• Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Test

    Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Test

    Sleep disorders are one of many widely unrecognized and undiagnosed conditions. Most sleep symptoms usually manifest due to co-morbid conditions like obesity and depression. However, there is a term 80% of Aussies are unfamiliar with, though unknowingly live with every day. This is called Obstructive Sleep Apnoea or OSA, for short. Paucity of breathing while asleep and falling asleep during the day are two symptoms of OSA mentioned earlier. To determine or confirm if you are at risk, undergoing Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Test is the first step to do.

    Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

    What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?

    Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, coming from its name, means that your airways are obstructed when you sleep due to the collapsing of these airways leading to paucity of breathing for 10 seconds or longer. Depending on how long you stop breathing confers the severity of your apnoea. It usually exists with other systemic conditions like hypertension and heart disease, being the most common, obesity, Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 and depression.

    Adult Population with OSA

    There are also about 300,000 Australians who are diagnosed and on treatment, who maintain their equipment every half a year.

    Sleep Apnoea Symptoms

    First of all, you have to know when it is time to have a consult for OSA, by means of the common symptoms experienced by those who have the condition. However, if you aren’t experiencing any of the symptoms listed, but are curious as to whether you have OSA or not, you are still welcome to have yourself checked by answering a quick questionnaire at your local pharmacy.

    The sleep symptoms are divided into 2 categories: Night Symptoms and Day Symptoms. Basically, if you are kept up at night, you will feel the effects of lack of sleep during the day, even if you were in bed at the appropriate time for the appropriate number of hours.

    If any of these symptoms sound familiar, whether they are something you can relate to personally or know someone going through them, it could be time to have yourself or your loved one checked for OSA.

    1. Loud persistent snoring
    2. Witnessed pause in
    3. Choking or gasping for air
    4. Restless sleep
    5. Frequent visits to the bathroom
    1. Early morning headaches
    2. Daytime sleepiness
    3. Poor concentration
    4. Irritability
    5. Falling asleep at routine activities

    Detecting Patients Thru Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Test

    Your local pharmacy has several ways in determining which of their customers experience his condition, from a screening protocol to merely having a chat with one of their staff. By being more inquisitive with regards to sleeping conditions, we will be able to eventually treat and minimize the prevalence of those suffering from the condition.

    The Sleep Test Process

    • Screening scripts at the beginning of consult with ticked off comorbidities like diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and depression are members of the higher risk OSA group.

    • By visibly showcasing Sleep Apnoea products like sleep aid machines and Point of Sale (POS) Marketing Materials, customers will be more inquisitive as to which products may be available to them.

    • Receive referrals from local health care practitioners and professionals

    • Conduct short interviews and offer questionnaires at the script counter to raise awareness, tailor fit the customer’s needs, and surface concerns they might have forgotten.

    • Designate a staff member as a “Sleep Champion” who is the point person when it comes to sleep-related queries.

    How Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Test is Done?

    The Australian Pharmacy Sleep Service has come up with a procedure that may further characterize each person’s level of sleepiness, the risk for developing OSA and who may need sleep aid machines. The steps to undertake are as follows:

    Day 1(15 – 30mins)

    a. Submit 2 scripts to your pharmacy: (1) the Epworth questionnaire, and (2) the Sleep Apnoea Screening tool

    b. Should the results come out positive, a sleep apnoea consultant will
    then guide you in conducting a home sleep test- Alice

    Day 2

    a. Complete and return Alice to your pharmacy
    b. Wait for about a week for the results to be validated by a physician

    Day 8 – 11 (30 – 45mins)

    a. Attend the appointment arranged by your sleep apnoea consultant to
    discuss the results and possible treatment
    b. You may be required to begin a 4-week CPAP Therapy trial with a CPAP machine and mask while sleeping

    Day 15(10 – 30mins)

    a. Follow up with your consultant and gives updates on your therapy,
    whether it has relieved your sleep symptoms or may need some

    Day 36 (10mins)

    a. Take note of still present symptoms or signs of relief after the month-long CPAP trial
    b. Arrange with your pharmacy CPAP machine purchases and further consultations and support

    Earlier, the words ‘CPAP’ and ‘sleep aid machines’ have been frequently used. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure and is the most recommended treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. It utilizes continuous airflow pressure to keep your airways patent and wide enough for air to circulate. It prevents further collapsing of the airways, and tongue obstruction when in sleeping certain sleeping positions.

    There are 3 types of masks available for use, depending on the type of obstruction the patient experiences: nasal pillow (direct nasal and under the nose), nasal, and full face.

    Images: Australian Pharmacy Sleep Services

    Snore and sleep apnoea

    If all else fails, consulting with your sleep specialist or consultant at your local pharmacy will always do the trick! They are well equipped with the knowledge you need to gain the best experience from using your CPAP machine, and will definitely point you to the right products and people who may further help you.

    To know more about Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Test,
    click ALICE .

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