Good sleep is essential to ensure an efficient and effective performance of your daily activities. A normal adult requires an average of 8 hours of sleep per day. That is one third of our lifetime!
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by multiple brief interruptions or cessation of breathing during sleep. It is increased with obesity and age and estimated to affect 5% of the adult population. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
What Happens During OSA?
Apnea can occur when excess tissue in the upper airway, such as abnormally large tonsils, blocks the airway during sleep. Apnea can also occur when the tongue or throat muscle relax too much leading to the collapse/closure of the upper airway.
- Loud snoring
- Cessation of breathing during sleep (apnea)
- Choking, gasping, snorting during sleep
- Restless sleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness (Epiworth Sleepiness Scale)
- Morning headache
- Dry mouth
- Poor concentration and short term memory
- Decreased libido
What Happens If Not Treated
- Ischemic heart disease
- Gastro esophageal reflux disease
- Diabetes mellitus
- Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents in drivers
What Can I Do
- You need to undergo a physical examination and assessment by a physician.
- You would then undergo an overnight sleep study (polysomnography [PSG]). This can be performed either at your home or at a hospital.
- The PSG would provide your doctor with details of your sleep pattern, breathing disturbances and blood oxygen level.
- Treatment will depend on the severity of the condition. Most patients will require the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine during sleep to relieve the obstruction and symptoms.
- Surgery is effective in a select group of patients and usually involves procedures that trim excess soft tissue from the upper part of the throat ( uvulopharyngeopalatoplasty) and may involve moving the base of the tongue forward and anchoring it to the base of your chin (genioglossus advancement).
- Specially-cast dental appliances (braces) can also be worn at night to treat obstructive sleep apnea.
Our Sleep Study Team:
Dr Lee Moon Keen
Dr Goh Seok Chin
Dr. Dipak Banarsi Dass
Dr Michael Ang Jin Kiat