23 Aug Sleep Apnoea Selfies??
In clinical practice, it is not always a clinical history of symptomatic OSA that provides the suspicion that a patient may have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). The way a person looks may be suggestive of OSA. When a Dr sees a patient who has a large neck (or neck circumference), is older in age, or has a retrognathic jaw position; these may all be indicators that this patient may have OSA. And they may possibly require further investigation into their clinical history relating to sleep disordered breathing eg. “do you snore?” “do you wake up tired?” “do you stop breathing in your sleep?”.
There is some evidence that facial photos (front and side) can be used reasonably well to predict OSA. However the predicting factors from these photos may differ between ethnic groups however. Sutherland et al. recently looked not only at these phenotypic presentations on photos (front and side), but the gender and ethnic differences of these presentations. They found there were ethnic and sex differences between craniofacial features that can be used to screen or flag likelihood of having OSA.
Sutherland K, Lee RW, Chan TO, Ng S, Hui DS, Cistulli PA. Craniofacial phenotyping in Chinese and Caucasian patients with sleep apnea: influence of ethnicity and sex. J Clin Sleep Med. 2018;14(7):1143–1151.