Sleep apnoea

Specialty of Otolaryngology / ENT

Sleep apnoea is the interruption of breathing that occurs moments after falling asleep, preceded by a period of loud snoring for at least 10 seconds. If this process is repeated 5 times for each hour of sleep it is called Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome. Obstruction of breathing causes a decrease in oxygen levels in the body that makes it difficult for the person to have a restful sleep and causes tiredness the next morning. In addition, the persistence of this lack of oxygen could lead to pulmonary hypertension and future right-sided heart failure or myocarditis, so it is important to detect it early and perform relevant tests for a safe diagnosis. A sleep study is carried out to establish treatment that includes the change of some lifestyle habits (diet, abstention from alcohol, postural changes) and the prescription of a CPAP machine, which generates air pressure via a nasal mask. This stops respiratory obstruction, preventing snoring and favouring restful sleep. In some cases, surgery may be required if there are any airway scars or when the mask is not effective.

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