Sleep apnea syndrome
SAS, or Sleep Apnea Syndrome is an ailment which causes apnea (temporary cessation of breathing) and hypopnea (snoring) to occur during the sleep cycle.
Sleep apnea syndrome became renown recently due to an incident when a high-speed bullet train driver lapsed into a non-breathing sleep episode while the train continued to run at 270 km/h, causing the automatic operating system to make an emergency stop at Okayama Station.
Loud snoring and pauses in breathing during sleep are the most well-known symptoms of sleep apnea. However, what is most important is that these symptoms can be the cause for more serious complications and risks, such as:
- ①Difficulty breathing during sleep, leading to feeling drowsy during the day and decreased concentration. Drowsiness can increase the likelihood of a traffic accident or an accident at work.
- ②Repeated apnea and hypopnea lead to hypoxia (lack of oxygen supply to the tissues), which can put a strain on the heart. This in turn is prone to complications such as high blood pressure, diabetes, myocardial infarction, and stroke. In the worst of cases, it can lead to sudden death.
Not only that, it is said that SAS is one of the causes for waking up with headaches and shoulder stiffness, and not getting a deep restful sleep.
Treating SAS not only targets metabolic issues such as hypertension, but can also improve your wakeful daytime performance, work and leisure.
In addition to the usual tests required for the diagnosis of SAS, we can also precisely pinpoint the obstruction site. Thus we can observe and understand not only the severity of the condition, but also which part of the nose and throat is narrowed/obstructed, and exactly how the obstruction presents itself. This is instrumental in identifying what kind of treatment and management is best. Whether it is a respiratory system called CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), a dental mouthpiece (oral appliance), or surgery, you will be able to discuss appropriate treatment methods with the Doctor.