New Delhi, India – On the eve of World Sleep Day 2013, being celebrated on March 15, Philips Healthcare India today reiterated its commitment to increasing awareness on common sleep disorders that affect an overwhelming 93% Indians.
As part of its awareness drive, Philips Home Healthcare division organized over 150 sleep focused events in 2012 and intends to increase this to 250 in 2013. Also identifying the need for trained sleep specialists across the country, Philips has already trained over 200 technicians and 500 physicians, and will continue to grow this number over the next few years. In addition to this, Philips will continue to help assist hospitals in setting up more sleep labs across the country.
Through its awareness programmes, Philips has emphasized that lack of sleep not only impacts the overall quality and productivity of a person’s life but also leads to serious health issues such as increased risk of diabetes, weight gain, high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats among others. According to industry estimates, today there are at least 7mn Indians who are living with different types of sleep disorders, with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) being the most common.
“Despite the alarming and well-documented consequences of not sleeping enough, it is still not considered a serious health issue in India. If left untreated, lack of sleep and snoring could signal a more serious condition-OSA - which can potentially lead to heart disease, worsen heart failure and even trigger heart attacks,” said Bidur Dhaul, Senior Director, Home Health Care, Philips Healthcare India. “People who are experiencing poor sleep must visit a doctor for correct diagnosis. If detected on time, this can be treated and one can avoid more serious health issues,” he added.
Some of the most common signs of OSA are loud and chronic snoring, frequent urination at night, morning headaches, irritability, depression, mood swings, memory or learning problems and inability to concentrate.,
Dr Sanjay Manchanda, Chairperson Sleep Medicine Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi says, “A good night’s sleep is the best balm for body, mind and soul. Sleep well to rise well”. Dr Himanshu Garg, Senior Consultant Respiratory & Sleep Medicine, Medanta, Gurgaon, emphasizes, “We are experiencing an epidemic of sleep disorders which is further fuelling the epidemics of Diabetes and heart diseases. In this era where effective and established diagnostic and treatment modalities exist there is no reason for people to suffer from these sleep disorders. It’s our duty to reach out to each patient and educate and empower them and turn their lives lives.”
According to World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 100 million people suffer from OSA globally. Evidence collected by WHO suggests that undiagnosed patients with OSA incur higher health-care costs. In India, a Philips survey conducted by The Nielsen Company revealed that 93% Indians are sleep-deprived, getting less than the 8 hours of sleep they need every day. An astonishing 11% take leave from work because of lack of sleep. The Survey also reveals that 58% feel that their work suffers due to lack of adequate sleep while 11% actually fall asleep at work. A whopping 87% agree they are aware that lack of sleep affects their health. Interestingly, only 2% Indians discussed their sleep issues with a physician.
As a global leader in sleep-related solutions, Philips has been consistently working towards raising awareness of sleep disorders and providing sleep-related solutions in India through a holistic four-pronged approach. This involves creating awareness about sleep disorders, providing solution for diagnosis and therapy, offering requisite education and training to the medical fraternity and finally, monitoring post-therapy patient progress. Philips has assisted hospitals and clinics across India in establishing over 200 sleep labs till date. These sleep labs also help physicians accurately diagnose sleep disorders, while Philips provides technology, facilities and training.
In an effort to help OSA sufferers identify and combat the disorder, Royal Philips Electronics has also announced that it will screen one million people worldwide for OSA over the next five years.
The Philips’ program, consistent with its stated commitment to improve access to health care and save lives, will include screening across North America, Europe and Asia. The program uses an online risk assessment on its World Sleep Day website www.worldsleepday.org. Individuals who have symptoms or believe they may be at-risk are encouraged to take the online risk assessment test. Upon completion, it will provide their risk level for OSA and encourage follow up with their health care provider.
For more information on sleep apnea and other sleep-related issues in India, please visit Philips Respironics’ dedicated website www.philips.com/sleepindia or its facebook page www.facebook.com/pages/Philips-Respironics-Obstructive-Sleep-apnea-India/327219857316529.