Snoring & Sleep Apnoea
Snoring is the noise caused by the vibration of the soft tissue in your airway. It is estimated to affect around 40% of the adult population. It is far more common in males due to upper body fat deposition increases causing collapse of the airway. In females, the hormones oestrogen and progesterone act as dilators and protectors of the airway. However incidence in females post menopause is comparable to males once this protection is lost.
Snoring is more than just a loud noise as it often leads to broken sleep for snorers, their partners and sometimes other members of the family. This can have a profound impact on quality of life as it can be embarrassing and create marriage problems.
Many studies have looked into the lack of sleep caused by snoring and have concluded wide reaching effects such as:
- daytime sleepiness
- lack of energy
- poor motivation
- accidents related to driving whilst tired
- higher stress levels due to fatigue
- less effectiveness at work effecting remuneration and career progression
- reduced sex drive
Sadly treatment for snorers until recently has been very limited, For patients who did seek treatment, the first port of call was often the GP who would probably suggest various behaviour modifications such as to avoid sleeping on your back, lose weight, stop smoking and stop drinking. As we all know these lifestyle changes are hard to implement.
The good news is that we can now offer a much more practical and immediate solution to the problem by concentrating on maintaining physical patency of the airway. Sleepwell is a custom made adjustable device worn during sleep only. It holds the lower jaw in its normal position (or advanced if necessary) thereby preventing the tongue, which is attached to the lower jaw, from falling backwards and narrowing the airway. It is a cost effective and long term snoring remedy.
Dr Anand Patel is specially trained by Professor Ama Johal of Queen Mary University of London to provide Sleepwell, the most clinically effective dental type device for snoring. The device is comfortable as it has a unique soft inner lining. The design also allows side to side movement of the lower jaw and most importantly allows the wearer to adjust it to maximize effectiveness. Clinical trials have shown high levels of patient comfort with over 97% of patients finding Sleepwell an acceptable snoring remedy.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)
As you may be aware, snoring can be linked to other sleep related issues most commonly Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). This is a potentially life threatening breathing disorder which affects up to 4% of middle aged men and 2% of middle aged women.
During sleep breathing stops completely due to the degree of airway narrowing. This can happen for several seconds several times during each night. The frequency of times over a 1 hour time period that the individual suffers with a complete or partial (over 50%) obstruction of airflow is used to classify the patient as mild, moderate or severe.
Sleep disturbance of this magnitude can lead to:
- excessive daytime sleepiness
- poor overall performance
- inability to concentrate
- poor memory
- headaches due to dilation of blood vessels in the head
- increased risk of heart disease
- increased risk of diabetes
- strong association with stroke and high blood pressure
A Sleep Consultation with Dr Anand Patel includes a thorough history and examination. You will be asked to complete a pre-screening questionnaire in order to investigate other sleep related issues such as OSA, Dr Patel is able to refer you to your GP for further investigation or arrange a private home sleep study if there is an indication that you could be at risk. Dr Patel works alongside his colleagues at local sleep clinics and respiratory centres.
The Sleepwell device can be used as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with other forms of treatment such as CPAP (Continuous Positive Airways Pressure).
CPAP, although the gold standard treatment for OSA, shows lower levels of compliance than the Sleepwell device long term. The unit is rather noisy, not easily transportable and sleeping with a nose piece can be rather cumbersome. Leakage of the oxygen around the nose mask can also lead to dry eyes.
For further information or to book a Sleep Consultation appointment, call the practice on 020 8546 2201.
Back to Treatments »