3 in 5 people with obesity suffer from obstructive sleep apnea: PGIMER Chandigarh
PGIMER’s department of otolaryngology will also carry out a public awareness programme at Sukhna Lake on the occasion of World Sleep Day at 6.30 am on Friday
Over 60% of obese people have higher chances of getting obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a disorder in which breathing pauses during sleep, doctors from Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) said on the eve of World Sleep Day that will be observed on Friday.
Dr Sandeep Bansal, a professor from the PGIMER’s department of otolaryngology (ENT), said, “The department is recording a spike in the number of patients seeking treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Around a decade ago, PGIMER was recording only 15-20 such patients every month, but now, the number has doubled to around 40. Obesity usually causes OSA, but is a treatable cause. Around 20% to 50% of the obese children are at higher risk of getting the disease. Also in children, enlargement of the tonsils and adenoids is another main cause for the disorder.”
A person with the disorder snores, often with pauses, snorts or wakes up gasping for breath. Left untreated, it can lead to potentially serious health complications, such as heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes and depression.
Dr Bansal added that OSA usually occurred because of repetitive narrowing of the airway during sleep, despite breathing efforts: “The person will unknowingly stop breathing repeatedly throughout sleep. Once the airway is opened or the breathing signal is received, the person may snore, take a deep breath, or awaken completely with a sensation of gasping, smothering or choking.”
PGIMER plans to strengthen Sleep Lab
“The patients suffering from OSA can get medical as well as surgical treatment options. At PGIMER, we have a special lab where doctors undertake sleep studies of patients complaining of disturbed sleep. In the sleep test, the patient is asked to sleep overnight (for at least six hours) in a silent room and a device attached to the patient observes chest, abdomen and muscle movements,” Dr Bansal said.
“With one machine at present, we are able to conduct this test on only four patients a week. We are trying to depute more doctors and source more machines to strengthen the sleep lab so that the test can be conducted throughout the week. We are also observing patients in the home sleep lab. Around 90% of people examined are found to be suffering from this disease,” the doctor added.
The department will also carry out a public awareness programme at Sukhna Lake on the occasion of World Sleep Day at 6.30 am on Friday.