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BetterSleep

What is Obstructive Apnoea

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is a disorder in which breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. “Apnoea” literally means “without breath” or stopping breathing. This obstruction in your upper airway, during sleep results in a blockage of the air flowing to your lungs for ten seconds or longer. Central sleep apnoea is a different type of apnoea caused by a disruption to the breathing centre in the brain.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

When this happens your body senses that you have stopped breathing, and a control centre in your brain wakes you up just long enough to gasp and take a breath, before falling back to sleep. This cycle may be repeated over 50 times an hour throughout the night, placing an immense strain on your heart and major organs.

What are the symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

  • Waking up drowsy and unrefreshed in the morning
  • Daytime fatigue and lack of energy during the day
  • Loud, repetitive snoring
  • Witnessed episodes of stopping breathing during sleep
  • Choking or gasping during sleep
  • Reoccurring awakenings or restless sleep
  • Impaired concentration, alertness and memory
  • Depression
  • Nocturia – frequent urination at night
  • Mood swings
  • Learning impairment
  • Weight gain
  • Morning headaches
  • Night sweats
  • Sexual dysfunction

What are the risk factors for OSA

  • Male or post-menopausal female
  • Obesity, a body mass index greater than 33
  • Having a large neck circumference (larger than 43cm in men and 40cm in women)
  • Increasing age
  • Family history of snoring or Sleep Apnoea
  • Physical abnormalities of the nose, throat or upper airway
  • Consumption of alcohol or use of sedatives which may relax the tissues in the airways
  • Diabetes
  • Enlarged tonsils or adenoids

Sleep Apnoea can be a serious, and potentially life-threatening, sleep disorder. If you feel you or your partner are experiencing some of these Sleep Apnoea symptoms talk to your doctor about your concerns.

For more information on Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and Central Sleep Apnoea click on the links below:

Sleep Health Foundation – Central Sleep Apnoea PDF

Sleep Health Foundation – Obstructiv Sleep Apnoea PDF

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Phone: 02 6551 0771
Mobile: 0455 583 399 
Fax: 02 6551 0700
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