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The Current Pandemic and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea: A Simple Test Could Save Your Life

Sleep test - pandemic COVID-19

The Current Pandemic and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea: A Simple Test Could Save Your Life

As the cases of the current pandemic now rise well above one million across the globe, countries such as the United Kingdom are being forced to cope with a situation that would have been thought of as nothing more than fiction only a handful of months ago. 

The Pandemic and the NHS

The NHS is struggling to obtain the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Individuals and entire families are being forced to remain apart for extended lengths of time. Some Britons are still trapped in foreign locations. All of us are worried about how long it will take to overcome these and other scenarios.

Of course, we are just as concerned about our health and well-being of loved ones. This is particularly the case for those who have underlying health conditions or who may be suffering from problems of the respiratory tract. 

It should therefore come as no surprise that anyone who has been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) needs to take these concerns very seriously. Without adopting an alarmist undertone, the fact of the matter is that lives are indeed at stake. 

Do you suspect that you or someone you know might be suffering from this condition? If so, testing is crucial in order to encounter the most targeted treatment options (such as the use of a continuous positive airway pressure machine). Let’s, therefore, take a look at some telltale signs of OSA, how an at-home sleep test works, the associated advantages, and the risks of not obtaining a proper diagnosis. 

What are the Main Symptoms of OSA?

One of the best ways to determine whether or not this condition is present involves the associated conditions. As you may have already guessed, the primary debilitating factor of OSA is the fact that you are unable to obtain a sound night of sleep. 

As opposed to the occasional issues that might be attributed to insomnia, OSA tends to be defined as chronically interrupted sleep. Some of the primary symptoms which could signal that a problem is present include:

  • Excessive and loud snoring (this is often noticed by a partner or family member).
  • Coughing or choking for no apparent reason while laying down.
  • Waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air or feeling short of breath.

 

However, some other symptoms may be slightly more difficult to detect; they can often be associated with other conditions. Perhaps the most prevalent is feeling tired and lethargic throughout the day. 

The Dangers of the Current Pandemic

It is now important to “connect the dots” between sleep apnoea and the current pandemic outbreak. As you are likely already aware, this virus primarily impacts the health of the respiratory tract. 

Those who already suffer from chronic health conditions (such as OSA) are therefore much more likely to develop serious complications. In fact, it has been clearly shown that underlying illnesses are some of the main factors which have determined the mortality rates in recent weeks. 

This is why no chances should be taken if you suspect that you might have sleep apnoea. Let us now take a look at how an at-home test works as well as some of the main benefits that you can expect to enjoy.

The Role of an At-Home Sleep Test

The good news is that an at-home sleep test will be able to quickly determine whether or not this condition is present. This examination can be performed within the comfort of your own home and only one evening is normally required. 

You will be connected to an unobtrusive machine which measures issues such as breathing, heart rate and how many times you awake during the overnight hours. 

The results of this examination are then sent off to a sleep specialist. He or she will be able to interpret the findings in order to provide a clear diagnosis. So, it is clear to see why there is no better time than the present to learn the source of your sleep problems. 

The Benefits of a Solid Diagnosis

First and foremost, you will be able to take any doubt or guesswork out of the equation. Assuming that you are indeed found to have sleep apnoea, the majority of patients will be provided with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. 

This apparatus consists of a pump, a hose and a face mask (without becoming overly technical). You will wear this face mask during the overnight hours, as it provides you with a ready supply of oxygen under slightly higher pressure. 

Thus, your airway is able to remain open; helping to eliminate the symptoms mentioned earlier within this article. In other words, it is much easier to obtain that solid night of sleep which has been lacking.

Another advantage of obtaining an accurate diagnosis through the use of an at-home sleep test is that you will be able to avoid a host of long-term complications that may result from OSA. This brings us to the next main point. 

The Risks of Failing to Adopt a Proactive Approach

Sleep apnoea represents much more than a mere inconvenience in terms of your daily routine. A plethora of seemingly unrelated complications could result if you do not take action sooner as opposed to later. 

For instance, were you aware that OSA increases your chances of developing diabetes? It has likewise been shown that those who suffer from sleep apnoea are more likely to be overweight (possibly due to the fact that they do not have the energy to properly exercise). 

Some other illnesses which have been linked to sleep apnoea include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Stroke
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Chronic headaches

In the same respect, it is important to highlight the fact that energy levels throughout the day are much lower when compared to someone who is able to obtain a solid night of rest. This can impact your performance at work, lead to an excessive consumption of foods high in sugar and even place you at risk of suffering from an accident due to slower reaction times.

We finally need to factor in the current pandemic. This is possibly the most serious concern from a short-term perspective. Not only does such an observation derive from the obvious respiratory issues already mentioned, but it must be mentioned that a profound lack of sleep leads to a compromised immune system. 

Therefore, your body will have much more difficulty fighting a serious illness. This risk cannot be stressed enough, so obtaining an at-home sleep test is of paramount importance in this day and age. 

Only a Click Away

You will be pleased to know that an at-home sleep test is provided by our team and one can be procured in no time at all. Whether you have noticed difficulty sleeping during the overnight hours or you suspect that a partner might have this condition, there is no time better than the present to act. 

Not only can this provide you with protection from serious viral complications, but you will also lower your chances of developing long-term health issues.

 

Are you curious to learn more about why testing is the best way to combat the effects of obstructive sleep apnoea? If so, do not hesitate to contact one of our customer service representatives at your convenience. We are more than capable of providing the answers that you have been looking for. 

To order the Intus At-Home Sleep Test: https://www.sleeptest.co.uk/product/in-home-sleep-test/

 

Government Guidance on corona virus

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.

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