Snoring and sleep apnoea

Sleep apnoea occurs when the airway is partially or fully blocked from the tongue and soft palate collapsing on to the throat. This can result in the person not breathing momentarily and reduce the flow of oxygen to the blood. When the brain senses less oxygen, it prompts the airway to open again.  This is when the person may gasp or choke. The person gets back to sleep again, usually unaware of such an incident occurring. Their partner sleeping next to them usually notices this.

These sleep apnoea episodes can occur many times in the night. These episodes can keep bed partners awake especially when breathing stops. Serious health consequences such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and even death in moderate and severe cases can occur. Other dangerous consequences such as accidents associated with motor vehicles or machinery can occur as a result of lack of concentration due to daytime sleepiness. Therefore, this is not to be taken lightly.

Some of the common symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue, loud snoring, headaches, unrefreshed upon waking, falling asleep during activities like sitting, watching TV.

If you suspect that you may have sleep apnoea, we recommend a referral from your GP to a sleep physician who can organise a sleep study. Depending on the diagnosis from the sleep physician, we can provide oral sleep appliances/devices to help manage obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring.