India’s ‘Disco King’ dies due to Obstructive sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts.


Bappi Lahiri dies due to Obstructive sleep apnea. (Photo: Google)

February 16, 2022

MUMBAI – The legendary singer of Bollywood also known as ‘Disco King’, Bappi Lahiri passed away at the age of 69 in Mumbai on February 15.

According to sources,  Dr. Deepak Namjoshi, his treating doctor and director CritiCare hospital, Juhu, told that he breathed his last at around 11.40-11.45 pm on Tuesday night.

“Lahiri had been admitted to the hospital for a month due to lung infection which was caused by Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). We had discharged him on Monday and he was absolutely fine. All his vitals were normal. But his health deteriorated on Tuesday and his family called in. He was brought to the hospital. He had multiple health issues. He died due to OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) shortly before midnight.”

The composer, known to popularise disco music in India, was ailing for many weeks and was suffering from Obstructive sleep apnea.

So, let us tell you about this disease and its symptoms, and how to prevent it.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. If you snore loudly and feel tired even after a full night’s sleep, you might have sleep apnea. They are three main types of sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea – This is the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax.

Central sleep apnea – This occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.

Complex sleep apnea syndrome – Also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

What is Obstructive sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the most common breathing disorders in which a person repeatedly stops and starts breathing in sleep.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles which support the soft palate, uvula, and tonsils in the back of your throat relax.

Muscles also support side walls of the throat and the tongue. The triangular piece of tissue hanging from the soft palate is called the uvula.

When the muscles relax, the airway narrows or closes as one breathes in. Lack of enough air can then lower the oxygen level in blood.

The brain senses the inability to breathe and briefly rouses one from sleep so that the person can reopen the airway. But this is very brief.

People wake up to open the airway and may not even remember doing it. In acute cases, it may occur multiple times in an hour.

Due to the blockage, a person’s diaphragm and chest muscles work harder to open the airway to pull air into the lungs.

In such a case, a person’s breath becomes shallow, or he may stop breathing briefly and then breathe again with a loud jerk or gasp.

This pattern can repeat itself five to 30 times or more each hour, all night, impairing the ability to reach the deep, restful phases of sleep.

Obesity, inflamed tonsils, and even health issues like endocrine disorders or heart failure can cause Obstructive sleep apnea.

Symptoms of Obstructive sleep apnea

The symptoms of OSA are snoring, daytime fatigue, gasping or choking, sore throat, being forgetful, tired, irritated, having night sweats, nighttime frequent urination, nagging headaches, sexual dysfunction, and mood changes.

But the most visible and audible symptom of sleep apnea is snoring. According to data available, roughly 34 million Indians suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and the prevalence rate is at 14 per cent in men and 12 per cent in women. According to sources, this type of apnea occurs when your throat muscles intermittently relax and block your airway during sleep.

What are the treatments for sleep apnea?

Conservative treatments: In mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea, conservative therapy may be all that is needed.

  • Overweight persons can benefit from losing weight. Even a 10% weight loss can reduce the number of apneic events for most patients. However, losing weight can be difficult to do with untreated obstructive sleep apnea due to increased appetite and metabolism changes that can happen with obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Individuals with obstructive sleep apnea should avoid the use of alcohol and certain sleeping pills, which make the airway more likely to collapse during sleep and prolong the apneic periods.
  • In some patients with mild obstructive sleep apnea, breathing pauses occur only when they sleep on their backs. In such cases, using a wedge pillow or other devices that help them sleep in a side position may help.
  • People with sinus problems or nasal congestion should use nasal sprays or breathing strips to reduce snoring and improve airflow for more comfortable nighttime breathing. Avoiding sleep deprivation is important for all patients with sleep disorders.


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