What is Sleep Apnoea?
Sleep apnoea, sometimes referred to by its US spelling, sleep apnea, is a condition that affects your breathing during sleep. The condition results in disturbed nights and poor-quality sleep that can have a considerable impact on your health and wellbeing (and that of your sleeping partner!).
Sleep apnoea is a form of Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB). Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is when air stops flowing to the lungs because of a blockage (or an obstruction) in the upper airway. When your brain stops sending signals to your breathing muscles during sleep; this is Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA). Or it could be a combination of the two, also known a mixed or complex Sleep Apnoea.
OSA is by far the most common form making up 84% of all sleep apnoea diagnoses.1 In fact, The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over 100-million adults suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnoea worldwide.2
It is also estimated that up to 80% of people with SDB are not diagnosed and, although you may be unaware of it happening, sleep apnoea will disturb your sleep and can lead to many symptoms including excessive daytime-sleepiness. Your partner may also hear the tell-tale signs of sleep apnoea while you sleep – usually snoring followed by a period of silence, and then perhaps a loud snort or a gasp as you resume breathing.
However, once recognised and diagnosed, sleep apnoea is easily treated with Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) therapy which can transform your quality of life and improve other related health-issues that arise from this condition.