Specialty of Otolaryngology / ENT

Snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea is characterised by temporary closing of the upper airway, at the level of the pharynx during sleep. The most commonly known symptom of this problem is snoring, but in severe cases the patient can stop breathing (apnoea) for more than ten seconds, meaning multiple and repetitive episodes of sleep interruption occur overnight. These episodes cause depletion of oxygen in the brain, which increases the risk of cardiovascular problems, diabetes or stroke. The affected person may also experience sleepiness, general fatigue or depression, impaired concentration and see an impact on their professional and personal performance. The most common causes of snoring and apnoea are obesity, a large soft palate, and hypothyroidism. Treatments include weight loss, lifestyle changes, abstention from cigarettes, sleeping while wearing a nasal mask that delivers air pressure controlled by a mechanical device (CPAP), and palate surgery.

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