Sleep apnea, is a disruption of breathing while asleep. OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea. It is caused by an airway obstruction, which stops the air flow in the nose and throat.
Although episodes of choking or gasping for air might occur hundreds of times throughout the night, you may not have any recollection of struggling for breath.
Usually it is the bed partner who first notices that the person is struggling to breathe. If left untreated, this common disorder can be life-threatening.
Warning signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:
and Frequent silences during sleep due to breaks in breathing (apnea)
and Choking or gasping during sleep to get air into the lungs
and Loud snoring
and Sudden awakenings to restart breathing or waking up in a sweat
and Daytime sleepiness and feeling unrefreshed by a night\’s sleep, including falling asleep in daytime. It can be dangerous while driving and at work.
The sleep specialists /ENT surgeonsÂ are the doctrs who diagnose and treat people with sleep apnea.
Medical and Family Histories
Your doctor will ask you and your family questions about how you sleep and how you function during the day. To help your doctor, consider keeping a sleep diary for 1 to 2 weeks. Write down how much you sleep each night, as well as how sleepy you feel at various times during the day.
Your doctor also will want to know how loudly and often you snore or make gasping or choking sounds during sleep. Often you’re not aware of such symptoms and must ask a family member or bed partner to report them.
If you’re a parent of a child who may have sleep apnea, tell your child’s doctor about your child’s signs and symptoms.
Let your doctor know if anyone in your family has been diagnosed with sleep apnea or has had symptoms of the disorder.
Many people aren’t aware of their symptoms and aren’t diagnosed.
ENT surgeon will check your mouth, nose, and throat for extra or large tissues. The tonsils often are enlarged in children with sleep apnea. A physical exam and medical history may be all that’s needed to diagnose sleep apnea in children.
Adults with the condition may have an enlarged uvula or soft palate. The uvula is the tissue that hangs from the middle of the back of your mouth. The soft palate is the roof of your mouth in the back of your throat.
Flexible fibre optic nasao laryngoscopy
Rigid Fibre optic Laryngoscopy
Endoscopic evaluation of the upper airway is very important before planning any treatment. Lot of information, areas of narrowing and other abnormalities are obtained by endoscopy. It is better to involve the anesthetist if any intubation problems are anticipated.It can be done in OPD even in children as seen in the picture above.
MRI showing thick soft palate and narrow velopharynx
CT Scan of retroplalatal airway
Also important information is obtained while getting MRI/CT imaging studies of the upper air passage.
A sleep study is another test for diagnosing sleep apnea. It captures what happens with your breathing while you sleep.
A sleep study is often done in a sleep center or sleep lab, which may be part of a hospital. You may stay overnight in the sleep center.
A polysomnogram (PSG) is the most common study for diagnosing sleep apnea. This test records:
and Brain activity
and Eye movement and other muscle activity
and Breathing and heart rate
and How much air moves in and out of your lungs while you’re sleeping
and The amount of oxygen in your blood
A PSG is painless. You will go to sleep as usual, except you will have sensors on your scalp, face, chest, limbs, and finger. The staff at the sleep center will use the sensors to check on you throughout the night.
A sleep specialist reviews the results of your PSG to see whether you have sleep apnea and how severe it is. He or she will use the results to plan your treatment.
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