engines – the heart – is under enormous pressure with high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, atrial fibrillation – a fast, fluttering heartbeat and even heart failure a very real threat.

It drains your mental abilities (little wonder with your brain triggering a ‘quick, breathe now response’ at regular intervals throughout the night, night after night), leading to lack of concentration, mental fatigue, regular headaches and irritability and even depression.

Daytime tiredness can also affect study, work performance and personal relationships.

Significantly, studies show that mortality, or death, rate increases with the severity of sleep apnoea – even mild OSA results in a 2.5 times increase in mortality rate.

WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS?

The first line defence is a CPAP (nasal continuous air pressure) machine. A CPAP is the first line of defence for moderate to severe sleep apnoea. However, many people have trouble tolerating a CPAP, dealing with issues of noise, pressure, feelings of claustrophobia, skin irritations and sleeping position.
For those people, as well as those with only mild to moderate sleep apnoea, a Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS), which slips easily inside the mouth like a dental mouthguard, can be a really effective option. The oral device available through Snorex Australia is fully customised in their dental lab to the unique contours of client’s teeth and jawline for a superior fit and maximum effectiveness, far outperforming off-the-shelf, one size fits all devices that proliferate the market. It’s easily portable, and a fraction of the price of a CPAP, without the costly replacement of masks and hoses.

AT HOME TREATMENTS TO COMPLEMENT MEDICAL OPTIONS

For some, age, gender, family history, and physical attributes won’t work in their favour. However, there are a number of ways to try to reduce the severity of snoring and sleep apnoea, to a greater or lesser degree, which include avoiding sleeping on your back; weight loss; avoiding alcohol, caffeine and sedatives before bed; stop smoking; trying to manage allergies; and keeping good sleep habits, such as regular sleep times, no technology an hour before bedtime, and making your sleep environment dark and cool.