I attended a seminar organized by Channel News Asia and Raffles Hospital. I find the session very well organized and learnt a lot from the various doctors from Raffles Hospital.
The condition that many people have and yet unaware is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Patients with this condition have their upper airway partially blocked causing breathing to stop and start while sleeping. This might result in loud snoring while sleeping and when breathing resumes, causing loud gasps or body jerk.
When left untreated, it will cause various medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, depression etc.
As this condition affects the quality and even duration of sleep of a patient, it affects the lifestyle of an individual too as the person might be feeling restless and fatigue in the day. This will cause them to lose focus or lack energy to carry out tasks in the day.
What I find interesting was that no one will die because of this condition, but will lead to other critical illness that will cause death. Therefore, this condition is usually not known of since people do not seek treatment for it before it is too late.
The unique part of Raffles Hospital is that they work in a multi disciplinary faculty example including a team of psychologist, ENT specialist, neurology specialist and respiratory specialist that works together to find the root cause of a medical condition.
For example, one of the specialist mentioned that certain medicine diagnosed by a psychologist in a typical hospital like anti-depressant for a patient with depression might cause severity in Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and because they operate in a single faculty, they are unaware of the consequences. By suppressing the condition of depression, it actually worsen the OSA condition and cause a vicious cycle.
If someone suspect that they have this condition, they can actually do a sleep test and if diagnosed, can use a treatment called CPAP which uses something like this during sleep to treat the condition.
On a side note, this kind of treatment is actually not claimable by insurance as it does not involved any hospitalization and does not fall in any of the critical illnesses. However, in exchange for a better quality life and to prevent diagnosis of critical illness, I still think it makes sense for one to seek treatment if they suspect themselves to have it.
Overall I have learnt a lot and had an enjoyable session all thanks to CNA and Raffles Hospital.
Very glad to have the opportunity to take a picture with Teresa from Channel News Asia as well.
As a bonus, here is a link to Raffles Hospital on a very useful tips found in their health issue magazine on Sleep.