Learn about Sleep Apnea, Tests for Accurate Diagnosis, and Treatments

Learn about Sleep Apnea, Tests for Accurate Diagnosis, and Treatments

Sleep plays a vital role in optimizing your health. It is a basic human need that is essential for your health and well-being. Sleep apnea refers to a sleep disorder that adversely affects the quality of your sleep. Creating brief and repeated breathing interruptions, this disorder interferes with the supply of oxygen to the brain and other parts of the human body.

Many people in Hong Kong are suffering from sleep apnea. If you make use of the best sleep apnea diagnosis Hong Kong methods, you can detect the underlying reason. Further, your doctor designs a treatment plan that restores sound sleep and optimal health.

Different types of sleep apnea

When it comes to choosing a suitable sleep apnea test, you need to have a proper idea about this sleep disorder. There are three types of sleep apnea, namely obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and mixed sleep apnea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

During normal sleep, air flows smoothly to the lungs from the nose and mouth. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) interrupts or stops breathing involuntarily for brief a period many times during sleep. These short periods are known as apnea or apneic episodes. Each apneic period lasts ten seconds or more. Obstructive sleep apnea is far more common than other types of sleep apnea.

Central Sleep Apnea

Central sleep apnea occurs not because of any repeated airway interruptions or obstructions. You will experience this type of sleep disorder when the brain fails to regulate breathing during sleep. That is to say, the brain doesn’t send signals to the respiratory muscles to breathe.

Mixed Sleep Apnea

As the name suggests, this type of disorder is a combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea.

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

The major reason is the inability of the muscles in the back throat to keep the airways open. When you breathe during sleep, the airflow gets interrupted or stops due to the narrow airway space in the throat. Snoring is a common characteristic of OSA.

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Sleep Apnea Prevalence – Hong Kong Statistics

Around one billion people all around the world have been afflicted by sleep apnea. It has been estimated that more than 5% of the total population of Hong Kong has been suffering from this sleep disorder. Authentic research studies show that adult and childhood obstructive sleep disorders are pretty common in this part of the world.

Major Symptoms

Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the sleep apnea diagnosis procedures. Let us check the symptoms of this disorder before exploring the sleep apnea test methods for diagnosis. Acute snoring is a common symptom. Many people experience fatigue due to poor sleep quality. Sleeplessness induces tiredness. Episodes of reduced oxygen supply to the brain and other body parts result in daytime drowsiness and lack of clarity.

Other symptoms of sleep apnea are frequent headaches, grumpy feeling, leg swelling, difficulties in concentration, and sexual dysfunction. Children may experience learning difficulties and hyperactivity-related issues. Inducing drowsiness and tiredness, OSA makes people highly vulnerable to motor vehicle and industrial accidents.

Dire consequences of long-term exposure

The quality of life deteriorates considerably. Consequently, productivity comes down drastically. Several people undermine the importance of diagnosing the causes and taking treatments. If this sleep disorder stays untreated, you may experience the aggravation of symptoms, which in turn invites serious health issues like high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, diabetes, cardiac arrhythmia, and more.

Diagnosis is critically important

If you experience any of these symptoms, you must consult a doctor to take treatment. The first part of the treatment is to diagnose accurately to confirm the exact nature and underlying reasons for the disorder. Correct diagnosis is critically important because a treatment plan is designed based on observations drawn during diagnostic tests.

Conducting a sleep test, the best sleep apnea clinics in Hong Kong assess the condition of the patient. This type of test monitors a broad range of functions during sleep, including blood oxygen levels, airflow, and respiratory effort.

Sleep Tests – An Overview

With the help of a ventilator, sleep apnea tests record different types of data to confirm whether you are suffering from apnea. These tests are not complex or invasive procedures. A variety of factors including eye movement, heart rate, muscle activity, airflow, sleep state, respiratory effort, and oxygen levels in the blood are monitored using advanced equipment.

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Tracking your breathing status during sleep, these tests derive the most accurate conclusions. Generally speaking, the duration of a sleep apnea diagnostic test is between 5 and 8 hours. The test can be done at a clinic or at home based on the convenience and condition of the patient.

Different Types of Sleep Apnea Diagnostic Procedures

Two popular tests conducted to diagnose sleep apnea are Polysomnography (PSG) and Watch-Pat Tests. Although both these procedures are effective, you can expect a more comprehensive approach with the PSG.

PSG

For deciding on your condition and treatment, the Polysomnography test collects all relevant data, including brainwaves, sleep position, breathing nuances, frequency of asphyxiation, blood oxygen levels, heartbeat, eye movement, and brainwave. This type of comprehensive approach delivers precise results.

Watch-Pat

With the help of a portable and wireless sleep tester, you can conduct the Watch-Pat test at home. Offering better flexibility, this test allows people to move freely.

Treatments for Sleep Apnea

Using most advanced equipment and technology, the best sleep apnea diagnosis Hong Kong clinics identify the exact reasons. Top clinics offer suitable treatment methods based on the observations drawn from the diagnostic test. Minor issues can be addressed with the help of oral medications. The ENT specialists recommend the use of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine to stabilize the air passage during sleep. It is the most popular and effective non-surgical long-term solution to treat sleep apnea.

Popular surgical options

Some patients with sleep apnea need surgery to eliminate the discomforts. The most common surgical treatments are chin advancement surgery, radiofrequency, nasal septoplasty, and tonsillectomy.

When it comes to treating sleep apnea, doctors advise patients to make some lifestyle changes. If you can avoid alcohol consumption, quit smoking, and lose weight, you can control the severity of the sleep disorder considerably.

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