A DNA India report indicates that there has been a 15% increase in cases of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in Mumbai and details the case of a 40-year-old man diagnosed with OSA.

Bijoy Ghoshal — a 40-year-old resident of Jamshedpur who had been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoaea (OSA) — would at times stop breathing for over 10 seconds about 90 times in the span of an hour. He also suffered from a heart attack last November due to his condition. But on Friday, which was coincidentally also World Sleep Day, Ghoshal was cured of the disorder that had made his life and that of his family miserable for the past 10 years.

But doctors say that there has been a 15% increase in OSA cases in Mumbai, and that it’s becoming a lifestyle disease.

“OSA is a disorder in which a person stops breathing during the night. These gaps in breathing are called apnoea. If the person stops breathing five-10 times in 60 minutes, it is considered to be mild, while 15-30 times is moderate and more than 30 times is considered severe. In Ghoshal’s case, it was very severe,” said Dr Vikas Agarwal, an ENT surgeon at Andheri’s BSES hospital.

He added that Ghoshal’s sleep disorder became a cause for concern even at his workplace since he would fall off to sleep at office even if he sat idle for five minutes, and even while in the middle of conversation. “He also had a car accident since he fell asleep while driving — sleep apnoea can be very dangerous. His workplace then referred him to a premier institute for treatment. However, all possible treatment there failed and he was referred to us,” said Agarwal, who is also the president of the Indian Association of Surgeons of Sleep Apnoea.

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