Did you know that as many as 1 in 5 people with MS suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea?
Obstructive sleep apnoea occurs when your breathing stops and starts while you sleep. It typically occurs due to a collapse in the tone of the muscles in your throat. The main symptoms of sleep apnoea include making gasping or choking noises while you sleep, snoring loudly, waking unrefreshed with a muggy feeling as if you have a hangover, feeling very tired during the day and frequently falling asleep in the day.
Sleep apnoea is usually treated with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) mask that you wear while you are asleep. Although sleep apnoea is associated with obesity and getting older it can occur in people who are thin with a normal BMI (body mass index). It is very common in MS and is likely to be due to MS lesions affecting the function of the brainstem.
If you identify with any of these symptoms you need to raise the issue with your HCP so that you can be investigated. Sleep studies to diagnose sleep apnoea can even be done at home using portable devices.
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