• What Causes Snoring?
  • What is Sleep Anoea?
  • Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnoea
  • Is Sleep Apnoea Life Threatening?
  • Diagnosis of Sleep Apnoea
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

Sleep apnoea is more serious than you may think...

What causes snoring?

Usually, snoring is recognized by a friend or partner who observes the patient sleeping. Besides the "noise" of snoring, more complex conditions such as sleep apnoea can be consistent with the symptom of snoring.

Snoring is a recognized more serious symptom of obstructive sleep apnoea and before relying on techniques that may mask symptoms but not treat the underlying condition people who snore should seek professional medical advice.

what is sleep apnoea?

A sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing, during sleep.Each pause in breathing, called an apnoea, can last from ten seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 times or more an hour and several hundred times during the night.

Similarly, each abnormally low breathing event is called a hypopnoea. In Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), breathing is interrupted by a physical block to airflow despite respiratory effort, and snoring is common.

A person with sleep apnea is rarely aware of having difficulty breathing, even upon awakening.Symptoms may be present for years (or even decades) without identification, during which time the sufferer may become conditioned to the daytime sleepiness and fatigue associated with significant levels of sleep disturbance.

There are several factors that can cause or worsen throat narrowing during sleep. They include being overweight, drinking alcohol, abnormalities of the nose and throat, smoking and the use of sleeping pills.

signs and symptoms

Males more than females


Age 35 +

Smoker > 40/day

Family Hx Snoring

Short / thick neck

Neck circumference Male ≥ 43 cm Female ≥ 40 cm

Puffiness under eyes

Red / blue skin tone

Nasal obstruction / blocked nose

History of a broken nose

Large tonsils

Small built persons / small hands / small feet

Family history of sleep apnoea, snoring, diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, heart problems

Degenerative medical conditions and Neuromuscular disease

Is sleep apnoea life threatening?

Sleep apnoea has been linked to a number of serious life threatening conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), heart disease, heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes and depression.

As a result of severely disrupted sleep, many people suffering of OSA as excessively tired during the day. Studies have linked this tiredness to increased occurrence of traffic accidents.

Continious positive airway pressure (cpap)
For moderate to severe sleep apnea, the most common treatment is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or automatic positive airway pressure (APAP) device, which 'splints' the patient's airway open during sleep by means of a flow of pressurized air into the throat.

The patient typically wears a facial mask, which is connected by a flexible tube to a small bedside CPAP machine. The CPAP machine generates the required air pressure to keep the patient's airways open during sleep.

Advanced models may warm or humidify the air and monitor the patient's breathing to ensure proper treatment.

There are many different types of masks, and finding the most comfortable one is detrimental to effective CPAP treatment. It can be compared with buying a shoe that is not comfortable – will you be able to wear that shoe every day?

diagnosis of sleep apnoea

Home sleep test is a quite simple test at diagnosing sleep breathing disorders such as snoring, sleep apnea/hypopnea, mouth breathing, sleep choking etc. No need to wait on a long waiting list or have the inconvenience of spending a night in a sleep hospital.

Please note that not all medical aids pay for sleep studies at home.

Home sleep test recordings are checked for the following event types during analysis: Apnoea (when you stop breathing for more than 10 seconds at a time); Hypopnoea (when your breathing becomes shallow with a 4% oxygen drop of more than 10 seconds at a time); Snoring; Pulse Rate and Oxygen levels.