Sleep breathing disorder testing carried out by NHS doubled in 10 years

Sleep breathing disorder testing carried out by NHS doubled in 10 years

The BBC reported that the number of tests carried out by the NHS to diagnose people with sleep disorders across England has doubled in the past decade.

NHS data shows that 147,610 sleep diagnostic tests were carried out last year - compared to 69,919 in 2007-08. Sleep tests are more commonly undertaken to diagnose Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) - the most common sleep disorder, according to the NHS. OSA occurs when the muscles and soft tissue in the throat relax, causing a blockage of the airways. The lack of oxygen to the brain causes those with the condition to wake up or have regular interruptions to their sleep. Common symptoms include loud snoring or gasping and grunting whilst asleep.

Matt Everatt – Technical Director at S4S (UK) Limited, a Sheffield based company who provide dental appliances to treat snoring and Sleep Apnoea, said: “In 2005, we set up the company to help patients in the UK get help for Snoring and Sleep Apnoea. Having worked in the NHS for around 10 years treating these patients, it was obvious that there were millions unable to get help, either because there were no sleep services in their local hospitals, or they simply didn’t know how.”

He went on to say, “It comes as no surprise to me that the figures for sleep testing have doubled in the last 10 years. In fact, I suspect that our work at S4S and the network of 2000 dentists that we have trained to screen for OSA has contributed to the number of referrals to the NHS. Sleep Medicine in the UK is often referred to as a ‘3rd World service’ when compared to the US, Australia and, indeed, Europe. We have worked hard over the past 12 years to get more patients screened for signs and symptoms of OSA. We even set up links with Philips Respironics several years ago to try and offer a cost-effective ‘Private Sleep Study’ in hope to get more patients tested - patients unable to get tested in the NHS due to access or waiting lists. It’s staggering that only 22% of OSA patients get treatment here in the UK. Access to treatment needn’t be an obstacle anymore. Up until recently, Sleep Physicians would usually only offer cPAP to OSA sufferers. Dental appliances, known as Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS) are now used more regularly in NHS units, not only to treat simple snorers, but patients with severe OSA too. The devices, like the Sleepwell MAS, are not only clinically effective, patient compliance has now been proven to be higher than with cPAP in several studies.”

A local Sheffield MP, Meg Munn has spent many years of her career lobbying for Westminster to take a serious look at treating more OSA sufferers. In September 2016, she met Lucinda Roberts and Tamara Sandoul from the British Lung Foundation who presented a new report on the health economics of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). The report showed that treating OSA can generate direct health benefits to patients, and reduce costs incurred by the NHS, in comparison with not treating the condition.

Currently, only 22% of OSA patients are treated in the UK - but increasing diagnosis and treatment rates to just 45% could yield an annual saving of £28 million. This includes savings from reductions in road traffic accidents, heart attacks & strokes, as well as the positive impact on patients’ quality of life and improved survival rates. It is estimated that, if everyone with moderate to severe OSA was treated, approximately 40,000 road traffic accidents could be prevented - accidents that not only affect sufferers, but cause injury and death to others.

At Westminster Hall, Munn debated with the Health Minister on OSA and stated that as many as 40,000 lorry drivers may suffer from sleep apnoea, with one third of road accidents being caused by a working driver. In 2012, the number of people killed in road accidents was 1,754, with approximately 600 deaths involving people who drive for work.

Josie Beatson, from Sheffield, reported to the BBC that before receiving treatment for her sleep apnoea, the condition had a terrible impact on her life. She said: "It's embarrassing to be at work and have your colleagues wake you up because they can hear you snoring. The condition turned me into a recluse. I was so exhausted all the time that I didn't want to socialise, and, because of my loud snoring, I was too embarrassed to go and sleep at anyone else's house."

 

THE FACTS ABOUT OSA & SLEEP TESTING

  • Sleep tests are designed to identify sleep apnoea, a condition that causes people to stop breathing during sleep.
  • Only 22% of OSA sufferers are treated in the UK.
  • Sleep apnoea is a serious condition which can lead to other problems, such as: high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks.
  • An estimated 40,000 lorry drivers may suffer with OSA.
  • Approximately 600 people who drive professionally die in road traffic accidents.
  • Dental appliances such as a Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS) are appropriate for people who snore or have mild OSA with normal daytime alertness. They can also be used as an alternative for people unable to tolerate CPAP [SIGN, 2003Lim et al, 2006].
  • Sleep quality and nocturnal respiratory function are both improved following the use of a MAS in people with OSA. They are effective, non–invasive, and easy to manufacture [Lee et al, 2009].

Further Study

The role of the dentist is crucial in the diagnosis and treatment of those suffering with snoring or OSA. S4S pride themselves on offering a comprehensive service that allows GDPs to get the training required to treat their patients. 

Presented by Professor Ama Johal, one of the leading clinicians in sleep related breathing disorders, Snoring: A Role for the GDP stresses the part the dentist has to play and covers: sleep related breathing disorders, clinical reviews of MAS devices, skills required to prescribe MAS devices, and more. Find more information at here.

Carrie Fisher: Sleep Apnoea

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It has been reported that Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher died from sleep apnoea and "other factors", according to the Los Angeles County coroner. We discuss the condition, and the treatments available.

#LifeHacks – Something to Smile About

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For National Smile Month, we are aiming to raise awareness of three all-too-common problems, providing medically-proven solutions – to help you give your patients something to smile about!

The best of Sheffield, food, Cars and CPD

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A review of the May Bank Holiday 2017, spent enjoying the superb country routes of the Peak District, lunch at John Holland Cars and a CPD session at the S4S Laboratory here in Sheffield

The British Dental Conference & Exhibition 2017

The British Dental Conference & Exhibition 2017

From today until the 27th of May, we will be exhibiting at the British Dental Conference and Exhibition in Manchester. It’s good to be here, standing together with the people of Manchester in what's been one of its darkest times. Thanks to the spirit of the people, we're pleased that the conference is going ahead and we're able to contribute to this wonderful city.

For the next three days, there will be over 160 conference and exhibition sessions, in collaboration with 140 leading experts - respected in their field. Attended by over 4500 dental professionals,  this event offers CPD-verifiable learning opportunities, the chance to network, as well as insight into the latest products on the dental market.

Meanwhile, we will be joining together with fellow exhibitors to showcase a selection of our products. Providing solutions for bruxism, snoring & sleep apnoea, and tooth malalignment, our main focus will be on:
 

The Sleepwell
The most clinically proven Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) for snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnoea.

The SCi
A splint designed for manufacture in-surgery, FDA-approved for treating bruxism and medically diagnosed migraines

Smilelign
The invisible orthodontic treatment, designed to fix malalignment in the anterior teeth

 

We hope to see you here on stand C30 in the coming days

 

It's National Smile Month!

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To celebrate National Smile Month, we have put together an informative guide to help you improve your oral hygiene!

Highly Commended at the Dentistry Show...another at the end of the month!

Highly Commended at the Dentistry Show...another at the end of the month!

We had a great time at the Dentistry show this year, in part due to winning Highly Commended at the awards evening, hosted by the Probe magazine.

The award is testament to our commitment to clients, the first-class service we deliver and the innovation that goes into our products...an honour to all at S4S!

We were also lucky enough to share our table with an amazing lady, who works tirelessly with vulnerable people, helping to promote good oral health and getting the treatment some of them need so badly...there are some wonderful people out there!

So congratulations to all who attended - everyone who was short listed deserves a pat on the back.

Looking forward, next week sees another exhibition - the British Dental Conference and Exhibition held at Manchester Central Convention Complex, from Thursday the 25th to Saturday the 27th of May. It is meant to be a great one - so we hope to see you all there! We'll be at stand C30 - come and say hello: find out more about our exclusive products that can help you grow your practice.

 

If you would like some information sent to you regarding S4S Dental Laboratory - including a price list, company brochure and some postal boxes, please complete the below:

 

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National Stop Snoring Week

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Taking place from the 24th to the 29th of April, National Stop Snoring Week is aimed at promoting general awareness of snoring, emphasising that nobody need suffer as a result – it is a condition that can be treated. 

I'm a snorer, how do I stop?

I'm a snorer, how do I stop?

What do I need to do to stop snoring? We've prepared 5 simple steps to help you find a solution for snoring.