What is sleep apnoea?
- Sleep apnoea is a common and serious sleep disorder that causes repetitive pauses and reduction in breathing during sleep.
- The muscles of the upper airway (including the tongue and soft palate) become relaxed during sleep, narrowing significantly or blocking the airway, limiting the amount of air that reaches the lungs for more than 10 seconds.
- Symptoms associated to this are loud snoring and choking noises as the brain and body become oxygen deprived alerting the body to wake up or move to lighter levels of sleep.
This may happen a few times or up to several hundred times during the night resulting in chronic tiredness and fatigue the next day.
Recent studies have shown that 1 in 10 Australians suffer from undiagnosed sleep apnoea and is generally more common in men than women. Untreated sleep apnoea has been linked to serious medical conditions, such as high blood pressure or cardiovascular problems, due to the sudden drop in blood oxygen levels as a result of airway obstruction. Sleep apnoea also increases the risk of diabetes, as it increases insulin resistance in the body and can cause abnormal liver function.
Early recognition of sleep apnoea is vital to achieve a good night’s sleep therefore, if you are unsure if you have sleep apnoea and would like to be tested, please call us today on 1300 800 357 and speak to one of our clinicians for more information.