What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleeping problem disorder that can result in serious health problems, such as heart failure, heart attacks, diabetes and obesity. Untreated sleep apnea causes sleep problems such as difficulty in breathing during sleep and manifests symptoms such as loud snoring and tiredness during work. Sleep apnea can occur to anyone, especially in men who are overweight.
There are approximately 200,000 Hong Kong people who are suffering from sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious health problem, in which the upper airway is either partially or completely obstructed during sleep. Patients may experience difficulty in breathing during sleep, although most only exhibit minor symptoms like snoring.
Obstruction of the airway may last anywhere between seconds to minutes. This reduces the oxygen saturation level in the blood, which in the long term can cause heart failure and stroke in the long term. All these airway obstructions can also result in arousals. Patients may develop daytime sleepiness, and in more severe cases, have their cognitive functions and emotions affected.
What causes sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the relaxation of the muscles in the back of your throat, which inhibits your body’s subconscious ability to breathe properly. There are a variety of causes, with obesity being the most common cause among adults in Hong Kong. Other possible causes include:
– a genetic predisposition to sleep apnea
– a naturally narrow airway
– excessive alcohol consumption
– congested nose
– and other medical conditions
It is worth noting that males are significantly more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and that the risk increases with age. In fact, in Hong Kong, sleep apnea is found in over 4% of the middle age people between 30-60 years of age. Among the elderly over 60 years old, 72.5% reported excessive daytime sleepiness. In the same study, 63.7% of the elderly were diagnosed to have moderate to severe sleep apnea by a home sleep study (1). If sleep apnea is not treated at a reputable center, it can result in increased death risk and other related health problems.
What complications can sleep apnea cause?
One of the most common complications of sleep apnea is daytime sleepiness. Despite being relatively harmless itself, daytime sleepiness can be extremely dangerous if your day-to-day life requires you to drive and operate heavy machinery as well as other tasks that require your full attention. Sleep apnea has also been found to contribute to high blood pressure and heart problems, type 2 diabetes, poor liver health, and more. Fortunately, our sleep apnea centers in Hong Kong and Macau provide a range of services that are designed to diagnose your condition and devise an appropriate treatment plan.
Sleep apnea clinic services in hong kong
There are numerous sleep apnea clinic services in Hong Kong, Kowloon, as well as Macau. These include a Preliminary Appraisal, Sleep Apnea Check, Sleep Test, as well as a range of surgical and non-surgical treatments. get in touch with us and let us find the most suitable for you.
If you think you have sleep apnea, or suffer from a combination of tell-tale symptoms, you could benefit from a preliminary appraisal questionnaire, sleep apnea check using an endoscope, or sleep test using a ventilator. Discover some of the most out some of the most common sleep apnea symptoms, as well as the link between snoring and sleep apnea.
Why will people suffer from sleep apnea?
Everyone can actually get sleep apnea. It currently affects around 4% of adults in Hong Kong, and a large proportion goes to men. The major culprits for sleep apnea are ageing, overweight, and cardiovascular diseases. If you have a small lower jaw or short neck, you are prone to sleep apnea as well. However, the main cause of sleep apnea is still unhealthy diets and lifestyles, which are highly common in Hong Kong.
At what age does sleep apnea usually begin?
It can start as early in childhood or adulthood. The chance of children being affected by sleep apnea is 1-2%. It occurs more often in the elderly than in adolescents. Studies (2) have shown that 1 in every 20 adults is diagnosed with sleep apnea on average, and males are 2-8 times as likely than females to be diagnosed. Amongst them, males aged 40-50 are at the greatest risk of developing this disorder.
Who is prone to sleep apnea?
People with unhealthy lifestyle habits may be affected by sleep apnea. Smokers and drinkers also tend to suffer from this disease. Beyond that, overweight men and the elderly have a higher likelihood of sleep apnea than women and young adults. Patients with allergic rhinitis are amongst the populations most affected by this disorder. Get in touch with our Hong Kong centre for more details.
How do I know if I am only snoring or getting sleep apnea?
If your snoring is loud, frequent, and accompanied by gasping, choking, or pauses lasting more than 10 seconds, this is a sign of sleep apnea. Also, sleep apnea patients will feel drowsy and headachy no matter how long they sleep, and hardly stay focused at work while developing symptoms, such as a decline in memory and cognition, poor judgement and response, anxiety, etc. If you are having the above symptoms, visit our center to diagnose sleep apnea as early as possible.
Get in touch with ENT Education
Many sleep apnea sufferers are unaware of their condition until it gets severe. if you have reason to suspect you may have the condition, or simply want to learn more about it, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us for more information about sleep apnea clinic services in Hong Kong, Kowloon and Macau.
(1) reference: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0119829
(2) reference: https://www3.ha.org.hk/cph/imh/doc/information/publications/1_10.pdf