Bhubaneswar: Sleep disorder is a symptom that should not be ignored as it may lead to serious medical conditions, cautioned doctors at Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS). Sleep disorder can lead to multiple complication, with one study estimating that 50-60 per cent youths in India are suffering from it, the doctors said. Several remedial measures are available to treat the disease including a dedicated ‘sleep lab’ commissioned at KIMS, the first in Odisha.
A dedicated Level-1 sleep lab with 64 channels, has been installed in KIMS catering to the needs of patients with sleep disturbances. Patients are being referred from departments like pulmonary medicine, ENT, cardiology, neurology, endocrinology, psychiatry, paediatrics, physiology and dental medicine, among others, for management of disorders like obstructive sleep apnea, obesity hypoventilation syndrome, insomnia, periodic limb movement disorders, parasomnia, etc.
A sleep board has also been created for multidisciplinary discussion in case of complex sleep disorder cases. With increased awareness, both the medical community and society as a whole can begin to address this disease and help relieve the negative sequelae that result from it.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the more prevalent one. It is an underrecognized and underdiagnosed medical condition, with a myriad of negative consequences on patients’ health and society as a whole. It affects 17 per cent of women and 34 per cent of men in the US, with similar prevalence in other countries.
The causes of OSA include a narrow, crowded, or collapsible upper airway, a low threshold for arousal to airway narrowing during sleep, and unstable control of breathing. Common symptoms include snoring, awakening from sleep with a sense of choking, excessive daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, fitful sleep, lethargy and decreased libido. While the “gold standard” of diagnosis is by polysomnography, a detailed history and focused physical examination may help uncover previously undiagnosed cases, said the doctors. They belonged to the Departments of pulmonary medicine, ENT, cardiology, neurology, endocrinology, psychiatry, paediatrics, physiology and dental medicine.
Undetected obstructive sleep apnea can lead to hypertension, diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorders, memory loss, heart disease, depression, and even death. OSA can both worsen existing medical conditions and influence the onset of new disease. Disturbed sleep patterns lead to increased levels of daytime somnolence, which can cause days of missed work and increased levels of motor vehicle and occupational accidents.
Several modalities exist for treating obstructive sleep apnea, including continuous positive airway pressure, oral appliances, and several surgical procedures. However, conservative approaches, such as weight loss and alcohol and tobacco cessation, are also strongly encouraged in the patient with obstructive sleep apnea.