What is sleep apnea and how to detect it?
Do you sleep badly at night? Are you tired during the day and drowsy? Are you often irritated? Do you snore loudly? Be careful, you may be suffering from sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.
Sleep apnea is characterized by an involuntary interruption or slowing of breathing during sleep. At night, it can occur several times and last from 10 to more than 30 seconds.
What causes sleep apnea?
It occurs when air does not pass through the upper respiratory tract. Breathing stops. This is called apnea. Or it may decrease. This is called hypopnea. The brain, which is no longer oxygenated correctly, reacts and causes sudden and rapid awakenings called micro-awakenings.
Why isn't the air flowing?
- There are several reasons for clogging air:
- lack of tone in the tongue and throat muscles
- a malformation of the uvula, tonsils, tongue or palate that is too large in size
- Obstructions of the nasal passages due to allergies or ENT problems
- a malformation of the lower jaw
- excessive consumption of tobacco, alcohol and tranquilizers
Who are the people likely to be affected?
- Obesity is one of the main contributors to sleep apnea. Fat from being overweight thickens the walls of the throat.
- People over the age of 65 are more affected by this disease due to the natural relaxation of the muscles.
- Overall, men of all ages are more at risk than women.
- People with asthma or those with type 2 diabetes
- Heredity can also be a risk factor.
What are the consequences of sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a real handicap in everyday life. It causes great fatigue and drowsiness during the day, it makes you irritable, causes loud snoring, gives headaches and causes memory problems.
Sleep apnea screening will make it possible to define the apnea/hypopnea index (AHI), that is to say its number per hour of sleep. If the diagnosis detects a result between 5 and 15, it is a mild apnea. It is average with a result between 16 and 30. Beyond 30, apnea is considered serious.
Depending on its importance, it can cause cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, depression and drowsiness can cause road accidents.
How to detect sleep apnea?
If symptoms appear, you should consult a doctor who will ask for:
- Answer questionnaires measuring the risks and factors of drowsiness
- Perform clinical examinations: polysomnography (a sleep test that lasts one night in the hospital), or the polygraphy (a home sleep test)
What are the questionnaires to screen for sleep apnea?
Before carrying out in-depth examinations, the doctor recommends that people at risk answer certain sleep apnea screening questionnaires, including the best known: the Epworth or Berlin.
The Epworth's questionnaire focuses on degree and frequency drowsiness.
The Berlin Questionnaire asks questions focusing on sleep quality, snoring intensity and the state of fatigue during the day.
These 2 sleep apnea screening tests give a trend but in no way a definite diagnosis. Further examinations are necessary in case of increased risks.
Where to get a sleep apnea screening in Paris?
Several centers specializing in the field of sleep disorders exist in Paris, including:
- ICPC Turin: 9, rue de Turin - Paris 8
- ICPC Bastille: 31, rue du Petit-Musc - Paris 14. ICPC centers specialize in cardiovascular diseases and develop treatments for sleep pathologies.
- Sleep and Vigilance Center - 1, place du Parvis Notre-Dame - Paris 1st. Installed within the Hôtel Dieu hospital, it is specifically adapted to the treatment of sleep disorders
The hospitals in Paris mostly house departments specializing in sleeping sickness, such as:
- Paris Saint-Joseph Hospital - 185, rue Raymond Losserand - Paris 14
- Cochin Hospital - 27 rue du Faubourg Saint-Jacques
Where to get a sleep apnea screening in Lyon?
In Lyon, you can go to:
- Croix-Rousse Hospital - 103 Grande rue de la Croix Rousse for treatment of adult patients only.
- The Lyon-Nord Polyclinic located at 65, rue des Contamines in Rillieux-la-pape, has a sleep analysis laboratory with specialized doctors.
Where to get a sleep apnea screening in Marseille?
It is recommended to make an appointment at:
- The Timone Hospital located at 278, Rue Saint-Pierre in the 5th arrondissement, which treats disorders of adults and children.
- A sleep exploration service at the European Hospital, 6 rue Désirée Clary in the 3rd arrondissement, is also equipped to "explore" possible pathologies.
Where to get a sleep apnea screening in Toulouse?
- The Polyclinique du Parc (105, rue Achille Viadieu) is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment.
- The Pasteur Center (45, avenue de Lombez) practices the technique of ventilatory polygraphy in 24-hour hospitalization.
Sleep apnea solutions
There are 3 devices that effectively treat sleep apnea.
- Back2Sleep, a flexible and discreet cannula, latest generation solution against sleep apnea.
- The CPAP device: it's a mask nasal passage that continually blows air into the airways. It fights effectively against any obstruction.
- The mandibular advancement orthosis: it supports the lower jaw and the tongue forward to let the air pass. It is recommended for light apneas.
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