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ほおっておけない!おそろしい睡眠時無呼吸症候群の症状

夜景

睡眠時無呼吸症候群の場合には早めに専門医での治療を受けること重要です。

睡眠時無呼吸症候群は、一時的に睡眠中に呼吸が停止する状態で、放置してしまうと社会生活上の問題や健康への大きな悪影響を及ぼす可能性があります。本稿では睡眠時無呼吸症候群の特徴を中心に解説しています。

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睡眠時無呼吸症候群とは?

満月

睡眠時無呼吸症候群という言葉を聞いたことがある方は多いのではないかと思われます。

睡眠時無呼吸症候群は一時期、テレビの医学番組などでも話題となりました。睡眠時無呼吸症候群とは、睡眠中に無呼吸(呼吸停止)の状態が繰り返されることが原因となって、熟睡することができなかったり、疲労感が抜けないという症状を呈するものをいいます。

睡眠時無呼吸症候群が疑われる場合としては、肥満体質の方で非常にいびきが大きくなっているという場合です。このような方のケースは前述しましたテレビの医学番組などでも
度々放映されたので、ご存知の方も多いのではないかと思われます。しかし、睡眠時無呼吸症候群は必ずしも肥満体質の方だけに起きる問題ではありません。顔の骨格などが原因となって生じる場合もあることが判明しています。

つまり、睡眠時無呼吸症候群は顎が小さい方(小顎症の方)や扁桃肥大の方、鼻筋がやや湾曲となっている方など顔の構造的な理由から発症することがあることが分かっています。このように睡眠時無呼吸症候群は必ずしも肥満体質だけが原因ではなく、顔の構造などのやむを得ない理由から生じることもあることがわかっています。

睡眠時無呼吸症候群が疑われる症状

では、より具体的にはどのような症状が見られる場合に睡眠時無呼吸症候群の可能性を疑うべきなのでしょうか。まず、睡眠時無呼吸症候群が疑われる症状としては、非常に大きないびきをかいている場合が挙げられます。

大きないびきは空気の通り道が狭くなると、引き起こされます。睡眠時無呼吸症候群は気道が狭くなり一時的に呼吸が止まってしまうなどの状態を繰り返すため、自然といびきが大きくなります。

次に、起床時に頭痛を覚える場合があります。睡眠時無呼吸症候群の場合には、眠っていても実質的には睡眠をとっているとは言えない状態であるため、脳が休まらず、起床時に頭痛が生じます。いびきが大きく起床後に頭痛を覚える場合などには睡眠時無呼吸症候群の可能性が疑われます。

さらに、夜間トイレに起きる回数が多い場合にも睡眠時無呼吸症候群の可能性があります。これは、睡眠時は通常は副交感神経が優位となっており、リラックスできるのが通常なのですが、睡眠時無呼吸症候群の場合には脳が起きている状態のため、交感神経が活発となります。そして交感神経が活発化している場合には、尿が体内で生成されます。そのため、夜間トイレに起きる頻度があまりにも多い場合にも睡眠時無呼吸症候群の可能性があありえます。

睡眠時無呼吸症候群がもたらす身体への危険性

次にもっとも重要なポイント・注意をいただきたいポイントとしては睡眠時無呼吸症候群がもたらす実害です。睡眠時無呼吸症候群は社会生活上や健康に対して様々な問題を生じさせます。

まず、社会的生活上の問題として意識障害などから生じる事故の危険性が挙げられます。2003年に山陽新幹線で起きた、運転士による痛ましい居眠り事故は運転士が睡眠時無呼吸症候群に罹っていたことが原因と言われます。また、トラックやタクシーなどの運輸関係の仕事についておられる場合には、重得な睡眠時無呼吸症候群である場合には、安全性の観点から仕事を失ってしまう可能性がありえます。

このように運転を業として生計を立てておられる方にとっては、睡眠時無呼吸症候群は社会生活上、就業喪失のおそれや事故発生のおそれがあることになります。

次に、睡眠時無呼吸症候群を患っておられる方は、循環器系の疾患や脳卒中などの生活習慣病にかかりやすいということが言われています。睡眠時無呼吸症候群の方は、そうでない方と比べて、循環器系疾患や脳卒中などに羅患する割合が2倍から3倍程度高くなるというアメリカの研究データがあります。

もっとも、このデータは特に肥満体質の方を中心としているデータですので、必ずしも全ての方に当てはまるということはできません。ただ、肥満体質の方で睡眠時無呼吸症候群を患っておられる方は特に注意が必要ということができます。

ネルネル 21回用 (口閉じテープ)
三晴社 (2006-06-05)
売り上げランキング: 153

まとめ:睡眠時無呼吸症候群についてのまとめ

以上述べました睡眠時無呼吸症候群の特徴をまとめますと以下のようになります。

  • 睡眠時無呼吸症候群とは睡眠中に呼吸が一時的に停止してしまう状態です。必ずしも肥満体質の方に限らず、お顔の形態など不可抗力的な理由でも発症する場合もあります
  • 睡眠時無呼吸症候群が疑われる症状としては大きないびき、起床時の頭痛、睡眠中の頻繁なトイレなどが挙げられます。
  • 睡眠時無呼吸症候群が重症になると、仕事や健康などに大きな問題が生じる可能性があり得ます

このように睡眠時無呼吸症候群は決して侮ることができない病気ですので、大きないびきなどから睡眠時無呼吸症候群の可能性がある場合には早めに専門医の診療を受けることがおすすめできます。

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