FACT SHEET: SLEEP APNOEA - Providence Medical
Did you know?

  • 40% of adult’s snore regularly.
  • An estimated 1.5 million Australians suffer from sleep disorders and more than half of these have sleep apnoea.
  • More than 85% of patients with clinically significant sleep apnoea have never been diagnosed.
  • Snoring can be a sign of Sleep Apnoea, a condition which has been linked to high-blood pressure, heart stress, stroke, daytime drowsiness/sleepiness and morning headaches.

Snoring & Sleep Apnoea
Snoring is simply caused by the restriction in airway when sleeping. This restriction can occur anywhere from the vocal cords to the nose. The restricted air causes the soft tissue to vibrate causing the snoring sound. A high percentage of the population snore but many people are not aware that snoring can be a sign of Sleep Apnoea.
Sleep Apnoea is a condition where the body’s air supply is completely restricted, this can occur for more than 10 seconds in each episode. These Apnoea episodes can occur multiple times in a night. Often a Sleep Apnoea sufferer can be heard making a large gasp in their sleep to force air into their lungs. Sleep Apnoea sufferers often awaken without feeling refreshed by sleep, can be irritable and prone to day time sleepiness.

There are two common types of Sleep Apnoea:
Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA): occurs when the patient’s brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe, which often result in longer lasting and more frequent apnoea’s (breathing pauses).
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA): is the more common Sleep Apnoea type and is caused by the relaxation of the muscles (such as the soft palate and tongue) while we sleep. This relaxation of the muscles can cause the jaw to slide back over the airway, restricting it. As mentioned above OSA is the most common form of Sleep Apnoea and can have some of the following symptoms:

  • Snoring
  • Waking up during sleep, gasping or choking for air
  • Restless nights
  • Difficulty getting to sleep (insomnia)
  • Tooth Grinding (at night)
  • Daytime tiredness
  • Lack of focus

There are multiple treatment options for OSA, including MAS (Mandibular Advancement Splints, see below) and CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines. Many people are unable to tolerate CPAP therapy and find the MAS a better solution to assist with the treatment of this condition.