Obstructive sleep apnoea
This is characterised by intermittent closure and collapse of the pharyngeal airway, causing episodes of apnoea during sleep periods. Partial wakening will end the episodes. The classic patient with obstructive sleep apnoea is an obese, middle aged man presenting with snoring or daytime fatigue, causing interruption to daily living. Symptoms may often be described by the partner. Symptoms include:
- Loud snoring
- Daytime somnolence
- Poor quality sleep
- Morning headache
- Decreased libido
- Decreased cognitive performance.
Untreated, obstructive sleep apnoea can lead to complications such as pulmonary hypertension, type II respiratory failure and hypertension. Investigations for obstructive sleep apnoea include sleep studies (including pulse oximetry and video recordings), polysomnography (monitoring O2 saturation airflow at nose and mouth during sleep) and ECG.