Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome (OSAS)

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome affects about 2 to 4% people. In Switzerland about 120'000 people are affected, and it often goes undiagnosed. The difference between Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) and the Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome (OSAS) is the heightened or excessive daytime fatigue that one experiences throughout the waking hours of the day. Falling asleep (cat-naps) while watching TV, while in theater, can be especially embarrassing and annoying during lectures and talks, and can prove to be especially fatal if driving. Such infamous cat-naps are the highest factors for road accidents in the developed/developing worlds.

Such afflicted patients will learn that anatomically they have a narrower passage in the upper airways, manageable during waking hours but compromised during sleep hours.

This disorder is characterized by the complete blockage of the upper airways during sleep. Such 'shut downs' will force the patient to wake (arousal), and could transpire up to 100 times per hour, leading to a drop in oxygen saturation levels in blood, followed by an increased heart frequency (palpitation). The restful sleep state gets disturbed, the resting brain, otherwise engaged in other rejuvenating processes, gets woken up to increase respiratory efforts,  resulting in excessive sleepiness/fatigue during the waking hours. Additionally, nicotine, alcohol, medication, excess weight and age-related weakening of muscle-tone of the soft palate, are further encouraging and collaborative factors to slide into this illness.

OSAS, conclusively increases the risk factors for afflictions such as Blood Pressure, Cardiac Infarction, possibly Cardiac Arrest, and/or impact the brain (Stroke) and so, is a seriously engaging illness. With the slightest suspicion of OSAS, a consultation with a specialist could well be worthwhile, especially if you have the following symptoms:

 

Probable Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome

Frequency Probable Symptoms
Very often
Fatigue on awakening
Often
Frequent wakings (arousals), gasping for air through the night
Often
Poor memory
Often
Unable to focus, concentration problems
Possible
Irritable, depressive, restless
Possible
Poor libido, Impotence
Possible
Frequent need to urinate
Possible
Dryness in mouth, drooling or teeth-grinding
Possible
Nocturnal sweating
Possible
Waking with a headache, that improves through the day


Treatment Options

OSAS is a serious illness, that increases the risk factors for Blood Pressure, Heart Attacks or impacting the brain. Further, with an increased risk in road-fatality, it thus affects life itself.

In treating OSAS, several aspects must be taken into consideration, and hence, to consult and put one-self in the hands of a well experienced and competent ENT Specialist could well be advised.

The Gold Standard amongst the various therapies is the artificial respiratory equipment - the CPAP machine.  With electrically created pressure, forcibly pumping air through your airways, breathing is thus maintained through your sleep hours. To adapt to the ventilator mask, with the optimum air pressure, requires immense patience and perseverance and perhaps many follow-ups.

For those affected, the artificial respirator CPAP-machine, despite ideal care and attention, can have some side-effects, which are very rarely negotiable. To such affected patients, the ENT Specialist can offer various other options. One of these options is the Velumount-Method, to be informed about the Velumount brace. A good 55% such patients can expect a healthy drop of up to 50% of AHI (Apnoea-Hypopnoea Index). For a patient with Apnoea-Hypopnoea Syndrome, the working of Velumount®-Method must however be formally measured by a specialist, backed up with proof - a report, measuring the sleep quality with a Polygraphy.

The story of Velumount®-Method invention...