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Obstructed sleep can cause cardiac problems

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 16 - An obstructed sleep together with snoring can lead to hypertension, obesity and cardiac problems if left untreated. But, ironically, majority of people are unaware of this hard fact and often the problem is ignored as a minor issue.

In a bid to make people understand Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), Apollo Hospitals Guwahati has taken an initiative to create awareness about the issue on the eve of World Sleep Day that falls on March 17 this year.

Addressing the media here, Dr Rakesh Periwal, consultant of Apollo Hospitals Guwahati, said that snoring � a common symptom during sleep � could be a pointer to an underlying disease, which if left untreated, could be a causative factor for systematic hypertension, cardio-vascular disease and even stroke.

�When sleep is disrupted, mainly due to intermittent snoring and people stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, the brain and rest of the body may not get enough oxygen. OSA creates a cycle of apnea and awakenings leading to incomplete sleep and also daytime sleepiness. The patients may complain of fatigue, tiredness, inability to concentrate and deterioration in functional capacity,� Dr Periwal said.

The condition affects up to 10 per cent population of the world.

According to experts OSA is found commonly in people in the 40-and-above age group, but, in some cases, younger people are also affected by this problem. As part of the preventive mechanism, weight management and some lifestyle changes can be adopted, like reduced use of alcohol and sedatives. Some drugs can also aggravate the problem, which requires proper consultation with experts.

Suggesting early medical intervention to address the issue at the right time, experts also say that the problem could be detected with a very simple and basic sleep test.

Dr Kripesh Ranjan Sarma, another consultant of the hospital further added that World Sleep Day is an occasion to make people aware of the early symptoms of the disease for directing the efforts towards prevention and management of sleep disorders.

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