Putting sleep disorder to bed

A group dedicated to raising awareness of a potentially lethal sleep condition that affects millions of sufferers in the UK were at Lister Hospital on Friday.

Members of Breath Easy North Herts set up a stall in the main entrance area of the hospital as part of a week dedicated to helping those who have obstructive sleep apnoea – a condition that stops sufferers breathing.

The British Lung Foundation estimates the condition affects around four per cent of men and two per cent of women in the UK, but the majority go undiagnosed.

The charity said the condition could be contributing to the estimated 20 per cent of accidents caused by sleepiness on our motorways.

Sue Churchman, chairman of the group, said: “OSA is a breathing condition which blocks the airways and stops people breathing during sleep, making them snore loudly, followed by feeling sleepy during the day.

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“If you snore loudly and struggle to stay awake during the daytime and you are worried you could have OSA, go to www.lunguk.org for advice.”

Lister Hospital is due to open a new sleep disorder unit providing treatment for the condition “soon”, a hospital spokesman said.

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Mrs Churcham said this will mean cutting-edge technology will be available locally, cutting travel and overnight stays outside of Hertfordshire.

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