Sleep disorders affect 15%-20% of the adult population. Insomnia and broken sleep are often transient and resolve without treatment. Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a much more worrying issue. People typically complain of snoring and then stopping breathing (known as apnoeic episodes) for a few seconds. This is usually noticed by the partner rather than the individual involved. The impact of this condition on the life of the patient is significant if not treated. As the individual may wake frequently following an apnoeic episode this consequently leads to feeling unrefreshed on waking and sleepiness during the day. The patient may also suffer from depression. Patients’ with OSA are often obese and suffer from linked ailments like high blood pressure, ischemic heart disease, diabetes and loss of sexual drive. Snoring is often bad enough to disturb the sleep of the partner as well as the sufferer. The condition also represents a risk to the community as road traffic accidents are increased by up to 40 times due to sleepiness when driving.
Over the last 6 years local GPs and hospital doctors have become more aware of this condition as the sleep service has developed at NNUH. If this diagnosis is a possibility you will be referred to our sleep service. Once you have been seen we will arrange a sleep study. This is performed in your own home as this is closer to ‘real life’ than being admitted to hospital for the tests. We will show you how to attach the equipment. The study will measure your oxygen levels and breathing pattern. The mainstay of the treatment in its severe form (patients who stop breathing 30 times or more per hour) is based on pressurised air being gently pushed through your airways via a mask during sleep. This treatment is known as CPAP and cures the symptoms totally in more than 85% of all cases.
The respiratory department consists of respiratory nurses, consultants and a sleep service co-ordinator who have a specific interest in sleep medicine.
This department publishes scientific research and participates in prestigious meetings in the field. It works closely with GPs, ENT surgeons, endocrinologists, neurologists and cardiologists.
This service is highly regarded nationwide.
The NNUH sleep and non-invasive ventilation services received a national award for innovation
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