Healthy Sleep. What is sleep therapy?
If a person is completely healthy, he or she should not snore. That is the opinion of medical specialists. Galina Galitskaya, the head of functional diagnostics department of OKDC, doctor of the highest category, the main freelance specialist on functional diagnostics of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, told us about how modern medical science helps to get rid of snoring:
– Most people who snore do not think about their health. And in vain. Snoring – this is a bell about possible neurological, otolaryngological pathologies, the lack of oxygen in the brain and other organs. The brain of snoring during sleep does not rest properly: the constant lack of oxygen leads to micro-wakenings, and the person gets up in the morning without getting enough sleep. In some cases during the day, including at work, such a person may suddenly fall asleep for a very short period of time – literally turning off for a few seconds. And if this person is driving or his/her profession is connected with high concentration, on which his/her own life or the lives of other people depend – this carries a serious danger.
Snoring can have many causes but at the moment it can only be treated with CPAP. CPAP is the name of both the machine and the treatment itself. It is an acronym that comes from the English concept of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.
CPAP therapy has a lot of potentials, but unfortunately, people have not heard much about it. Most people who suffer from snoring just wave their hands at the problem – “well, I snore, and I snore”. However, with the help of sleep therapy, one can not only get rid of snoring but also solve many other health problems. It is now proven that when using CPAP and antihypertensive drugs, the latter should be adjusted to lower the dosage. In addition, during such treatment, the weight of the patient decreases considerably. And this is not unimportant. One of our patients, who was referred by an endocrinologist, lost 80 kg after the IPAP therapy! That is probably the reason why the device is very popular in the U.S., as it helps Americans to fight excessive weight.
Besides the said reduction of excess weight and normalization of sleep, IPAP therapy helps to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, improves working efficiency, concentration of memory and attention.
– So how does a CPAP machine work?
It is placed on the bedside table while the patient sleeps. A tube goes from it to the mask through which a person breathes. You can sleep in almost any position. When the machine realizes that the person has apnoea (sleep apnoea), that there are no breathing movements, it pressurizes the air, so that the pressure changes in the chest and the act of breathing continues. As a result, a person sleeps and feels better during the day, he is insured against the risks associated with changes in the brain, nervous system and other organs.
Of course, the question arises – can a person give up on CPAP, or do they need to use it all their life? As a rule, a patient who has tried to get a full night’s sleep returns to using CPAP again.
At the Oblast Advisory and Diagnostic Center, patients are offered to try CPAP first, there is no need to purchase it right away. Before buying and programming the necessary device, choosing an individual mask, the patient has to pass the diagnostics.
What examinations and on what equipment are carried out in the OKDC?
- First, we use the simplest machine – pulse oximeter – to perform pulse oximetry in the night sleep state. Before such a study should not take coffee and tonics. The patient is fitted with a sensor on the index or middle finger of the hand, and the device, which looks like a wristwatch on the wrist. The person goes to bed and stays with the device all night, and in the morning the device is removed and brought back to us. This study is recommended for people with obesity, hypothyroidism, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, respiratory and heart failure, and chronic pulmonary heart disease.
- Second, the center has two new state-of-the-art respiratory monitoring machines. They analyze not only heart rate, but also nasal cannulas and snoring sensors. The machines already detect several parameters, by which we can judge the condition of patients. They’re lightweight, like a big watch and a nasal cannula, and they’re so comfortable that we let patients sleep at home with them, too. Because of their small size, they are convenient to take with you on business trips and tourist trips as well.
- Thirdly, we do a more in-depth study – polysomnography in the state of nocturnal sleep. The polysomnograph has a lot of sensors, both on the head and on the lumbar-thoracic region. This equipment allows us to differentiate between apnoea of central or obstructive genesis (is there a disruption in the supply of respiratory commands coming from the brain.