Oman


Advanced clinics in Oman to help you catch sleep


Times Graphic

Muscat: Here is happy news for those who have trouble catching some sleep. A healthcare firm is planning to set up advanced sleep clinics in Oman by tying up with private healthcare institutions by the end of next month.

"We are in talks with private healthcare institutions to set up sleep clinics to treat sleep disorders, a condition often termed a silent killer, in various parts of Oman. At present, there are no advanced sleep clinics in private healthcare sector in Oman. Already a few hospital groups have agreed to our plans. By May-end, we will start it," T. K. Vijayan, managing director at the Global Source Trading, a healthcare firm, told the Times of Oman.

Facility
The healthcare firm will be providing the facility in association with ResMed, an Australian firm which provides sleep medicine and technology to diagnose, treat, and manage sleep-disordered breathing, to start clinics in Oman.

"Many people know that sleep disorders, especially obstructive sleep apnoea, is what causes snoring, but they may not know that it is a very serious disorder that can cause your body to actually stop breathing when you sleep. Sleep apnoea is a chronic condition that requires long-term management and can result in serious health complications if not treated," Hari Menon, general manager at Global Source Trading, said.

According to a senior medic at the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH), on an average, 20 to 30 patients turn up at the only sleep clinic in SQUH every week.

Around 500 patients were counselled and investigated during 2012 for sleep apnoea in this one and only government sleep clinic at SQUH in Oman. However, the clinic still does not offer free Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), the standard treatment for most of the cases of sleep apnoea patients, which may be depriving some patients of the treatment. "There is a need for advanced sleep clinic facilities as many people are actually suffering in silence. Excessive daytime sleepiness will have negative impact on memory, vigilance, and concentration and, therefore, it affects all aspects of life, social, professional as well as health status," Mohammed A. Al Abri, Senior Consultant of Sleep Medicine at the Department of Clinical Physiology in SQUH, said.

According to the experts, an increase in demand for sleep investigation and treatment in Oman is likely in the future.

A recent study showed that the major risk factor for obstructive sleep apnoea among the Omani male population is obesity and relatively young male subjects were being referred for management of sleep disorder breathing.

Sleep crisis
Medics say that untreated sleep apnoea may lead to serious complications such as hypertension, ischemic heart disease, diabetes and depression. Sleep apnoea patients are at greater risk of car accidents as a result of excessive sleepiness and lack of concentration.

The global statistics say that the cost of untreated sleep apnoea reaches beyond just health issues. It is estimated that the average untreated sleep apnoea patient's health care costs $1,336 more than that of an individual without sleep apnoea. If approximations are correct, 17 million untreated individuals account for $22,712,000,000 in health care costs.

To get in touch with the reporter: reji@timesofoman.com

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