HYGEIA Hospital
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HYGEIA Hospital Tirana
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Sleep Study

The Sleep Study Department offers accurate diagnosis & early treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea! 

What is Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea Syndrome?
Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea Syndrome is a condition characterized by disordered breathing during sleep. It is usually caused by obstruction of the respiratory system, in which case it is called obstructive apnea. In rarer occasions, it may be caused by an imbalance in the brain center that regulates respiration; this is known as central apnea.

What causes Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea Syndrome?
The most common causes of obstructive apnea are obesity, short neck, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, prominent soft palate, large uvula, etc.

What are the symptoms Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea Syndrome?
Patients with sleep apnea may develop symptoms both while sleeping and when awake.   In most patients, sleep apnea is characterized by intense and loud snoring, followed by repeated apneas and hypopneas (pauses in breathing) that wake them up and ruin their sleep. During the apneas and hypopneas, the snoring stops and starts again when the patient resumes breathing.

In any event, breathing while sleeping is laborious and the patient wakes up with an intense feeling of choking. However, patients do not remember these symptoms on the following day and complain that they suffer from morning headaches, they have not slept well, their sleep was not refreshing and that they would want to sleep more.

The most common symptoms include:

  • daytime sleepiness
  • feeling of un-refreshing sleep
  • morning headaches
  • loud snoring
  • abrupt awakening with a feeling of choking
  • erectile dysfunction and low sex drive
  • frequent awakening for urination
  • memory & behavior disorders
  • loss of concentration / depression
  • Many of these symptoms are confirmed by the spouses.


What are the consequences of Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea Syndrome?
Breathing disorders prevent the supply of oxygen to vital organs, leading to the development of more serious diseases. The most common are arterial hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias and diabetes mellitus.

Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea causes daytime sleepiness, low sex drive, a reduction in higher brain functions (such as memory and judgment), etc. The consequences on the quality of life, as well as the professional and social life of a patient are dramatic.

Lastly, the lack of normal sleep causes decreased reflexes and extreme sleepiness, increasing the risk of deadly road accidents.

How is Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea Syndrome diagnosed?
Sleep apnea can only be diagnosed in special Sleep Study centers, using polysomnography. It is an entirely painless, non-invasive method, which simultaneously records several function parameters during sleep, such as:
  • EEG (brain activity)
  • Cardiac rhythm
  • Oxygen saturation of hemoglobin (oximetry)
  • Respiratory airflow from the nose and mouth
  • Chest/abdominal breathing effort
  • Loudness of snoring

How is Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea Syndrome treated?
Correction of pre-existing factors, such as obesity, may treat or improve the Syndrome in some patients. The use of an auto-CPAP device (which delivers air pressure to the patient via a mask) is the most common type of treatment.

Each patient is evaluated by a specialist pulmonologist based on clinical evidence and lab results (i.e. with a polysomnogram).The pulmonologist will decide on the ideal treatment method for each case.


Telephone
+ 30 210 686 7494

Medical Team