Do I have Sleep Apnoea?
If you are having sleep problems or think that you may have a sleep disorder, the first thing you should do is talk to your doctor. Your GP can assess your condition and if appropriate, fill out a referral for you to have a sleep study with us.
If you would like to talk to someone before seeing your GP - give us a call on 0436 141400 to find out more about snoring, sleep studies and treatments. Or send us an email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sleep specialists are the best qualified medical professionals to investigate and supervise the treatment of OSA. More importantly, the best health outcomes are usually achieved with local sleep specialists who can consult directly with you and your GP. Ethical Sleep Study referrals are all screened for best sleep study type and location for each patient, by the sleep specialist you have chosen.
For medically approved information information about Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, please follow this link to information at the Australasian Sleep Association.
About Sleep Apnoea
Sleep apnoea is a disorder in which breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. There are two principal types of sleep apnoea:
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) occurs as a result of collapse of the upper airway while asleep.
Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA) is due to decreased drive to breathe, from the brain.
Mixed Sleep Apnoea is a combination of both types of sleep apnoea
OSA is the most common type of sleep apnoea, comprising 90 to 96% of apnoeas.
Who gets OSA?
Sleep Apnoea can be diagnosed in children, teenagers and adults. It can be genetic - if family members have sleep apnoea, you are more likely to have it as well. The prevalence of OSA in the Australian population is likely to be increasing due to increasing rates of obesity, but many people with sleep apnoea are not overweight. Whilst OSA is more common in overweight middle-aged males who snore, it often affects females. Female hormones and a difference in throat structures may protect some women until menopause.
Narrowing of the back of the throat and the upper airway can also contribute to the risk of getting OSA, even in people who are not overweight or middle-aged. In such people a small jaw, enlarged tongue, big tonsils and enlarged soft palate contribute to the obstruction of the upper airway in deep sleep, making OSA more likely to occur. Several of these problems can be present in any person at the same time.
If you are diagnosed with Sleep Apnoea, you may be asked by your specialist to trial CPAP. This is a simple, inexpensive step, which often results in good outcomes. Patients who trial CPAP and feel an improvement usually want to purchase it, because they feel so much better throughout their day. Once it is time to purchase, we can advise you about claiming from your health fund if you have one. You need to have had a sleep study which shows you need CPAP, before you can claim. CPAP can start at $700 and $250 for mask, but if you want the latest machine, it can go up to $1700 including a mask
If you cannot afford CPAP, you have a AHI over 30, and you are on a concession card, you may be entitled to receive free CPAP from one of our state's public hospitals. Ask your GP the best way to access this entitlement. If you would like to know a local specialist, please email us for a list.
Another entitlement for concession card holders who are responsible for their own power bills (ie live in their own home, not a nursing home) is the rebate from Centrelink (SA patients). Ask us for a form or follow this link and get it signed by your GP to take to Centrelink. This rebate is worth $150 per year, discounted off your electricity bill.