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Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

Posted by iowacityasc on May 03, 2017 4:48:03 PM

Those who suffer from sleep apnea will often stop breathing repeatedly while sleeping, in some cases, hundreds of times. Each time breathing is stopped, the body, including the brain, does not receive the amount of oxygen that would normally occur. Because this condition deprives the body of oxygen, sleep apnea is considered a serious disorder. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This type of sleep apnea is a result of the airway becoming blocked because the soft tissue found at the back of the throat collapses while sleeping.

Diagnosing sleep apnea can be difficult because doctors are unable to detect the disorder during a regular checkup. It cannot be detected by a blood test either. If it’s suspected that you have sleep apnea, your diagnosis often depends on whether your bed partner or a family member has witnessed you having difficulty breathing while sleeping or if you are experiencing signs of this disorder.

Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

If you suffer from sleep apnea, you might not realize it because you are sleeping when you stop breathing. However, you could experience certain symptoms that might suggest that you have this condition.

Sleep apnea symptoms might include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Making a loud choking or snorting sound while sleeping
  • Waking up choking or gasping for air
  • Lack of energy or feeling tired during the day
  • Waking up with a headache, dry throat, or very sore throat
  • Restless sleep
  • Being forgetful
  • Difficulty with paying attention
  • Insomnia or waking up often during the night
  • Having difficulty staying awake while driving
  • Irritability and changes in mood
  • Lack of interest in sex

Time to Speak with Your Doctor

Occasionally having any of the above symptoms alone may not be cause for concern. Snoring does not necessarily mean that you have sleep apnea either. However, if you are frequently experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea or snoring loudly with breaks of silence, it might be a good idea to discuss this with your doctor.

Left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of developing serious health problems, including:

  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Arrhythmias/irregular heartbeat
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

You may also be at a higher risk of being in an accident while working or driving.

If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor will discuss your treatment options for managing this condition. It might be as simple as making a few lifestyle changes, but in some cases breathing devices or surgery may be indicated.

Topics: Sleep Apnea

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