Health

Miliband nose operation 'fails to help most'

Ed Miliband
Image caption Ed Miliband has had nasal surgery

Nasal surgery does not always relieve snoring and sleep problems, a survey has suggested.

Labour leader Ed Miliband underwent surgery to correct a deviated septum earlier this week - aimed at curing his sleep apnoea.

But a survey of 2,000 patients by the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association found 80% said surgery had not worked for them.

A spokeswoman said their survey showed other treatments help more.

Mr Miliband is currently recovering at home after his operation before leaving for a summer holiday.

Loud snoring

Sources close to the Labour leader dismissed media speculation he he was hoping the operation would make his voice sound less nasal.

Sources who spoke to the Labour leader after the procedure had been carried said he sounded "exactly the same".

The "gold standard" treatment for sleep apnoea is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), where patients wear a mask at night to help them breath.

The BSSAA website survey in June this year found 10% reported their snoring worsened after the procedure.

And 14% said their snoring stopped initially - but for half of this group it started again within six months.

It is estimated that around four in 100 middle-aged men and two in 100 middle-aged women have OSA (obstructive sleep apnoea) in the UK.

It is a respiratory condition in which the throat repeatedly narrows or closes during sleep, stopping air getting into the lungs and waking the person up.

Extremely loud heavy snoring, often interrupted by pauses and gasps, is one of the main symptoms.

The NHS Choices website states: "Surgery to treat OSA is usually not recommended because evidence shows that it is not as effective as CPAP in controlling the symptoms."

A spokeswoman for the BSSAA said: "For snoring and sleep apnoea, there are other treatments that are non-invasive. We advise trying everything else, including CPAP which is the gold treatment, before surgery.

"There is no guarantee that will work".

But she added: "As Ed Miliband has gone to one of the best hospitals to deal with this, there must have been reasons he had this procedure.

"We hope it works for him."

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