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Sleep apnea syndrome

The article was written by BSCK II Lam Nhan Minh Dinh - Emergency Doctor - Emergency Department, Vinmec Central Park International General Hospital

1. You slept but you didn't really rest! Can you believe it?

Sleep apnea syndrome is a respiratory disease that causes many serious consequences. Every year your heart and brain have suffered a lot of stress. Your sleep is disturbed, poor quality sleep is a consequence of this pathology.

2. What is sleep apnea syndrome?


During sleep, the patient with sleep apnea suffers from narrowing of the larynx as the pharyngeal muscles also rest. This condition makes it difficult for air to flow through the pharynx and the patient will snore to combat the condition. If the pharynx is completely closed, the patient will stop breathing for a period of time, a phenomenon called obstructive sleep apnea.
This condition can last about 10 seconds or more and repeats several times during the night. The patient has absolutely no memory of this condition, even though he has awakened episodes after each apnea.

3. Who is at high risk for sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea can occur at any age, but is most common in middle age, increasing with age, more men than women. People at high risk for sleep apnea if they have: obesity (the risk of sleep apnea is 3 times higher than the general population); structural abnormalities of the upper respiratory tract (hypertrophy of the tonsils, small jaw, posterior jaw, excessively large tongue, nasal obstruction...); alcoholism, use of sedatives, narcotics; someone in the family has sleep apnea; are suffering from diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, hypothyroidism, heart failure, cerebrovascular disease...

4. Sleep apnea syndrome is very dangerous for health


Sleep apnea if not diagnosed and treated promptly can lead to serious complications such as myocardial infarction, diabetes, hypertension, arrhythmia, stroke... Breathing during sleep can lead to a reduction in quality of life: excessive sleepiness, increased risk of traffic accidents, mood swings or depression, decreased sex drive. Early recognition of the disease and treatment reduces the risk of serious complications.

5. How do I know if I have sleep apnea?


Sleep apnea syndrome is often detected by co-sleepers: Snoring and having episodes of sleep apnea. There are also symptoms listed below that should also be considered:
Excessive daytime sleepiness Morning headaches Mood changes, irritability or depression Fatigue Memory loss

6. How to treat sleep apnea syndrome?

If you have the above signs, go to Vinmec Hospital for examination and screening. We will conduct a diagnosis to determine if you have sleep apnea syndrome and advise the appropriate treatment methods.
There are many methods of treatment. Choosing the right method for the patient will depend on the severity of the disease, the abnormalities of the upper respiratory tract, the comorbidities... The doctor will discuss with the patient and tell the method. which is best: use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) ventilator; using a mouthpiece while sleeping; surgery... In which, the current treatment of choice is using CPAP machine.

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