What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)?

    Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is more commonly known as sleep apnoea. OSA affects 1-2% of the adult population, and most often results in excessive sleepiness, impaired intellectual performance or focus and an increase risk of accidents. Overall OSA impacts on an individuals quality of life.

    Individuals with sleep apnoea will experience upper airway collapses (apnoeas) or partial blockages (hypopnoeas) during sleep.

    During full collapses, the the airway becomes blocked and this causes respiratory arrest. As a result of this, the oxygen levels in the blood drop considerably. This triggers the brain to deliver a working response and open the airways, which is known as an arousal. Sleep apnoea may cause hundreds of arousals a night, resulting in disrupted sleep and impaired organ and hormone function.

    Upper airway during normal breathing

    Narrow airway during hypopnoea

    Blocked airway during apnoea

    Use the STOPBANG online tool to determine if you are at low, medium or high risk of OSA. Click to scroll to the questionnaire.

    Symptoms and Health Risks

    The long term health risks of untreated sleep apnoea include:

    Diabetes

    Diabetes

    Cardiovascular disease

    Cardiovascular disease

    Stroke

    Stroke

    Hypertension

    Hypertension

    An adult with sleep apnoea may experience the following symptoms:

    • Fatigue
    • Mood swings
    • High blood pressure
    • Memory impairment
    • Frequent trips to the toilet in the night
    • Headaches
    • Loss of libido
    • Depression

    Signs of Sleep Apnoea in Children

    Of the 1-3% of children who are diagnosed with OSA, around 25% of these children have a pre-existing condition such as obesity, sickle cell disease, Down syndrome etc.

    Early signs that your child may have OSA are:

    • Snoring
    • Difficulty concentrating and/or poor school performance
    • Changes in behaviour
    • Headaches
    • Sleepiness: They may wake from sleep feeling tired and grumpy, or not hungry. They may feel tired during the day. Young children may present as hyperactive or aggressive, whereas older children tend to be tired.
    • Poor growth or weight gain

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    I believe I may be at risk of having OSA, what do I do now?

    If you think you may have, or be at risk of OSA the team at Dolby Vivisol can support you in finding the best course of treatment. Please get in touch with the team who will talk you through the next stage of diagnosis and treatment options available.

    Diagnostic testing

    The diagnosis of sleep apnoea and to determine the best method of treatment requires the expertise of a Health Care Professional (HCP). Conditions that may be hidden, undiscovered or dormant can be identified by analysis of a patient’s sleep patterns using diagnostic devices while the patient sleeps.

    Dolby Vivisol provides this diagnostic equipment for sleep-related respiratory disorders which range from a cardio-respiratory screening device to measure oxygen uptake, to advanced polygraphy systems for studies used at the patient’s home.

    STOPBANG Questionnaire and BMI Tool
    Use this tool to help determine if you are at low, medium or high risk of OSA.
    Click the arrow below to begin:

    Snoring ?
    Do you Snore Loudly (loud enough to be heard through closed doors or your bed-partner elbows you for snoring at night)?
    Tired ?
    Do you often feel Tired, Fatigued, or Sleepy during the daytime (such as falling asleep during driving or talking to someone)?
    Observed ?
    Has anyone Observed you Stop Breathing or Choking/Gasping during your sleep ?
    Pressure ?
    Do you have or are being treated for High Blood Pressure ?
    Body Mass Index more than 35 kg/m2?

    Body Mass Index Calculator




    Age older than 50 ?
    Neck size large ? (Measured around Adams apple)
    Is your shirt collar 16 inches / 40cm or larger?
    Gender = Male ?

    Treatment

    When diagnosing sleep apnoea, your doctor will consider the results of your sleep examination to determine the most appropriate treatment. The severity and frequency of the symptoms are important in determining the correct therapy. For example, if sleep apnoea occurs when you’re lying on your back then the doctor may prescribe a treatment to prevent you from rolling onto your back.

    The long term effects from untreated OSA can be severe so it is important to use the treatment prescribed by your clinician. Dolby Vivisol can support you in this journey.

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    Types of treatment:

    When diagnosing sleep apnoea, the results of your sleep examination will be used to help determine the most appropriate treatment. The severity and frequency of the symptoms are important in determining the correct therapy. For example, if sleep apnoea occurs when you’re lying on your back then the doctor may prescribe a treatment to prevent you from rolling onto your back.

    The long term effects from untreated OSA can be severe so it is important to use the treatment prescribed by your clinician. Dolby Vivisol can support you in this journey.

    Lifestyle

    You can also reduce your symptoms by making adjustments to your lifestyle.

    • Limit your alcohol consumption
    • Strive for a healthy weight
    • Stop smoking
    • Drink coffee, black tea and fizzy drinks in moderation and certainly not in the evening
    • Maintain fixed sleep times
    • Set up your bedroom for rest
    • Keep the bedroom, mattress and bedding free of dust to prevent allergic reactions

    CPAP

    An effective form of treatment for OSA is using CPAP – Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This uses a machine to gently provide air into a mask, worn over your nose and mouth throughout the night while you sleep. The benefits are often felt very quickly, allowing your to return to a normal, or even improved quality of life.

    BiPAP therapy

    A BiPAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure), or Bilevel device, helps the transition from inhalation to exhalation
    by lowering pressure during exhalation to make it more comfortable for you.

    APAP therapy

    Another form of PAP therapy is APAP (Automatic Positive Airway Pressure). Unlike CPAP, an APAP device varies the pressure depending on the constriction in the airways. An APAP device will automatically deliver pressure between a minimum and maximum setting. This means that the device changes the delivered pressure during sleep.

    MAD

    Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs) open the airway by moving the lower jaw, or mandible, forward. This process holds the collapsible part of your airway open which prevents the narrowing or blocking of the airways.

    The Dolby Vivisol approach

    Dolby Vivisol provides a managed sleep service for its patients and this includes full compliance. To start with, the health care professional will explain the therapy and device. A member of the Dolby Vivisol support team will also explain the services and what should be expected, which are followed up with telephone conversations to monitor the progress, and help you settle into your therapy.

    The Dolby Vivisol helpline is available for existing patients 24 hours
    a day, 7 days a week. If you would like further information on how
    we can help you please speak to one of the team:

    Contact us

    Contact info

    Registered Office Address:

    Dolby Medical Home
    Respiratory Care Ltd
    North Suite, Lomond Court,
    Castle Business Park, Stirling,
    FK9 4TU

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    Registered in Scotland
    No. 063902

    Gatwick Office Address:

    Dolby Vivisol
    Southpoint, Old Brighton Road,
    Lowfield Heath,
    Gatwick, West Sussex,
    RH11 0PR

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