Dr. Vaishak Vidyadhar, Physician with The Bangalore Hospital, Bangalore, advises on one of the sleep disorders known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), its symptoms and complications.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common but dangerous disorder where an individual experiences interruptions in their breathing, accompanied with excessive snoring, during sleep. If ignored, OSA can lead to physiological and emotional complications.
“The most common nocturnal symptom is excessive snoring. Snoring occurs in bouts, mostly ending with a loud snore. The person ceases to breathe temporarily in between the snoring episodes, thus the name apnea. Usually, the person suffering from OSA is not aware of the condition. It is their partner who reports it”.
Some of the risk factors for OSA are:
- High blood pressure
- Enlarged tonsils
- Narrow airways
- Chronic nasal congestion
- Male gender
- Family history of sleep apnea
- Excessive weight around the neck and face
- Skull anatomy
The symptoms of OSA can be:
Nocturnal or while sleeping: These symptoms are present when an individual is at sleep and is unaware of it:
- Excessive and loud snoring
- Cessation of breathing
- Gasping for breath
Daytime or while awake: The symptoms, which are a result of, disturbed sleep and an individual may or may not relate it with disturbed sleep:
- Poor concentration
- Tiredness and fatigue
OSA can become a possible cause of cardiovascular disease, physiological and psychological issues related with sleep deprivation, risk of accidents due to sleepiness while driving, eye problems, etc.
If you have been teased for your snoring and feel tired all the time, consult your doctor for a possible case of OSA.