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Do you feel tired?

If you are a restless sleeper, or if you snore, wake up frequently at night and feel drowsy during the day, it may be sleep apnoea – temporary pauses in breathing – that’s keeping you from getting the sleep you need. Snoring need not be a health issue, but in cases where the person who snores temporarily stops breathing, it is possible that hypoxia (low oxygen levels in the blood) and prolonged wakefulness will lead to serious impacts on the heart, brain and other vital systems.

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA for short) is a significant medical condition affecting up to 4% of all middle-aged adults. The most common symptoms are loud snoring, sleep disturbances and severe drowsiness during the daytime. Patients with apnoea may develop cardiovascular disorders due to the repeated cycles of snoring, airway constriction and waking in the night. The vast majority of apnoea patients are overweight and have a short, thick neck, but some are of normal weight and have a small, retracted lower jaw. Because many patients are not aware of how heavily they snore or how many times they wake up at night, obstructive sleep apnoea can sometimes remain undiagnosed. To begin with, simply ask your partner or room-mate how you act and what you sound like while asleep.

What are the symptoms of OSA?

OSA affects men, women and children, irrespective of age and body size. Most people with OSA do not realise they are suffering from the condition. In many cases, someone else is the first to notice signs of the disorder. If you or someone you know snores regularly and exhibits one or more symptoms listed below, it may be a case of OSA. Note down which of the following factors is/are true in your case, and share the list with your doctor.

Daytime symptoms
Symptoms at night Other factors

Not feeling refreshed on waking
Sleepiness
Fatigue during the day
Difficulty concentrating
Easily irritated
Depression
Decreased sex drive

Snoring
Restless sleep
Choking
Constant visits to the toilet

Obesity
A thick neck or tightness in the upper airways
Women after menopause

What happens if I leave OSA untreated?

Those who are not diagnosed and who do not receive effective treatment for OSA are at risk of:

  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heart rhythm or heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Increased risk of accidents while operating a motor vehicle or in work-related situations.

Sleep laboratory

At our sleep laboratory we have the tools to diagnose and treat obstructive sleep apnoea and other breathing disorders. We will examine your sleep behaviour by performing a full-night study referred to as polygraphy. Polygraphy is a powerful tool for diagnosing respiratory problems as well as other disorders.

The sleep laboratory primarily diagnoses and treats the following ailments:

  • Obstructive sleep apnoea
  • Snoring
  • RLS (Restless Legs Syndrome)

Click on the links in the menu to the right to read more on how we examine and treat sleep disorders.