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Are you snoring yourself to death?

Dr. Lavanya Gali
Medical Director, SleepCare Solutions, Hyderabad

Snoring is annoying to your sleep partner, but since you don't have to hear yourself snore, you rarely pay attention to it. But while the irritability of your sleep partner should affect you, snoring must be seen as a red flag for your own health. You may be unknowingly snoring away the awareness of a debilitating disorder that your body could be struggling with – Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Dr. Lavanya Gali, Medical Director, Sleep Care Solutions, Hyderabad shares some valuable insights into the condition and its glaring impact on a patient's life.

Sleep Apnea means pauses in breathing when you sleep. An OSA patient experiences breathlessness while sleeping and therefore has multiple sleep obstructions. The body reacts to these bouts of breathlessness by releasing stress hormones in order to cope with the lack of oxygen. This in turn results in several physical, cardiovascular and neurological problems.

If left untreated, Obstructive Sleep Apnea can lead to medical complications like diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, increased risk of paralytic stroke by three times, 30% higher chances of heart attack, depression, dementia, skin changes, bone changes, obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Recent studies have even connected Sleep Apnea with kidney disorders,impotence and cancer.This condition has drastic effects on one's quality of life and physical health. A constant state of fatigue, dizziness, morning headaches and sleep allusions any time during the day become part of the patient's lifestyle. OSA can also become the underlying cause of poor concentration, productivity and constant irritability.

Treatment for OSA can have a rippling effect on the overall health of the patient. Post OSA treatment, a person suffering from diabetes can experience drop in ligated haemoglobin levels in 3-6 months which is a positive sign of diabetes management. While obesity can be a causal factor for Sleep Apnea, OSA can even worsen obesity. With Sleep Apnea treatment, obesity can also be effectively managed and weight loss becomes easier.

The most effective treatment device for Sleep Apnea currently available is the CPAP device which is the Gold Standard treatment for OSA. The device is externally used to facilitate breathing during sleep, thereby ensuring sufficient oxygen supply to the brain and other organs. As the normal sleep routine is re-established, patients start feeling a dramatic change in their mental and physical health. Not only do the sleep allusions, headaches and bouts of dizziness disappear, but an overall energy level boost is also experienced. Not only does OSA treatment enable weight loss, better thinking and decision making; it also significantly bring down the dream induced disturbance during sleep.

Once the CPAP treatment affects start becoming evident, rest of the treatment is mere compliance as 90% of the patients readily adapt the usage of device to lead a better life. So don't write off your loud snores and breathlessness as symptoms of fatigue and stress. Listen to what your body is trying to tell you and get Sleep Apnea treatment today for a better tomorrow.