Times of Oman
Are you a snorer? Your immune system is at risk, new study in Oman reveals
September 19, 2017 | 9:03 PM
by Times News Service
Snoring is a noticeable sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), according to Dr Elias Said, assistant professor at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Sultan Qaboos University. Photo-Shutterstock
 
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Muscat: Do you snore and find it difficult to get enough sleep? This can affect your immune system, a study by a team of Oman-based doctors has suggested.

Snoring is a noticeable sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), according to Dr Elias Said, assistant professor at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Sultan Qaboos University.

Asked why a team of 11 health experts decided to conduct this research, he argued that there is insufficient information available on the changes in the immune system of Obstructive Sleep Apnea patients.

After months of investigations and research, the results suggested that OSA does affect the immune responses of patients.



Breathing disorder

“Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder that involves a partial or complete halt in airflow while attempting to breathe during sleep,” he explained.

This results in partial reductions in breathing and/or complete stop of airflow for at least 10 seconds during sleep.

“Therefore it leads to a sudden drop in blood oxygen saturation,” the doctor said, adding that the brain responds to the lack of oxygen by causing a brief wake from sleep to have normal breathing.

“This pattern can happen hundreds of times per night giving rise to an increase in sleep fragmentation and the patient is therefore sleep deprived,” he added.

This study included 22 patients, who were newly diagnosed with severe OSA after a full night of polysomnography in the sleep clinic of the Department of Clinical Physiology at the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH).

“The results,” says the doctor, “suggests that the anti-bacterial defence mechanisms in OSA patients are affected and therefore they might be more prone to bacterial infections.”

“This study is a new milestone achieved to better understand the effects of this disorder,” Said stated.

The study was funded by the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University.

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