70 percent of people snore, most unaware of sleep apnea 近七成人會打鼾 呼吸中止不自知

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 - Page 11

Do you snore when you sleep? Veteran actor Chao Shun remembers sleeping over at a friend’s place one night when he was 26, snoring so loudly that it woke up the neighbors living on the floor above. At the time, he laughed and dismissed it as insignificant. In recent years, however, Chao has been suffering from high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. He also had a stroke, is on dialysis, feels bloated and falls asleep during the day, so after getting checked out just before the Lunar New Year and learning the shocking news that he experiences as many as 170 apneas, or pauses in breathing, every hour when sleeping, which could lead to sudden death, he decided to undergo treatment.

Lin Chia-mo, president of the Taiwan Society of Sleep Medicine (TSSM), says that apart from the daytime, sleeping at night is also crucially important when treating chronic diseases. People with sleep apnea do not sleep well, causing excitation in the sympathetic nervous system and hypoxia, which counteracts the body’s regulation of chronic diseases related to blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

TSSM used sleep research questionnaires that are commonly used internationally to survey 1,068 adults between the age of 20 and 60. The results showed that 68 percent of them snore during sleep, while more than half of them thought that snoring is just a part of life. Only 20 percent were aware that snoring is related to sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea usually occurs in tandem with other more fatal conditions. Compared with the average person, a person suffering from sleep apnea is seven times more likely to have a car accident, three times more likely to have unstable blood pressure, 1.6 times more prone to have a stroke, and 2.4 times more likely to suffer congestive heart failure, says a recent study in the top medical journal The Lancet.

Lin suggests that you should take a sleeping test to better understand your situation if you snore or are not sleeping well. If you have sleep apnea, you can then choose the most appropriate treatment and get out of the vicious cycle of poor sleep and chronic disease.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

睡覺時會打呼嗎?資深藝人趙舜回憶二十六歲時,曾在朋友家過夜,鼾聲大到連樓上的鄰居都被吵醒,當時他一笑置之,不以為意。直到近年深受「三高疾病」(高血壓、血脂、血糖)所苦,且中風、洗腎、身體浮腫、天天打瞌睡,今年過年前檢查才驚覺,睡眠呼吸中止次數已高達每小時一百七十次,可能夜間猝死,才接受治療。

台灣睡眠醫學學會理事長林嘉謨強調,慢性病的治療不是只有白天,睡覺時間也是關鍵。若是睡眠呼吸中止症患者就會睡不好,造成交感神經興奮和缺氧,使得血糖、血壓等慢性病控制大打折扣。

台灣睡眠醫學學會使用國際通用的睡眠篩檢問卷,針對一千0六十八位二十到六十歲成年人進行調查,發現有百分之六十八受訪者睡覺打鼾,且超過一半的人都認為打鼾只是生活習慣,卻只有二成的人知道打鼾和睡眠呼吸中止症相關。

睡眠呼吸中止症常與其他更致命的情況一起發生。頂尖期刊《Lancet(刺胳針)》的研究指出,相較於正常人,有睡眠呼吸中止症的人發生車禍的機率是七倍,血壓不穩的機率近三倍,發生腦中風的機率是一點六倍,發生充血性心臟衰竭的機率是二點四倍。

林醫師建議,睡覺會打鼾或是睡不好的人,可透過睡眠檢查了解自己的狀況,如果真的患有睡眠呼吸中止症,可以依照不同的程度,選擇適合的治療,早點「打破」睡不好和慢性病的惡性循環。

(自由時報記者邱宜君)