Sleep apnea syndrome

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Sleep apnea syndrome:

Template:Infobox - Disease

Sleep apnea syndrome (SSA) or sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) is a frequent and serious disease that puts patients at high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The prevalence of hypertension in SSA is about 50%. The disease occurs in 4% of men and 2% of women. SSA is more common in individuals with central obesity.

Risk factors for the development of the disease include being overweight, eating an excessive amount of food before going to bed, drinking alcohol before going to bed, smoking, using Hypnotics, irregular sleep, male gender and family history.

We divide according to the cause
  1. obstructive (OSAS) – is caused by obstruction in the upper airways and respiratory effort is preserved;
  2. central – has a cause in CNS, respiratory effort is not present;
  3. mixed – is given by a combination of the two previous ones.
Record of typical snoring in SSA

Symptoms[edit | edit source]

The main symptoms include:

  1. excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue,
  2. frequent falling asleep during the day and reduced work performence,
  3. gasping for breath, temporary respiratory arrests, repeated awakenings at night,
  4. snoring,
  5. absence of dreams,
  6. dry mouth,
  7. headaches,
  8. symptoms of depression.

Headaches are much more common in SSA than in other sleep disorders; approximately 20% of patients report them. They typically appear in the morning after waking up, are mild, dull, non-pulsating, diffuse and usually subside within an hour. Their intensity does not correlate with the severity of SAS. Respiratory consequences depend on the degree hypoxemia and hypercapnia, in advanced cases of pulmonary hypertension, cor pulmonale, and Polycythemia occurs. Cardiovascular consequences include Hypertension, heart rhythm disorders, myocardial infarction, cerbrovascular disorders.

Investigation[edit | edit source]

A patient with suspected sleep apnea syndrome should be sent to a sleep laboratory, where a complete polysomnographic (PSG) examination is performed. During this examination, the following data are monitored:

  1. snoring,
  2. blood oxygen saturation,
  3. EKG, heart rate,
  4. respiratory movements of the chest and abdomen,
  5. airflow during breathing,
  6. EMG - lower limb movement,
  7. electrooculogram,
  8. EEG,
  9. Blood pressure.

Simpler investigation methods are often used - multi-channel sleep monitoring, where EEG is missing. The examination gives the apnea-hypopnea index, which indicates the number of apneas per hour of sleep (the norm is set at five apneas longer than 10 seconds). More severe degrees of the disease are associated with episodes of oxygen saturation drop to 80% or less. A sleep structure disorder is also typical. Apnea patients spend most of their sleep in stages one and two, with only 20% in deep sleep (stage three and four) and REM.

Treatment[edit | edit source]

Patient connected to CPAP

It is necessary to adjust the lifestyle, in overweight patients to reduce body weight, as well as regular physical activity.

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is the basis of treatment. This device maintains permanent excess pressure in the airways during sleep through a mask that is airtight on the nose. The cooperation of the patients of this very effective treatment is 60% due to the discomfort caused by the mask, the noise of the device, drying of the mouth and nose, skin irritation by the mask. In the case of persistent hypertension, the beta blocker beta-blocker atenolol has the most significant effect.

Surgical treatment tries to operatively resolve local airway obstruction. Methods used: nasal surgery, radiofrequency thermotherapy, tracheotomy, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, laser assisted uvuloplasty.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

It can be expected that the increasing awareness of doctors will also increase the number of diagnosed patients suffering from SSA. It is especially necessary to distinguish patients suffering from primary rhonchopathy (snoring) from apnoeic patients. That is why such an emphasis is placed on PSG examination of patients who complain of snoring. According to the data of various authors, among patients who come to the doctor with a single symptom - snoring, about 50% of patients have sleep apnea syndrome.

Links[edit | edit source]

Related Articles[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • ČEŠKA, Richard, ŠTULC, Tomáš, Vladimír TESAŘ a Milan LUKÁŠ, et al. Interna. 3. edition. Praha : Stanislav Juhaňák - Triton, 2020. 964 pp. ISBN 978-80-7553-780-5.