Snoring loud enough to wake your partner, needing an extra couple of coffee to get through the work day, having trouble focusing on the tasks you need to complete – these problems are so commonplace that people usually do not give them a second thought, or might even make jokes about them. In many cases, these problems can be a sign of an underlying disorder: sleep apnea.
This condition is quite common, but often goes undiagnosed and untreated. To determine if you might have sleep apnea, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you often snore loudly?
- Have you ever woken up because you have made a gasping, choking, or snorting sound?
The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive. This means that airways are blocked for periods of time as you sleep. This is more common among people who are overweight, but airways can have trouble staying open if you drink alcohol, smoke, or take medication that make you drowsy. This type of apnea generally causes loud snoring.