Legendary singer and music composer Bappi Lahiri passed away in Mumbai on Wednesday morning at the age of 69. Doctors cited obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) as the main cause for the death of Lahiri, who was facing multiple health issues.
This has brought to attention the disorder OSA, which has been the most untouched topic of discussion, especially in countries like India, according to doctors. Here's everything you need to know about the disorder:
What is OSA?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common but serious sleep-related breathing disorder that happens when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep. It can affect people of all ages, including infants and young children, but is seen mostly in the age group of 50 years and above, and those suffering from obesity, according to experts.
How is OSA caused?
OSA is caused by repetitive collapse of the upper airway during sleep. It is the most common sleep-related breathing disorder. OSA occurs when the muscles supporting the soft tissues in the throat, such as tongue and soft palate, relax, said Dr Santosh Bangar, senior consultant psychiatrist, Global Hospital, Parel, central Mumbai.
There are three forms of OSA -- mild, moderate and severe.
Also Read: Bappi Lahiri passes away at 69 in Mumbai Hospital
When the obstruction is severe, oxygen supply to various body organs is affected, leading to apnea (stoppage of breathing). Due to lack of oxygen, people suffer from a variety of neuropsychiatric symptoms such as tiredness, daytime sleepiness, irritability and lack of concentration, according to Dr Bangar.
Obesity is the most common cause for sleep apnea, hence weight of a person should be under control and in normal range to reduce the risk of this disorder, according to Dr Pujan Parikh, consultant, pulmonary medicine, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital.
Persons suffering from uncontrolled hypertension, diabetes, recurrent cardiac failure of unknown cause and stroke should be evaluated for sleep apnea and treated on time, Dr Parikh added.
What are its symptoms?
OSA's most common symptoms are snoring, morning headaches, daytime sleepiness or fatigue, dry mouth upon awakening, sudden awakening with the sensation of choking, mood disturbances.
If not treated, sleep apnea can lead to a number of health problems like hypertension, diabetes, stroke, cardiomyopathy and heart failure, according to Dr Sanket Jain, consultant pulmonologist with Masina Hospital, Mumbai.
Mental and physical health complications like hypertension (high blood pressure), altered blood sugar (or diabetes), irregular heart rhythm, heart attack, sudden cardiac death, stroke (paralysis), dementia and depression are also associated with OSA, according to Dr Bangar.
What should a person suffering from sleep apnea do?
According to Dr Parikh, diagnostic sleep study is important to prove diagnosis of sleep apnea and its severity.
Treatment options are decided on an individual basis depending on severity and symptoms and may include weight reduction, positive airway pressure therapy, dental appliances. A surgery is rarely required, he said.
Parikh advised sleep apnea patients to exercise regularly, shun alcohol and avoid sleeping pills.
(With PTI inputs)
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