Sleep apnoea is a common condition that occurs in about 1 in 3 Singaporeans in both adult and children. It is associated with the following harmful medical conditions:
- Unrefreshed sleep with poorer quality of life
- Poorer memory and concentration with decreased learning ability in children
- Hypertension and heart diseases
- Diabetes mellitus which in turn is associated with multiple organ diseases
- Obesity and weight gain
- Higher incidence of car accidents
Obstructive sleep apnoea occurs only during sleep and individuals suffering from this condition will not experience any choking or difficulty in breathing while awake. It is important to be tested to see if you suspect this condition.
Evaluation of sleep apnoea requires the following:
- Detailed history about the condition including situation during sleep. Is there snoring, mouth breathing or even choking during sleep.
- Physical examination including a thorough nasal and oral passage evaluation to see if the possibility of obstructive sleep apnoea exist.
- Sleep study. Thankfully this can now be performed in the comfort of your own home thus eliminating “first night effect” during test. The sleep test is only accurate if you are able to fall asleep during the test.