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As we sleep, our muscles relax and the airway becomes narrower and sometimes collapses. The obstruction persists until the level of sleep changes to a lighter state (called arousal) which increases the breathing exertion to override the obstruction.
The overall reduction in sleep quality prevents the normal restorative sleep process and can result in various stress responses including increased blood pressure as well as other symptoms. Sufferers are often not aware of their changes in sleep patterns but sometimes awaken with a start or choking sensation as a result of the obstruction.
Sleep Apnoea affects approximately one in every twenty-five people and can have significant impact on a sufferer’s quality of life.
Partners and friends most often notice the symptoms of Sleep Apnoea before sufferers and it is often a helpful to advise sufferers to visit their doctor for more information.
Most symptoms of Sleep Apnoea are a consequence of sleep disruption and may include:
People suffering with Sleep Apnoea or snoring are encouraged to consult their doctor to assess the health risks associated with the condition. Very often sleep apnoea occurs as a symptom of other underlying medical conditions.
A doctor can advise patients about various way of modifying the causes of Sleep Apnoea such as weight loss and other lifestyle changes. Patients may be referred for a sleep assessment to determine the severity of the condition and further advice regarding treatment.
If you are experiencing the symptoms listed above then you should discuss these problems with your doctor. Lifestyle changes may be recommended and a referral for a sleep study may be useful to clarify the severity of your condition. This will require referral to a Respiratory or Sleep Specialist.
After a sleep study, you will be advised on the most appropriate treatment. Read more about treatment options…
If you are experiencing poor quality or loss of sleep, Dr Murray would love to help you diagnose the source of your problem and help you start to get a better night’s sleep.
Please call Albany Clinic on (07) 3264 2622 today to book an appointment.