Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea occurs when the airway is obstructed for a few seconds during sleep. When upper airway muscles and the back of the tongue relax, the airway collapses so that breathing stops. This can happen throughout the sleeping period anywhere from just a few times to hundreds of times. There are three different types of sleep apneas: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea which happens when the brain does not send the correct signals to the muscles that control breathing and the third sleep apnea is mixed – a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.

The variety of sleep apnea symptoms include:

  • Bed partner noticing that you stop breathing for a several seconds
  • Loud snoring which is usually indicative of OSA
  • Suddenly waking up short of breath
  • Dry mouth or sore throat
  • Morning headache
  • Insomnia
  • Problems concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Being awakened by gasping for air or choking

How Do You Know if You Have Sleep Apnea?

Chances are you have sleep apnea if your bed partner complains of loud snoring or wakes you up because you stopped breathing. The only accurate method of determining sleep apnea is to go in for a sleep study. This will measure various functions and movements including how many times per hour you stop breathing or have constricted breathing. When the results are calculated your doctor will be able to determine if you have sleep apnea and if so, to what degree.

If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, it is very important to get treatment for it. Not only will you begin to sleep better with treatment, you will also be doing yourself a healthy favor. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a host of major health problems including cardio vascular disease, headaches, high blood pressure, memory problems, weight gain, and impotence. Driving or operating machinery while sleep deprived is hazardous as well. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

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