That midday wall you hit where you just can't stay awake may be an indicator of obstructed nasal passages and sleep-disordered breathing, according to a new study published in the October 2007 edition of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.
Nasal obstruction is an upper airway condition that can be caused by a variety of maladies, such as allergies, rhinosinusitis, or a deviated septum.
According to the Japanese study, people with chronic nasal obstruction were twice as likely to experience excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) than those without nasal obstruction. Furthermore, these patients were also five times more likely to suffer from habitual observed apnea (suspension of breathing during sleep), which may be a contributing factor to daytime sleepiness.
The study, which assessed 6,790 patients through self-administered surveys, also concludes that while nasal obstruction in itself is not life-threatening, the course of condition can severely impact a person's quality of life by negatively affecting their work and social activities.
Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery is the official scientific journal of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS). The study's authors are Tsuyoshi Udaka, MD; Hidekai Suzuki, MD, PhD; Takeyuki Fujimura, MD; Nobuaki Hiraki, MD; Teruo Shiomori, MD; Takuro Kitamura, MD; Narihisa Ueda, MD; Tsuyoshi Inaba, MD; and Yoshihisa Fujino, MD, PhD. They are associated with the University of Occupational and Environmental Health in Kitakyushu, Japan.
The American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (http://www.entnet.org), one of the oldest medical associations in the nation, represents more than 12,000 physicians and allied health professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The Academy serves its members by facilitating the advancement of the science and art of medicine related to otolaryngology and by representing the specialty in governmental and socioeconomic issues. The organization's mission: “Working for the Best Ear, Nose, and Throat Care.”