Sleep apnea is often mistaken for simple snoring. A patient is often tired, has headache and high blood pressure. In extreme cases sleep apnea may lead to heart attack, stroke or a car accident as a result of a micro-sleep.
The first step is to undertake a sleep monitoring to diagnose sleep apnea and then determine where exactly the air passages are blocked (a test called sleep endoscopy – DISE).
The actual treatment of sleep apnea is determined by the severity of the problem, the need and well being of the patient being an absolute priority ¨C we can use CPAP (breathing device), MAD (mouth device), PLASMA, surgery, positional therapy or other available methods.
LENTE is a research center for sleep surgery, thus we carry out mini-invasive operations within the scope of our research completely free.
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrom (OSAS) occurs when muscles in the back of the throat or in the tongue get loose in deep sleep, thereby the air passages get blocked. Such pauses in breathing lead to low blood oxygen levels forcing the patient to wake up to move the tongue forward and to breathe in again. The severity of OSAS is determined by the number of pauses per hour.
Mild OSAS 5-15 pauses per hour
Moderate OSAS 15-30 pauses per hour
Severe OSAS more than 30 pauses per hour
The patient doesn´t remember those pauses in breathing but the body is deprived of much needed deep sleep. If the air passages get blocked too often, i.e. more than 5-10 times per hour, a pulmonary specialist usually prescribes a ventilator to improve breathing and restore undisturbed sleep. This ventilator (continuous positive airway pressure device – CPAP) is a mask that gently blows air into the airway to help keep it open during the night. CPAP is usually highly effective, however many patients are unable to sleep while wearing the mask.
30 % of men between 30 and 60 years of age have sleep apnea. The European Respiratory Society estimates that 5% of Europeans suffer from repeating pauses in breathing while sleeping. For people with sleep apnea the risk of heart attack or stroke is at least double the norm.