Communication is Care

Sleep tests on the rise

in Lifestyle

Obstructive Sleep Apnea
(OSA) is a disease in
which the upper airway
partially or completely
collapses, causing obstruction in
breathing and restricts airflow.
This causes the person to wake up
and it can happen asmany as hundreds
of times per night. Snoring
is a common symptom of OSA.
Other common signs and symptoms
include excessive daytime
sleepiness, obesity, high blood
pressure, morning headaches and

Obstructive Sleep
Apnea (OSA) is a
disease in which the
upper airway partially
or completely
collapses, causing
obstruction in
breathing and
restricts airflow.

Sleep apnea affects about 20
per cent of the adult population,
making it as widespread as diabetes.
It is estimated that about
90 per cent of people with obstructive
sleep apnea remain undiagnosed
and less than 1 per cent
get treated. Research shows that
50 per cent of type 2 diabetics
also have OSA. According to the
November 2011 edition of the Indian
Journal of Medical Research,
OSA is prevalent in 13.7 per cent of
urban North Indian males and in
9.3 per cent of the adult population
in Delhi and NCR.

Clinical evidence suggests that
untreated sleep apnea can severely
affect the quality of life,
health and mortality and can be a
contributing factor to health problems like diabetes,
high blood pressure, heart disease,
stroke and obesity. In diabetics,
untreated OSA impacts
glucose metabolism and contributes
to insulin resistance. Men
aged between 40-70 with high
sleep apnea are likely to develop
coronary heart disease and heart
failure. OSA has also been shown
to cause more accidents in the
work place and while driving.

Currently sleep apnea screening
and diagnosis is expensive
and carried out in a handful of
sleep labs in India. Given this
background, there is a fundamental
need for widespread sleep
apnea screening and diagnosis
among the adult population
through increased accessibility
and affordability. Clinicians have
started warming up to the concept
of easy home sleep tests and
patients also find these more affordable
and less cumbersome
than the conventional sleep labs
or PSGs. As a result, the number
of home sleep tests conducted in
India is on the rise.

Sleep apnea is detected
through the ApneaLink. It is a
compact, automatic and easy to
use device that records just the
right parameters: AHI (Apnea-Hypopnea
Index is an index that indicates
the severity of sleep apnea
events during sleep), oxygen desaturation
and pulse – and determines
whether a person has
Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The device
can be easily and comfortably
worn by the person just before
sleeping. It is an overnight study
that can be done at the privacy
and comfort of a person’s home. In
the morning, a simple, summarised
and easy to interpret report
with a colour-coded risk
indicator is generated to diagnose
the existence of OSA.

Once a patient is diagnosed
with OSA, the doctor prescribes
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway
Pressure) therapy. It is the most
common and widely accepted
treatment for any level of Obstructive
Sleep Apnea and considered
the gold standard treatment by the
medical fraternity. It is safe, effective
and non invasive and does not
require drugs or surgery. In CPAP
therapy, a portable bedside device
gently pushes air via a mask and
the slight air pressure keeps the
airway open and prevents apneas
from occurring. A fixed CPAP device
delivers a fixed pressure during
therapy while an auto CPAP
device automatically adjusts the
pressure with every breath.
CPAP devices continue to come
out with newer and better features.

The recently launched S9 AutoSet
from ResMed has an industry first
technology that automatically delivers
the optimal temperature and
humidity to the patient for enhanced
comfort. The S9 is winner
of the RedDot design award.
By eliminating or significantly
reducing apneas, CPAP therapy
improves a person’s sleep, reduces
OSA related health risks and enables
him/her to lead an energetic,
healthy and potentially longer life.
Among diabetics, CPAP therapy
has shown to improve insulin sensitivity,
after-meal blood glucose
and HbA1C level, blood pressure,
cardio-vascular health and reduces
diabetes-related complications.

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