Sleep apnea is quite prevalent in India, according to Dr Randeep Guleria, former Director of AIIMS.

Sleep apnea or OSA is caused by the narrowing of the airway during sleep, which can lead to pauses in breathing (apneas) and shallow breathing (hypopneas). The breathing stops and restarts many times while you sleep.

While this sleep disorder is prevalent in India, most people don't really know about it due to lack of diagnosable rates, said Dr Guleria.

"Sleep apnea is a big problem that is not diagnosed easily. Most people who snore don't know that it's because of it. Sleep quality is affected by it. Many people sleep during the daytime for this reason without knowing it," said the expert.

He added that sleep apnea could be dangerous as many people have "got into car accidents because they suddenly slept while driving."

Regular snoring is one of the first signs of this disorder and should be consulted immediately by a medical professional. Besides lack of good sleep quality, sleep apnea can also cause various health diseases.

"Sleep apnea, especially in people who are obese, can cause sugar levels to increase, hypertension and metabolic syndrome. So it is important to diagnose it as early as possible," said Dr Guleria.

The best treatment for sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. In this, the mask of the CPAP machine fits the nose and mouth, which gives continuous air pressure to the airways so that they remain open during nighttime.

Edited By:

Daphne Clarance

Published On:

Aug 18, 2023

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