Snoring? Could be something serious

wellbeing

Snoring? Could be something serious

Did you know that 10% of motor vehicle accidents (MVA) are due to sleep-disordered breathing? Driving a motor vehicle has become the most common human activity, exposing millions of individuals to the risks of an accident everyday. Although the prediction of its occurrence is difficult, there are events that increase the risk of having a MVA; sleep disorders are one among them.

Studies show that college students are sleeping for less than 6.9 hours per day, while it is ideal to sleep between 6.5 and 8 hours per night. Too little or too much sleep increases the risk of death. Lack of sleep can cause you to fall asleep while you are driving or
riding. One of the important sleep-related problems is sleep-disordered breathing, the most common of which is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

The risk of MVAs increases 2 to 3 times (200 to 300%) in a patient with OSA. Screening the high-risk population for OSA and treatment can prevent MVA significantly. This probably applies even more strongly to drivers of transport and heavy goods vehicles. Let’s start with understanding the symptoms of OSA first:

Night symptoms

 Snoring, usually loud  
 Gasping and choking sensation, which arouses patient from sleep
Increased frequency of urination during nightDaytime symptoms
Waking up tired
Morning headache
Excessive sleepiness
Problems with memory and concentration
High blood pressure, often difficult to control

How is OSA treated?

Lose weight if you are obese
Avoiding sleeping on your back also helps
Maintaining a good sleep hygiene

(The author is senior consultant, Pulmonology, Narayana Health City, Bengaluru)

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