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  • Writer's pictureNalaka de Silva


Updated: Sep 14, 2023


Every adult will have some sleep apnoeas during their sleep. However, for sleep apnoea syndrome, one must suffer many "respiratory events" per hour and be symptomatic. If you snore loud, partner has witnessed you choking when sleeping, have day time sleepiness and suffer obesity or hypertension you may have sleep apnoea.

Children are quite different. They do NOT need to have any "events" to be affected. Children should NOT SNORE LOUD or regularly mouth breathe, if they do they may be affected by sleep apnoea syndrome, and you should seek medical attention.

The "respiratory events" can be Apnoeas, Hypopneas or RERA s (respiratory effort-related arousals). Sleep study help diagnose these events by measuring many aspects of sleep physiology, such as brain waves, airflow, chest movement, oxygen levels and more. Apnoeas are when there is over a 90% reduction of airflow. Hypopneas are when there is over 30% reduction of airflow along with some level of oxygen desaturation. RERAs are if a patient wakes themselves up after increased respiratory effort i.e. they struggle to breathe which then wakes them up.

While it is hard to quantify sleep by numbers alone, AHI (Apnoea Hypopnea Index) is the most commonly used index. The two main indices that are used to measure degree of OSA are:

AHI Apnoea Hypopnea Index : Apnoeas + Hypopnea per hour

RDI Respiratory Distress Events : Apnoea + Hypopnea + RDI per hour

The management of sleep apnoea is complex. At CSSC we carefully review your sleep study for these events. We also look at oxygen saturation levels, periodic limb movement, body position, sleep cycle and how it affects apnoea numbers, sleep fragmentation and more. We also do a sleepiness score (ESS) and a comprehensive endoscopic examination of the upper airway to observe sites of obstuction. All of the above enable us to get an accurate picture of a patients sleep. Then we repeat these parameters post-treatment, especially after surgery, to confirm its resulting benefit. Our comprehensive pre and post-treatment assessments have opened the way to some novel research and startling results.

Due to the unique collaboration between surgeon and physician, CSSC has delivered outstanding results to sleep apnoea patients in Melbourne. Currently, over 90% of those operated by CSSC Mornington have avoided a CPAP Machine and 85% of non operated patients have successfully managed their sleep apnoea (2019-2021 audit). We also collaborate with other respiratory physicians to help manage their difficult patients.

If you are concerned about suffering sleep apnoea you may fill the sleep form and see if you qualify for a funded sleep study.

Team at CSSC Mornington.

Disclaimer: The material and information contained in this website is is for general general purpose or in addition to what was provided for patients during their consultation. You should not rely upon the material in this website as basis for decision making

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