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Varna Medical Forum

Impact of aquatic sports on the evolution of obstructive sleep apnea and snoring and other breathing disorders

Mario Milkov, Yuliyan Kostadinov, Stefan Peev, Todorka Kostadinova, Sonya Toncheva, Georgi Marinov, Miroslav Stoykov, Daniela Petrova, Magdalena Bliznakova


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a clinical syndrome characterized by periodic reduction (hypopnea) or cessation (apnea) of airflow through the nose/mouth during sleep due to collapse of the upper respiratory tract lasting 10 seconds or more. Severe snoring, hypoxemia and micro-awakenings occur, leading to sleep fragmentation, daytime fatigue and drowsiness. One of the key factors for the development of OSA is obesity. Excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and presence of relatives with sleep apnea are risk-increasing factors. The gold standard in diagnosis is polysomnographic examination.Various values and indices are monitored, the most important of which is the apnea/hypopnea index. Treatment includes control of risk factors and removal of breathing obstacles. In patients with more severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, the gold standard of treatment remains constant positive pressure ventilation during sleep.

   Water sports have been part of programs for prevention of breathing disorders during sleep for many years.

       Our goal is to confirm whether after active sea treatment, water sports and weight loss of patients symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea and snoring would be favorably affected, as well as to actively promote and educate our patients about a more active sports (and aquatic) life.

      Results from our studies on patients with problems with the upper respiratory tract and OSA show that more than half did not practice sport. Some have common diseases, incl. allergic conditions. The influence of bad habits and the hereditary factor were confirmed as well.

     Obstructive sleep apnea and snoring syndrome is a serious disease with consequences for patients and other people. Screening of at-risk patients should be continued and studies should be conducted on the effectiveness of current and new methods for diagnosing and treating the syndrome.


obstructive sleep apnea, OSA, snoring, breathing disorders, aquatic sports

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