ENT Knowledge Base
Sleep Breathing Disorder
Sleep breathing - What is sleep?
It is now known to be an active process and plays a very important to our general health and well being.
Why is sleep important?
A sleep of good quality is of vital importance, it
Restores our mind and body
Enhances the building phase of our metabolism
Organize and consolidate the recent memories
Is part of normal development of brain and normal behavior in kids
Normal Physiology of Sleep
In healthy adult, a normal sleep should last for around 8 hours. The need for sleep is higher in younger age. Children of 5-12 years old may need to sleep for 9-11 hours, while a newborn baby may sleep up to 18 hours a day. As we grow older, we tends to have more light sleep instead of deep sleep and more awakenings, which in turn affect the overall sleep quality.
Sleeps are divided into different stages. There are totally 4 stages of sleep.
Common sleep disorders
Sleep disordered breathing:
Upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS)
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS)
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea refers to the condition that a person pauses breathing episodically during sleep. Sleep apnea is usually classified into central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.
Impacts of obtrusive sleep apnea in adults
Short term impact:
Excessive daytime sleepiness which may interfere with daily activities
Loud snoring which affect the bed partner
Long term impact:
Develop serious medial
Impacts of obstructive sleep apnea in children
Poor concentration span and poor attention
In long term the intellectual development will be affected as well. There may be significant behavioral problems as well as enuresis ( wet the bed at night time).
Assessment of Obstructive sleep apnea
If you suspected yourself to have obstructive sleep apnea, first you should visit your ENT consultant for a detailed assessment,such as sleep endoscope, of your symptoms with a detailed examination of the nose and throat region, to identify the possible sites of obstruction preliminary.
Sleep Study Test
Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in adults
Weight loss, modification of life styles and hygiene e.g. avoid caffeine, alcohol before sleep
PAP machine: a positive airway pressure machine which helps to keep the air way open during sleep
Others: some medications are said to help sleep apnea but with limited effectiveness
Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in children
Since the developing body and mind of a child is much more susceptible to the detrimental effects of obstructive sleep apnea, a much stringent guideline is followed and early intervention and treatment is required. After thorough assessment, any preexisting nasal conditions should be treated and controlled first, and obesity should be managed followed by surgical management.