Snore Centre now offers online video consultaitons - Have childrens' sleep apnoea symptoms improved during lockdown? - Could sleep trackers lead to the rise of insomnia and orthosomnia? - No evidence CPAP use increases coronavirus risk - BBC Stories - Try the Snore Centre Mobile App - Michael Oko explains cardiac anatomy
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Snore Centre eNewsletter August 2020

Snore Centre now offers online video consultations via Doctify

Given the current crisis with many people's movements severely restricted The Snore Centre has set up an online consultation service in partnership with Doctify

Patients can now access our first class sleep service from their own homes without having to risk travel or attending a clinic in person.

Doctify is revolutionising the global healthcare market, enabling patients to search, book and review clinics and hospitals online. They strongly believe in the benefit of patient reviews and how they strengthen the patient-specialist relationship: empowering people to make informed decisions, as well as recognising the exceptional dedication of clinics and hospitals.

Have childrens' sleep apnoea symptoms improved during lockdown?

Jo-Anne Johnson, Senior Lecturer in Child and Family Health at Anglia Ruskin University wrote an intereting article in The Conversation this month about an apparent reduction in slep apnoea symptoms in children during lockdown.

"After two months of COVID-19 lockdown and working “all hands on deck” to deal with the pandemic surge, I am allowed to resume my outpatient work. One thing that strikes me in this clinic is another new phenomenon. Parents are reporting that their child’s symptoms have dramatically improved over the last few weeks.

Most of the children I see in my clinic have obstructive sleep apnoea, a condition that leads to a disturbed night’s sleep due to the repeated blocking of the upper airways (apnoeas). This leads to daytime symptoms such as tiredness, behavioural issues and poor concentration. Left untreated, these children may not reach their full academic potential and may go on to develop heart failure in later life.

We often see symptoms improving gradually as children get older, but families were reporting a near-resolution of symptoms over just a few weeks. To my amazement, this trend has continued from lockdown into the period of social distancing we are currently facing.

This has led me to reflect on how unexpectedly quiet our paediatric wards have been since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The vast majority of children with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) have very mild symptoms and are not admitted to hospital. But what about all the other acute conditions that normally fill our wards at this time of year, such as asthma?

We usually see a surge in children with acute allergic asthma attacks during the period of May-June, which corresponds to the peak tree-pollen counts. But we have barely seen any cases in this period."

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Could sleep trackers lead to the rise of insomnia and orthosomnia?

In The Guardian Emine Saner questions whether sleep apps and gadgets are causing more harm than good 

We are chronically underslept – in the UK, the average person is getting an hour less than they need – and the market has taken notice. The sleep aids market is predicted by the market-research firm Persistence to be worth $81bn (£64bn) by next year. There are a wealth of gadgets, aids and apps that claim to improve and monitor your sleep. You can buy a mattress that adjusts to your needs throughout the night, anti-snoring masks and headbands that are claimed to track your brainwaves.

longside this booming industry is a rise in what has become known as orthosomnia, a term coined in a 2017 case report in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. The researchers chose the term, they wrote, “because the perfectionist quest to achieve perfect sleep is similar to the unhealthy preoccupation with healthy eating, termed orthorexia”.

Although orthosomnia is not a formal diagnosis yet, Alanna Hare, a consultant in sleep and ventilation at the Royal Brompton hospital, says it is something she is familiar with in her clinic. “I’ve seen patients coming in with their sleep trackers and telling me they have a sleep problem because their tracker tells them they’re not having enough sleep, or that all their sleep is light sleep.” When she asks how they feel, many of them say they feel fine, but they are worried about what the data from their tracker is telling them.

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No evidence CPAP use increases coronavirus risk

There is no current evidence that CPAP use increases the risk for getting or developing complications of coronavirus (COVID-19). However, many patients with OSA may also have other long term health problems that may increase their risk. Please ensure that if you are affected by any other conditions that you check if they are relevant for COVID-19.

OSA Alliance advice for CPAP users:

  • People with OSA should continue to use their CPAP at home as normal.
  • There is no evidence that using CPAP makes you more likely to catch COVID-19, and nothing to suggest that CPAP will make you more unwell if you do catch it.
  • If a CPAP user becomes unwell with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (new cough and fever > 37.8 C), please follow government guidance regarding self and household isolation.
  • We do not know whether CPAP makes virus spread worse within a household. This will be something you will need to consider when deciding whether or not to continue using CPAP if you are self-isolating with symptoms of COVID-19. You may wish to distance yourself from vulnerable household members by changing bedrooms or stopping CPAP for a short time.
  • Any respiratory infection, particularly with a blocked nose, can make it more difficult to use CPAP. Try and persist, but if wearing CPAP makes you feel worse (e.g. by increasing coughing and disturbing sleep), then stop using it until your respiratory symptoms improve. Sleeping more upright, avoiding alcohol and using a mandibular advancement spilt if you have one, may help as alternatives to CPAP in reducing OSA a little in this period. Your OSA symptoms are likely to worsen over the week, but will resolve when you restart CPAP.
  • Routine hygiene is adequate for infection control: changing machine filters routinely, cleaning surfaces, cleaning mask and tubing with hand-hot soapy water (washing up liquid) and washing hands regularly.
  • Masks and machines should not be shared.
  • Please use the telephone number/email address provided by your sleep centre for urgent issues with your equipment or sleep/OSA related symptoms. Do not attend in person unless instructed to do so. Please be aware the team may not be able to respond quickly, as staff may have been moved to Emergency Services.
  • Please look after masks and tubing carefully as there may be a temporary shortage in the future.
  • A reminder that DVLA says anyone with excessive sleepiness having or likely to have an adverse effect on driving must not drive.

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BBC Stories: Are you holding your breath in your sleep?

Watch the video on the BBC

Have You Tried Our Mobile App?


Keep up with all the latest news and research on sleep apnoea from the Sleeping Disorders Centre with this nifty free app. Here you can find all our social media channels (YouTube/Facebook/Twitter/Blog) all in one place, right on your phone.

Be sure to let us know what you think of our app by leaving a review on iTunes or the Google Play Store. All your feedback is valuable to us.


Download the app for Android devices

Download the app for iOS devices

Michael Oko explains cardiac anatomy using virtual reality  ​

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