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Snoring - A Silent Killer?

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How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

If some of the above mentioned symptoms apply to you and your bed partner realizes that you have apneas during sleep you should consult your GP.

If there is a patient support group available in your area you should contact it, they mostly have a broad knowledge of the disease and offer competent help in all issues related to sleep apnea.

In order to see whether you suffer from a sleep apnea you will be given an ambulatory monitoring (screening) device for home-use which measures some important parameters (painless):

  • Snoring
  • Respiratory movements of the rib cage and abdomen
  • Heart rate (number of beats per minute)
  • Body position
  • Oxygen (O2) saturation in the blood
  • Flow (airflow) at the mouth and nose

If the results confirm a possible sleep apnea you will be submitted to a sleep lab where your sleep profile is examined and a couple of additional parameters are measured.

How is sleep apnea treated?

In mild sleep apnea you might experience relief with weight reduction and by not taking alcohol or sedatives in the evenings.

The treatment with the highest success rate is based on the principle of pneumatic splinting of the neck’s soft tissues, as a result of which the upper airway narrowing is limited and patency is maintained. This treatment is called CPAP meaning continuous positive airway pressure achieved by a device sucking room air through a filter and applying it with a preset pressure through a nasal mask, which the user wears at night.

CPAP-users often report a significant improvement in daytime sleepiness and wellbeing shortly after initiation of the treatment. Besides, CPAP has shown to improve the outcome of cardiovascular diseases in persons affected by sleep apnea.

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