A good night’s sleep is an achievable dream
Did you know that sleep is as essential to good physical and psychological health as food and air? Its quality determines the health of a person in general.
Sleep disturbance is a fairly common problem today and may be due to serious reasons.
Healthy physiological sleep is something that every person needs. But not many people think about the consequences of lack or poor quality sleep.
Cardiologists first became interested in the problem of sleep when they encountered nocturnal and early morning hypertension. They identified a group of patients who, despite ongoing therapy, could not achieve the necessary blood pressure readings, especially at night and in the morning. Then, neurologists became involved in the problem and noticed that the frequency of episodes of cerebral circulation disorders largely depended on the duration and quality of sleep. Polysomnography was soon introduced into clinical practice, making it possible to record the dynamics of not only the heart rate but also the changes in respiration function and blood oxygen saturation.
Information on snoring, sleep apnea and, consequently, decreased blood oxygen saturation proved useful for understanding subsequent cardiovascular and neurological problems.
It turned out that the causes of decreased (hypopnea) and short-term absence (apnea) breathing during sleep are most often the disorders of air passage through the airways during sleep. Among the factors determining breathing disorders were noted: deviation of the nasal septum, pathology of the soft palate, deviations in the structure of the nasopharynx, the size of the neck and others. According to the aggregate of triggers, physicians stated that the problems of nocturnal breathing can be largely solved primarily with the help of otorhinolaryngologists.
Surprisingly, the palette of consequences of the lack of oxygen intake during sleep turned out to be very wide: obesity, diabetes and other glucose metabolism disorders, heart rhythm disorders, uncontrolled arterial hypertension, cardiovascular accidents (heart attacks and strokes), impotence.
All respiratory, cardiovascular, and metabolic associated changes are now grouped under the term obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS).
OSAS can occur at any age. In children, this condition may be caused by hypertrophy of the palatine tonsils (commonly referred to as “tonsils”) and nasopharyngeal tonsils (adenoids). In adults, the most common cause of OSAS is the lack of nasal breathing due to a deviated septum, hypertrophy (enlargement) of the nasal cavities and malocclusion. Additional provoking factors for breathing disorders in sleep are considered an excessive body weight, smoking, alcohol abuse.
Unpleasant is the fact that the patient himself, as a rule, does not notice the changes that occur to him. Most often, this syndrome is identified on the basis of complaints from others or relatives about pronounced snoring and sleep apnea.
If a patient is overweight, sleep apnea accompanied by snoring, frequent nocturnal awakenings, increased nocturnal diuresis, lethargy, or daytime sleepiness, it is advisable to consult specialists immediately.
Cardiorespiratory monitoring allows identifying the percentage of sleep time, during which the organism is not getting enough oxygen, without hospitalizing the patient in the clinic. This type of examination does not require any preliminary preparation, and the next day the doctor in the functional diagnostics office will decode the information about the absence or presence and degree of obstructive apnea.
Computed tomography is performed on a new generation tomograph and is a layer-by-layer visualization of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses, which is necessary to identify the causes of obstructive nasal breathing.