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BLF calls for awareness of OSA on World Sleep Day

Friday 16 March 2012

To mark World Sleep Day, the British Lung Foundation (BLF) is calling for more awareness of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) among both the general public, and also healthcare professionals.

OSA is a condition where the airway narrows or closes, obstructing the flow of air, and causing the individual to stop breathing during their sleep. This leaves the affected person exhausted and incapable. Approximately 4% of men and 2% of women have obstructive sleep apnoea, but the true number is unknown, as many people with OSA are undiagnosed.

World Sleep Day is an annual celebration of sleep and a call to action on important sleep related issues, with the aim to lessen the burden of sleep problems through better prevention and management of disorders.

Dame Helena Shovelton, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation said:

“If OSA goes untreated it can badly affect a person’s quality of life, their ability to work and it is linked to a number of serious health problems. The impact also goes beyond the individual; it causes those affected to be at higher risk of being involved in road traffic accidents and accidents at work. Greater awareness is a key component in tackling the diagnosis problem surrounding obstructive sleep apnoea. ”

“We urge anybody who is exhibiting symptoms such as daytime fatigue and snoring to visit and take our Epworth Pictorial Sleepiness test, and see if they need to seek further medical advice.”


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