Silent Nights

Sleep Apnea, a sleeping disorder related to snoring, worsens during the winters and can also affect general productivity of a person

While the problem of sleep apnea is one that is accentuated by snoring, it is something that if left unchecked can cause productivity to decrease during work hours. Sleep apnea, a sleeping disorder worsens in the winter in asthma patients and also due to people catching a cold which results in a blocked nose. "Colds are quite common in winters and this in turn blocks the respiratory passage. This situation leads to a worsened state of Sleep Apnea," says Dr Seemab Shaikh, founder President of Indian Association of Surgeons for Sleep Apnea. Dr Shaikh, who has been creating awareness among people regarding sleep apnea, is of the view that since the problem of asthma is heightened during winters, sleep apnea which is related to breathing, also worsens. "Sleep Apnea, in normal parlance, is all about a situation when soft tissues in the throat block the airway during sleep. This stops the air flow to the lungs and the oxygen supply is reduced. Further aggravating the problem, the organs in the body also receive reduced levels of oxygen and this worsens the problem and leads to difficulty in breathing," she adds.

Sleep apnea is very common and can happen to anyone. Children who suffer from sleep apnea can also be low performers in school activities. The detection of sleep apnea takes place in two ways. Firstly, an overnight test called Polysomnography is done to decipher how severe the condition is and then a camera evaluation is done to locate the site of obstruction. Sleep Apnea requires a person to constantly evaluate the condition and treat it accordingly, but challenging the established norms regarding Sleep Apnea, Col Umakant Saxena says, "Sleep Apnea is more of a mental condition and it can happen because of any kind of stress undertaken by a person. The physical aspects can be taken care of by the medical practitioners but the best way to reduce the occurrence of sleep apnea is to communicate with a family member, talk out all the problems and try to divert the patient's attention". Col Saxena is a self-practitioner of special healing for the past 40 years at Salunke Vihar, Wanowrie, and says that sleep apnea can occur due to past problems of suffocation or claustrophobia.

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