Don’t laugh on people who snore!


JAKARTA, - Don’t ever think it’s funny to laugh at someone who snores. Why? Because people with this sleeping condition actually are dying each time he or she sleeps.

Dr Andreas Prasadja, RSPGT, a sleep health practitioner from Mitra Kemayoran hospital has made that statement during the discussion session of Obrolan Langsat in Rumah Langsat on Thursday, 30 March 2013 in Jakarta.

Sleeping itself has become the main symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is the respiratory tract constriction while sleeping. This constriction causes vibration on soft parts of respiratory tract which resulted in snoring.

 “We always thought that sleeping is the safe moments when nothing can happen, but it doesn’t always work that way,” Andreas said. He explained that the constriction of respiratory tract has caused the inactivity of oxygen and carbondioxide exchange during sleep. Furthermore, with the loosening of tongue muscles, it also causes the tongue to drop and clogs the respiratory track completely resulting in shortness of breath (apnea).
“This is a dangerous condition. Though there’s breath movement, however no air is passing through and causing the drop in oxygen intake, moreover the sufferer is like being choked during sleep,”he explained.

Numerous researches have also shown the relevance between sleep apnea with several cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, stroke, hypertension, and diabetes. According to Andreas, sleep apnea is now not merely a risk factor from hypertension, but the cause of it instead.

“People with hypertension who also undertakes sleep apnea treatment have shown the reduce in their blood pressure. While in diabetes patients, their blood sugar levels are also more controlled,”he said.

Even so, not all people who snore must suffer from sleep apnea. In order to diagnose the disease, a snorer should undergo an overnight sleep study. Patients will be recorded and observed for one whole night during sleep, in order to observe brain waves, muscle tension, eyeball movement, snoring sound, sleeping position, heat flow, breath movement, heartbeat, oxygen level in blood, and also feet movement.
Sleep study is usually conducted in sleep laboratory with polysomnography (PSG),”he said.

In order to treat sleep apnea, changes of behavior and lifestyle need to be done.Andreas suggested that people with OSA should stop their smoking habits, and also stop consuming drinks which are able to distract sleeping time such as coffee and alcohol because caffeine will only be out from the blood system after 9-12 hours while alcohol will stimulate someone to urinate.

He also added that particularly to patients with mild OSA and snorers who do not suffer from breath shortness period, it is also recommended to sleep on their sides.


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