Project offers people a good night's kip

MORE than 450 people from the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area are having a peaceful and potentially life saving good night's sleep thanks to a pioneering health project.

MORE than 450 people from the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area are having a peaceful and potentially life saving good night's sleep thanks to a pioneering health project.

For the last year the James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, has been helping people overcome obstructive sleep apnoea with special sleeping masks.

The pump masks are also being used to stop people snoring so they and their partners can get a decent night's sleep.

Obstructive sleep apnoea causes sufferers to hold their breath for up to a minute while they are asleep because the airflow to their lungs is blocked.

Because of the blockages people can wake up hundreds of times during the night - leading to tiredness and irritability.

If the condition, which affects more than 500,000 people nationally, is not treated sufferers are far more likely to suffer strokes, high blood pressure and cardiac problems.

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Since June 1 last year, the JPH has been issuing soft nose and face masks attached to a small pump to patients to ensure they have a steady flow of air to prevent obstructive sleep apnoea and heavy snoring.

And as part of the respiratory sleep apnoea programme, JPH staff are also advising patients how leading a good life style, such as healthy eating and regular exercise, can help them have a good kip.

Before the new service was launched patients had to travel to Papworth Hospital in Cambridge for sleep treatment.

Antoinette Milbourne, from Lowestoft, is one of the more than 450 patients who have benefitted from the JPH's sleep treatment programme and she now has the energy to carry out routine household chores.

She said: 'I can not remember a time in my life when I have ever woken up and felt as refreshed and full of energy as I do now since I have has this wonderful sleep apnoea machine.

'Now I have a normal life and can do anything I choose. I will never stop being excited about my new life and will always be grateful.'

Dr Venkat Mahadevan, JPH consultant and head of the hospital's sleep service, said: 'The service helps those with sleep apnoea and sleep disordered breathing enjoy a much better quality of life and reduces the risk of serious health complications.

'Patients experience improvement in sleep and concentration levels and daytime sleepiness is soon abolished. Snoring is also significantly reduced or stopped in some cases.'

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