Many Obstructive Apnoea Patients Opting For The Device:The joint efforts by his foes to give sleepless nights to former chief minister of Kerala and veteran Communist leader V S Achutanandan, who has been on a selfstyled crusade against corruption, haven’t borne fruit so far.
He is one among the many who are depending on Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (C-PAP) machines to treat obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), a medical condition affecting nearly 10 % of Kerala’s population.
The condition caused by alcoholism, obesity, smoking and irregular sleep leads to strokes, heart diseases, diabetes and hypertension.
With cases of OSA, a condition in which the patient ceases breath from 10 to 30 seconds, showing an upward trend, more and more people in the state are depending on CPAP machines for uninterrupted sleep.
The number of C-PAP machines being sold in the state has gone up to around 700 a year from a few hundreds a couple of years ago. “Sedentary lifestyle including sitting all day, watching television, and excessive use of computers with little physical exercise causes OSA. According to studies, around 10 % of the people in the state have OSA which leads to diabetes, heart attack, stroke and erection problems,” said Kochi-based Dr George Moti Thomas, pulmonologist, Medical Trust Hospital.
Snoring and day-time sleep are the major symptoms of OSA. “Of the patients who consult me seeking medical advice for OSA, around half a dozen require C-PAP. More and more people are opting for C-PAP in the last few years,’’ said Dr Jacob Baby, professor, pulmonology department, Cooperative Medical College, Kochi.
Patients with OSA, who are unaware of the disease, seek medical advice for snoring. They usually cease to breath for an interval of ten seconds at a stretch.
There could be 40 to 250 such intervals for a patient with OSA during a night’s sleep.
Such stoppage of respiration results in a decrease in oxygen levels in various organs. “Prolonged OSA may result in cardiac diseases or stroke. Moreover, it may aggravate diseases like diabetes and hypertension,’’ Jacob Baby said.
“We conduct a sleep study on patients with suspected OSA. They may be suggested either polysomnography (PSG), which is known as full sleep test, or given the home screening test (HST). On the basis of the results, we recommend CPAP or Variable Positive Airway Pressure (V-PAP), used mainly by those suffering from asthma, to patients,’’ Jacob Baby said.
While the cost of CPAP varies from Rs 33,000 to Rs 66,000, the V-PAP costs between Rs 90,000 to Rs one lakh.
“C-PAP is a lifelong support mechanism and most patients buy it.
But being costly, VPAP is hired. We sell around 50 C-PAPs a month in the state,” said K Jayadevan, regional manager with a leading CPAP distributor in Kerala.
WHAT IS OSA
- OSA is the cessation of breathing for a period of 10 to 30 seconds for 40 to 250 times during the course of a night’s sleep
- Cessation of breathing for five to 15 times an hour is called mild OSA
- If the condition repeats 15 to 30 times an hour it is moderate OSA
- The condition is severe OSA if the cessation is more than 30 times an hour
HIGH RISK OSA GROUPS
SNORING AND DAY-TIME SLEEP ARE THE MAJOR SYMPTOMS OF OSA
- Alcoholics, smokers and those having disturbed sleep cycle
- Those with a body mass index of thirty and above
- Those with a neck size of 43 cm or more are in danger
* Author: M K Sunil Kumar
* News story courtesy TNN
* Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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