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The Cost of Sleep Apnoea

cost of sleep apnoea Sleep Apnoea

The Cost of Sleep Apnoea

In our 24/7 society, people seem to expect and accept fatigue. They cut corners with sleep, stay up late working or with their tablets, TVs. Others are so stressed, so anxious; they can’t settle down at night – so they toss and turn. People often disregard their sleep problems as just part of life.

Unfortunately what may seem like a simple “sleep problem” can be much more serious – a medical disorder known as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea or OSA.

Some of the symptoms of this condition are severely disturbed sleep and excessive sleepiness during the day. This can take a dramatic toll on the sleepless person, their bed partner, other relationships, even their employer.

OSA can affect your whole life and your life expectancy.

What exactly is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?

Obstructive sleep apnoea is a condition in which a person’s breathing temporarily stops and starts again, frequently through the night. It’s caused by a narrowing or closure of the airway during sleep. When untreated, this condition deprives people of a good night’s sleep, resulting in severe daytime sleepiness.

OSA is more common in men than women, especially obese men who snore. Seniors are more likely to develop the condition – as are people with hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. With the increasing age and obesity in the UK, the numbers of OSA cases is expected to increase in coming years.

The majority of OSA cases are undiagnosed, but experts estimate that 1.5 million adults have the disorder in the UK. Only a small number — just 330,000 people — have been diagnosed and treated.

When the condition is not treated, people don’t get the restorative sleep the body requires. Plus there are consequences such as increased road traffic accident rates, cardiovascular events, and strokes.

Statistics show higher risks of untreated OSA:

  • 40% increased excessive daytime sleepiness
  • 2 times more traffic accidents per mile
  • 3 times greater risk of occupational accidents
  • 40% increased risk of depression
  • 1.3 to 2.5 times more hypertension
  • 1.6 times increased chance of stroke
  • 1.4 to 2.3 times greater risk of heart attack
  • 2.2 times higher risk of nocturnal cardiac arrhythmia
  • 3.9 times more likely to have congestive heart failure

In one study of 421 people, researchers found that 95% of those diagnosed with OSA thought they suffered from a snoring or fatigue problem. They didn’t know about OSA, the symptoms or the risks.

OSA in the workplace.

One conservative estimate indicates that each undiagnosed employee in the workforce costs an additional £4,500 per year in expenses. Lost productivity caused by drowsiness, workplace accidents, and time off due to fatigue are just a few examples.

The amount of road traffic accidents are also higher among drowsy drivers.

Also, people with sleep apnoea tend to have health problems like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, affecting overall health and productivity. There is also a vicious circle for the sufferers of obesity. The lack of restful, restorative sleep means the energy and desire to exercise is reduced. The more tired you get, the less likely you will exercise; which compounds the weight issue.

Therefore, it is critical to determine the cause of the sleep problem. If it is indeed Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, there are very effective treatments (that have been used for over 40 years) to resolve the disorder — significantly improving quality of life, health, and productivity.

Do you know someone with OSA?

While OSA can be a highly disruptive disorder when it’s untreated, the costs of accidents and health problems are dramatically reduced when people receive treatment. The problem is, the person needs to know if they have OSA!

Too many people don’t realise they have sleep apnoea or may not have access to effective treatment, experts say.

If you know (or sleep with) someone who snores, they may have sleep apnoea.

A few questions to help you know:

  • Do they snore loudly?
  • Do they ever wake up with a snort, gasping for breath, like they are choking?
  • Do they wake up with a headache?
  • Are they overweight?
  • Do they have a large neck?

Also, do they have any of these medical problems:

  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Stroke
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Type 2 diabetes

If you have answered YES to a large number of these questions, your loved one may have this severe sleep disorder, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.

A simple overnight test will inform you.

So now you want to know if you have OSA, a simple test will tell you. This sleep test is called “overnight oximetry”, and it assesses the level of oxygen in your body when you are asleep.

You simply wear a little cuff over one finger while you sleep; that’s all there is to it!

The finger cuff is connected to a small recording device worn on the wrist that tracks your body’s oxygen level during the night. This tracking will tell sleep experts whether you might have sleep apnoea. You simply wear the recorder overnight and return it the next day.

Here’s the bad news about NHS sleep apnoea testing.

The NHS provides an at-home sleep test that requires multiple appointments:

  • Appointment with the doctor
  • Appointment to collect the equipment at the hospital
  • Appointment to discuss the result with the doctor
  • And most likely, an appointment to return the equipment to the hospital

All this assumes that the oximetry test catches sleep apnoea at the first attempt. 30% of cases need a more in-depth study, typically overnight polysomnography (PSG) in the hospital.

All this can take several months, waiting for various appointments, and results are sent to the DVLA.

How You Can Get Tested for Sleep Apnoea Discreetly, Quickly

There is a discreet, completely confidential in-home sleep test you can take to get your results.

You’ll get your results directly, and the NHS & DVLA won’t ever see it – unless you share it.

Here’s the Intus Healthcare In-Home Sleep Test:

Convenient – delivered to your doorstep overnight.

No time off work – You won’t make a hospital trip to get the testing device or return it. You won’t need appointments with a doctor before or after taking the test.

Affordable – The cost of an Intus test is less than a day off work might cost — £199.

Comfortable – Testing is all done at home, so there’s no overnight stay in hospital.

Accurate results – Test is evaluated by NHS-trained sleep specialists, with accuracy comparable to polysomnography (PSG) testing.

Fast results – Takes less than 3 weeks from ordering to results (NHS testing takes several months waiting for various appointments).

Confidential – We never share results with your GP or the DVLA. We will only share the test results with you, and you will take it from there. You can pursue the treatment you need.

Visit this site to learn more about the convenient, confidential, comfortable, accurate, and affordable Home Sleep Test for Sleep Apnoea from Intus Healthcare: www.sleeptest.co.uk

What is an At-home Detailed Sleep Test?

Our sleep test is a private test conducted in your own bed. The simple equipment is sent to you to wear at home. It is then returned, and the results professionally analysed by a qualified sleep specialist.

The At-Home Detailed Sleep Test works by monitoring your heart rate and blood oxygen levels throughout the night. In many cases, this alone would be enough to identify Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.

However, in addition to these, the At-Home Detailed Sleep Test also records your body position, body movements, snoring intensity, and crucially your Peripheral Arterial Tone. This key physiological signal can indicate respiratory disturbances during sleep. It would be best if you also filled in a medical questionnaire.

A Detailed Sleep Test provides the most efficient, affordable way to have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea professionally confirmed.

Visit this site to learn more about the convenient, confidential, comfortable, accurate, and affordable Home Sleep Test for Sleep Apnoea from Intus Healthcare: www.sleeptest.co.uk

Effective Treatment for OSA

To get Obstructive Sleep Apnoea under control, treatment focuses on opening the airway during sleep so the person can keep breathing. Lifestyle changes can be helpful — weight loss, cutting back on alcohol and sleeping pills, and medication to relieve nasal congestion.

There are many treatments available for OSA patients at different levels of severity (mild, moderate and severe).

However, the primary treatment to open the airway is “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure,” or CPAP for short.

What is CPAP therapy?

CPAP is a machine that works by blowing air at pressure into the back of the throat to keep the airway open during sleep. This prevents the airway from collapsing, allowing you to sleep better and helping to maintain the correct oxygen levels while you sleep.

CPAP therapy is used by millions of people worldwide every night. The concept is relatively simple: blowing air into the user’s airway, which creates positive pressure. This helps keep the airway open and free of obstructions such as loose tissue. That is the essence of the CPAP machine, and it allows normal sleep.

Numerous clinical studies have proven the effectiveness of CPAP. The therapy reduces sleepiness and the risk of heart problems. Therefore, most OSA diagnoses have CPAP has the first treatment option.

Where can you get CPAP?

You may be able to obtain the equipment via the NHS (although waiting times can be several months) or you can purchase privately from our sister website CPAP.co.uk.

Are you interested in CPAP therapy?

Most people receiving CPAP treatment experience a dramatic improvement in their health and quality of life, and their health care costs return to normal levels. They showed significant improvements in driving, daytime sleepiness, cognitive performance and mood.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) found that treatment with CPAP was cost-effective, as it reduces daytime sleepiness and offers good value for money. There is evidence that treating OSA can significantly reduce costs incurred within the NHS when

compared to no treatment.

By one estimate, using CPAP for 14 years could result in savings to the NHS close to £1,000 per person – while providing patients with tremendous health benefits in terms of reduction in risks of strokes, cardiovascular events, and road traffic accidents.

Treated sleep apnoea increases productivity due to reduced sleepiness at work and improves bed partners’ quality of life (no more snoring!).

If everyone in the UK were to be treated for their moderate to severe OSA, an estimated 40,000 road accidents could be prevented each year. 

Treatment for mild OSA.

For patients whose OSA is relatively mild, NICE recommended the use of CPAP if lifestyle advice and other relevant treatment options have not been successful.

However, a significant study concluded that simple, non-invasive lifestyle changes wouldn’t be effective in improving sleep apnoea. Experts believe that when treatment is delayed, there is a negative impact on the person’s health. Treating OSA decreases the risk of having stroke (by 49%), a cardiovascular event (by 46%) and the risk of traffic accidents (by 31%), which reduces the healthcare costs of managing those events.

Mandibular Advancement Device Treatment.

Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) uses a splint worn in the mouth to move the lower jaw slightly forward to allow for more airflow. As the throat narrowing or closing causes OSA, positioning the lower jaw further forward creates more space inside the throat for air passage. It reduces the frequency of apnoeas and hypopnoeas as a result. In many cases, snoring is also reduced.

The splint can be either a custom-made appliance fitted by a dentist or a much lower cost ‘heat and bite’ device that provides simple customisation. OAT is a clinically-proven method of treating mild OSA, and some find it more comfortable or less invasive than CPAP.

Positional Therapy

In most cases, snoring and OSA is more severe when the person is on their back, and so positional therapy is used to keep them sleeping on their side. A finger pulse study does not record your sleep position, so it cannot indicate whether or not positional therapy will benefit. But if your partner has noticed that you snore or have breathing pauses more often (or exclusively) when you are on your back, then this may be a good option. Treatment involves wearing equipment such as a bumper belt to prevent you from rolling onto your back during sleep gently. This can be an effective technique for keeping snoring and mild OSA under control.

Nutrition, lifestyle and weight loss

If appropriate, a nutrition and weight-loss program can often provide benefit. Living with a healthier body is known to have a significant, direct positive effect on sleep, OSA and many other health issues. A direct link between excess weight and both OSA and snoring severity has been shown, so if you are overweight, you may find that weight loss provides an improvement in your OSA symptoms.

Positive effects of treatment for Sleep Apnoea

When you get treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, your health will improve. You might be able to cut back on medications.

A Canadian study found 38% of patients treated with CPAP were able to reduce their medicines to manage diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease compared to when they were not treated.

Road traffic accidents decreased.

You’ll be a safer driver if you get OSA treated.

Due to day time sleepiness, OSA is associated with a greater risk of road traffic accidents, which may be deadly. On the other hand, increased CPAP use by 59,400 patients could lead to approximately 7,000 fewer traffic accidents each year.

Researchers believe there could be nearly 40,000 fewer road accidents per year in the UK. The majority of accidents do not result in fatality or injury. Nevertheless, the benefit of this many fewer accidents would be considerable.

How You Can Get Tested for Sleep Apnoea Discreetly, Quickly

Is it time to get answers about your snoring (or your bed partner’s snoring)?

Simply order the at-home test that has helped thousands of people get the help they need.

This is a discreet, completely confidential in-home sleep test.

You’ll get your results directly, and the NHS & DVLA won’t ever see it – unless you share it.

Here’s the streamlined Intus Healthcare In-Home Sleep Test:

Convenient  – delivered to your doorstep overnight.

No time off work  – You won’t make a hospital trip to get the testing device or return it. You won’t need appointments with a doctor before or after taking the test.

Affordable  – The cost of an Intus test is less than a day off work might cost — £199.

Comfortable  – Testing is all done at home, so there’s no overnight stay in hospital.

Accurate results  – Test is evaluated by NHS-trained sleep specialists, with accuracy comparable to polysomnography (PSG) testing.

Fast results  – Takes less than 3 weeks from ordering to results (NHS testing takes several months waiting for various appointments).

Confidential  – We never share results with your GP or the DVLA. We will only share the test results with you, and you will take it from there. You can pursue the treatment you need.

Visit this site to learn more about the convenient, confidential, comfortable, accurate, and affordable Home Sleep Test for Sleep Apnoea from Intus Healthcare: www.sleeptest.co.uk

Author: HELEN CLARKSON

About author: Helen Clarkson is a Sleep Specialist at Baywater Healthcare. Ms. Clarkson has worked with Baywater since 2008, working closely with patients in delivering sleep/bi-level services including sleep and respiratory, both in the home and clinic setting. This includes therapy initiation and troubleshooting support. Ms. Clarkson is responsible for delivering the Baywater Healthcare patient adherence management programme to ensure continuing patient therapy compliance. works in conjunction with NHS clinicians and procurement to deliver excellence in home and clinic-based services. She provides training on all aspects of sleep including devices and interfaces. Previously, Ms. Clarkson served as Respiratory Physiologist at Pontefract General Infirmary. Her position was Senior MTO for lung function/sleep department, and she was responsible for performing simple and complex sleep studies, sleep study analysis, CPAP initiation, therapy adherence and troubleshooting/service clinics, spirometry, lung volumes and transfer factor, reversibility, CPET, hyperventilation testing, EIA testing, skin prick testing, 6 min walk tests. She has also held roles as Respiratory Physiologist and Respiratory Technician, working closely with patients with respiratory disorders -- including ex-miners. Ms. Clarkson has a BSc (Honors) in Applied biology from University of Staffordshire. She also studied Developments in Sleep Medicine (advanced course) at St. Thomas’ Hospital, and took the Edinburgh Sleep Medicine course. She completed the BSS: Advanced sleep course and the ARTP NIV Course.

In-Home Sleep Test

In-home Sleep Test provides a quick, convenient and affordable way to have Sleep Apnoea confirmed. All studies are independently analysed by experienced NHS-qualified sleep professionals, and use the WatchPAT recording device for unrivalled accuracy.
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