Singer Bappi Lahiri dies of obstructive sleep apnea. Know all about the condition

Updated on: 16 February 2022, 11:21 am IST

The common condition of obstructive sleep apnea turned fatal for popular Bollywood singer Bappi Lahiri. Here's what you must know about it.

bappi lahiri
"Chalte chalte mere ye geet yaad rakhna...". Alvida, Bappi Lahiri. Image courtesy: Instagram/ Bappi Lahiri
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Singer-composer Bappi Lahiri, who earned the epithet of Indian music industry’s ‘golden man’ owing to and his love for gold and ‘disco king’ thanks to his peppy compositions, breathed his last in a Mumbai hospital. He was 69. Apart from other health complications that were taking a toll on him, it was obstructive sleep apnea which turned out to be the final nail in the coffin.

The vibrant singer had been admitted to a hospital for a month and was discharged on Monday. But his health deteriorated a day later.

“He was brought to the hospital. He had multiple health issues. He died due to OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) shortly before midnight,” Dr Deepak Namjoshi, director of the hospital, told a news agency.

Known for singing or composing songs such as “Bambai se aaya mera dost”, “De de pyaar de”, “I am a disco dancer”, “Jawaani jaaneman”, “Yaad aa raha hai”, and “Chalte chalte”, Bappi Lahiri’s last TV appearance was in one of the episodes of a reality show.

Rich tributes have poured in from millions of fans, who transcend from different age and geographical demographics.

bappi lahiri dies
It’s an end of an era! Image courtesy: Instagram/ Bappi Lahiri

If you are wondering what really is obstructive sleep apnea, let us tell you about this condition.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is a clinical disorder marked by frequent pauses in breathing while a person sleeps. Loud snoring is an accompaniment in this process.

These pauses can be fatal because they cut off the oxygen supply to your body for a few seconds and halt the removal of carbon dioxide. What happens in this course is that your brain briefly wakes you up, re-opens the airways and re-starts breathing, leading to a highly disturbed sleep pattern.

Dr Anjali Nakra, a Delhi-based general physician, tells HealthShots, “Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder. Most people do not realise it and don’t seek treatment for it.
It is associated with loud snoring and episodes of stopped breathing during sleep and getting up abruptly gasping for air.”

But can sleep apnea cause death?

“Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is not a life-threatening condition in itself, but it can result in serious problems such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases,” defines the WHO.

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Sleep apnea in the elderly is far more prevalent than we realize. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

In 2021, a study steered attention to the need for increased awareness on obstructive sleep apnea, especially among people with cardiovascular disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure.

This condition occurs in 40 per cent to 80 per cent of people with cardiovascular disease, and is still under-recognised and undertreated, indicated the study.

What are the signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea?

“This condition may lead to headaches, mood changes, high blood pressure, increased risk of stroke, daytime sleepiness and poor concentration and focus,” says Dr Nakra, lifestyle medicine physician (IBLM certified) and founder Path to Health clinic.

In a nutshell, some of the signs and symptoms include

* Snoring
* Lapses in breathing
* Fragmented sleep
* Daytime sleepiness
* Dry mouth after waking
* Decreased libido
* Reduced attention span

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in US notes that obesity is a common cause of sleep apnea in adults. That is because people with this condition have increased fat deposits in their necks that can block the upper airway.

How do you treat sleep apnea?

The most important thing is to maintain an open airway while sleeping. Sometimes, experts may even advice the use of a breathing device such as a positive airway pressure (PAP) machine or mouthpiece, depending on the severity of your condition.

exercises to sleep apnea
Stretching right before you sleep can help you get a good night sleep. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Lifestyle changes involving weight loss, reduction of drinking and smoking, regulating sleep pattern and avoiding certain medication, are also necessary.

Obstructive sleep apnea can be diagnosed with a sleep study. This condition is associated with weakness of airways, hypertension, old age, smoking and family history and mostly associated with overweight people and obesity. Quite often, losing weight can resolve the problem to a great extent. But it can also be managed with other interventions and using breathing devices,” concludes Dr Nakra.

So, the next time you or any of your family members face these sleep apnea issues, don’t take them lightly.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

Radhika Bhirani Radhika Bhirani

Content Head for Healthshots.

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