Over 1 million Australians have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.
In the long-term, poor quality sleep can lead to serious health complications, including weight gain, increased blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. In Australia it’s estimated around 5% of adults who fail to get sufficient shut eye are living with a chronic sleep disorder known as ‘sleep apnoea’. Sleep apnoea occurs when the walls of the throat come together during sleep and block off the upper airway. This leads to a halt in breathing (usually for a few seconds, although in severe cases it can last longer), until the brain recognises its lack of oxygen and signals to wake the person up.
Breathing then returns to normal as oxygen levels regulate. Each pause in breathing is called an ‘apnoea’. It’s not uncommon for someone with sleep apnoea to snore loudly as the body gasps for oxygen. Many people living with sleep apnoea are often unaware of their condition.
Health Check Procedure
Sleep apnoea can be diagnosed with an overnight at-home sleep test called a ‘polysomnogram’ or ‘sleep study’. You can hire the appropriate equipment to perform the test at home; the machine will monitor your blood oxygen levels, brain activity, heart rate, and breathing.
The results are uploaded from the testing device and emailed to a sleep specialist (a doctor) who makes the diagnosis. In some cases, the patient may be required to visit a sleep specialist for more tests. Your Blooms The Chemist Pharmacist can also give you advice on managing the condition and making improvements to your sleep quality.