Snoring is a relatively common condition. The aim of a consultation to manage this condition appropriately is to distinguish between simple snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). OSA is a medical condition unlike simple snoring which is a social disturbance without any medical implications. Treating snoring appropriately involves finding out the site(s) that are contributing significantly to the snoring and addressing them.
Obstructive sleep apnoea on the other hand is a medical condition where there is a total blockage of the airway usually for more than ten seconds. Sufferers are usually tired in the daytime and could constitute a social risk depending on the job they do e.g. heavy goods vehicle drivers. Obstructive sleep apnoea is almost always associated with snoring although not all snorers have sleep apnoea. Apart from the aforementioned risk, sleep apnoea if left untreated can increase the risk of heart disease.
Mr Olarinde will undertake a careful assessment to assess symptoms suggestive of obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring, request relevant investigations and discuss with you treatment options. A lot of patients seeing Mr Olarinde with snoring are investigated with the innovative technique of sleep apnoeagraphy. This involves a very thin probe left in the throat overnight with the patient sleeping in their usual environment. A lot of information on the sleep pattern is recorded and analysed on a computer to help inform the best treatment option which could be surgery, the use of a mouth splint or certain lifestyle changes. Consultations for snoring are best carried out with the person’s sleeping partner.