Laura Rodríguez, ENT specialist in Sleep Medicine.
40 percent of Spaniards sleep poorly. Resting correctly is essential to face the day to day, something that is difficult when pathologies such as Sleep apnea, popularly known as snoring. But it’s not just snoring that is a sleep problem, cardiovascular conditions or psychological problems they can lead to difficulties in sleeping, coming to be considered illnesses.
From the Hospital Quirónsalud Marbella and Campo de Gibraltar, the Sleep Unit led by the Carlos O’Connor Reina and Juan Carlos Casado Morente, has for years contributing to science numerous publications of scientific impact in various subjects and, specifically, in Sleep Medicine. Together with them he works Laura Rodriguez, otorhinolaryngologist, the youngest specialist in Sleep Medicine in Andalusia.
“From childhood, sleep disorders such as nightmares or night terrors are registered and in adults there are many other different pathologies”
At just 29 years old, she opted for a specialty that allowed her to develop her work as an otorhinolator beyond common pathologies. Thus, Rodríguez emphasizes how “Sleep Medicine allows us to know all the pathologies that exist in terms of night rest. In my case, as an otorhinolator, it gives me the possibility of treating sleep apnea and snoring, but really, since I was little, they are already registered sleep disorders such as nightmares or night terrors and in adults there are many other different pathologies ”.
It is thus a specialty that can be covered from almost all fields. “When a patient comes to the Unit, they can come from different specialties, because sleep disorders are related to many other pathologies”, Emphasizes the specialist. In this sense, Rodríguez emphasizes that the pathologies associated with sleep apnea “It is not only a problem for the person with whom we share a room”, that is to say “snoring is not only annoying, it is also a disease”.
What is Sleep Medicine?
As Laura Rodríguez points out, Sleep Medicine allows us to know all the pathologies that exist in terms of night rest. For ENT practitioners, it offers the possibility of treating pathologies such as sleep apnea and snoring, disorders to which are added “other pathologies that are now being studied more, such as restless leg syndrome or certain parasomnias, Really many of the medical specialties have a role in the sleep unit”, Says the specialist.
Regarding the perception of pathologies, this specialist underlines the importance of “approaching it as a disease and not something annoying”, To which he adds the need to“ focus on the diagnosis and try to treat the patient, that is, give it the importance that the patient has been demanding ”.
How is sleep apnea treated?
The Sleep apnea, or snoring in general, is usually associated with a high body mass index. In this way, “all patients who have apnea and a high body fat index will help them the most is to lose weight,” says Rodríguez.
Together with Carlos O’Connor, the Sleep Unit has created a mobile application to promote oropharyngeal exercises. The app “airwaygym”Thus offers a series of recommendations that help to “Improve the muscles of the upper respiratory tract, which collapse due to apnea itself.”
These exercises are part of Laura Rodríguez’s doctoral thesis, which shows that “there are certain types of patients, younger and with a thin complexion, who do not have severe anatomical factors that justify an obstruction, whose muscle tone is decreased and with the Exercises reduce your apnea. It is not a curative treatment, but a patient without cardiovascular risk factors and a moderate apnea index can control it with exercises ”.
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