When a 25-year-old man was admitted to Jehangir Hospital after complaints of constant drowsiness, increased irritability and lack of concentration, a sleep study helped diagnose that he had obstructive sleep apnea. The man had also survived an accident.
A similar study helped detect the disorder in a 55 year-old scientist from Baner, too, who found himself falling asleep for just 1-2 minutes during the day. He had rammed his car into a wall while he had a sleeping episode but escaped unhurt. While he was pursuing his PhD, he did not sleep for three-four nights, following which it was discovered that he had obstructive sleep apnea.
Nidra Centre for Management of Sleep Disorders has been set up at Jehangir Hospital and Dr Siddharth Yande, an ENT specialist pointed out that main reason was that the number of sleep disorder cases in Pune had been rising. The centre is mapped with multi-speciality doctors from neurology, chest and ENT specialists and a sleep study lab. Sleep problems are linked to depression, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes and the centre offers questionnaires to screen patients and their sleep pattern and three categories of sleep study as defined by the American Sleep Association.
The Gold standard that is followed is Category 1 (done with hospital and technician on the computer), 2 (without monitoring by technician) and 3 (at home). George Eapen, director and president at Jehangir Hospital, said, “The need for having a sleep centre is to ease the confusion as to where a patient should go. Does he need to see a neurologist or a chest specialist or even an ENT specialist? This way any sleep disorder can be mapped as this sleep questionnaire will be a part of our registration forms and will help the consulting doctor analyse and recommend the patient to the Sleep Center quickly.”
Dr Seemab Shaikh, founder president of the Indian Association of Surgeons for Sleep Apnea, said since the launch of the body, seven-eight years ago, awareness regarding sleep disorders and the need for such studies has increased significantly. Dr Shaikh said, “While awareness levels have increased there is limited data on the number of people suffering from sleep apnea. However we are seeing a lot of patients and standardised studies need to be taken up on the issue.” He added that several hospitals having diagnostic equipment to conduct such studies have been set up since .