OHS, or Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome diagnosis is a breathing disease which is observed in people who are overweight and it creates low oxygen levels resulting in excess carbon dioxide in the blood. Bad eating habits and lack of awareness about a healthy lifestyle leads to weight gain. Usually, when our carbon dioxide levels are high and oxygen levels are getting low, a signal is transferred by our brain to breathe quickly and deeply. Still, the reason behind the variation in these level is unknown but some medical care units claim it to be genetical. Let us look into OHS diagnosis in some more detail.
Usually, the doctors refer to the complete history of a patient which includes his/her sleeping habits, body mass index (BMI), oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. In certain cases, a chest x-ray and sleep diagnosis may be required by the doctors. Patient’s height and weight are measured and run through a BMI calculator. A BMI of 30 and over is considered obese.
Besides this, the medical unit will check whether the patient has sleep deprivation and daytime drowsiness. Due to lack of oxygen, patient’s skin colour could also change. Lethargy, headaches and swelling of the ankles are also common symptoms which are usually observed during the OHS condition.
Suffering from OHS, some patients also complain about unrest in sleep and even nightmares in certain cases, often caused due to stress.
To treat OHS, it is necessary to reduce body weight for balancing the oxygen levels before an external treatment can demonstrate positive results. Some medications are given to normalise the respiratory system but they do not always provide effective results.
The doctor may also offers mechanical devices to help in breathing, particularly at night. This may provide relief, resulting in fewer headaches and lesser fatigue in the morning. While these mechanical devices are helpful for many patients, it may not be a sure shot solution. Some patients find that oxygen therapy is accurate but the symptoms at night remain the same even after the therapy.
A definitive treatment for OHS is not yet known but patients are advised to avoid any sleep medication since that can cause lethargy and drowsiness. Obese people are often advisable to go for regular outdoor exercise which helps to control weight and creates a balance in the respiratory system. It has been observed that patients suffering from OHS are sensitive to even a minor dosage of narcotics and drugs.
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