These studies are used to assess patients with sleep problems especially obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). Untreated OSA is a potentially serious condition that can cause high blood pressure (hypertension) and other cardiovascular disease, headaches, memory problems and weight gain.
Full polysomnography requires an overnight stay in hospital or a sleep laboratory and is therefore a expensive investigation. The patient is fitted with various devices to record breathing function, body position, abdominal wall muscle movements and blood oxygen levels for a period of several hours. The results are recorded together and analysed on a computer. The number of apnoeic events, when the patient stops breathing for more than 10 seconds, and hypopnoeic events, when airflow is reduced by 50%, are recorded with blood oxygen saturation. These measures allow sleep apnoea to be diagnosed and the severity quantified.
Home sleep studies are a useful, less expensive alternative screening assessment.
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Dr Gerald Brookes is regularly consulted by the media for his expertise. He has been interviewed by the Daily Mail, featured on Channel 4's Embarassing Bodies, looked after The X-Factor contestants and recently, appeared on BBC Radio 2 with Chris Evans.
Media: Channel 4
Adele was experiencing dizziness and balance problems so severe that she could barely function. In desperation, after consulting her GP to no avail, she got in touch with Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies team. The show then contacted Dr Gerald Brookes, who was able to diagnose her rare condition as Basilar Migraine.
Catherine Eade was having dizzy spells and balance problems. When inexplicably she started suffering memory loss too, she consulted Dr Gerald Brookes at The Harley Street ENT Clinic who correctly diagnosed her problem as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
The Harley Street ENT Clinic looked after The X-Factor TV show contestants for many seasons. At the end of the 2010 season, Dr Gerald Brookes was interviewed by Nicky Broyd of Boots WebMD on the perils of high pressure performing.