In an effort to help obstructive sleep apnoea sufferers identify and combat the disorder, Philips Electronics announced on 15 March 2013 it will screen one million people worldwide for obstructive sleep apnoea over the next five years.
Philips’ programme, consistent with its stated commitment to improve access to health care and save lives, will include screening across North America, Europe and Asia. The programme uses an online risk assessment on its World Sleep Day website. Individuals who have symptoms or believe they may be at-risk are encouraged to take the online risk assessment test. Upon completion, it will provide their risk level for obstructive sleep apnoea and encourage follow up with their health care provider.
“Obstructive sleep apnoea steals health from its sufferers and put them on a path to potentially life-threatening diseases,” said Brent Shafer, CEO, Philips Home Healthcare Solutions. “It is our goal to use our innovative solutions to help obstructive sleep apnoea sufferers identify and combat this very serious disorder.”
Obstructive sleep apnoea is one of the most common sleep disorders, and affects approximately 5% to 6% of the adult population. It is characterised by a narrowing or closing of the upper airway, which hinders breathing during sleep.
Sleep is often labelled as the ‘third pillar of good health’, along with diet and exercise. Philips research suggests that more than two-thirds of all people with sleep apnoea are not diagnosed.
The most common cause of obstructive sleep apnoea is weight gain. Other signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:
• Frequent loud snoring
• Pauses in breathing or gasping for breath
• Regularly falling asleep in situations, such as reading, watching TV or driving
• High blood pressure
“There are three important steps to helping individuals with obstructive sleep apnoea: awareness, diagnosis and treatment. Each is integral to improving the sleep quality and overall health of individuals around the world,” said Lee-Chiong, chief medical liaison for Philips Home Healthcare Solutions. “Philips’ pledge helps individuals take the first step to make them aware of their risk for obstructive sleep apnoea.”