Sleep Apnea Symptoms

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Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Millions of people suffer from the sleep apnea and do not realize it. This is partly because they do not know the signs and symptoms caused by the condition. Consider the following symptoms to determine if you are at a high risk for having sleep apnea.

Disrupted Breathing

Everyone with this condition experiences some type of disruption to breathing while sleeping. This can be due to a blockage in the air passages or the brain may not be sending the appropriate signals to control breathing. The result is periods of shallow or paused breathing. The person experiencing this breathing cessation may sleep right through the experience or may wake up gasping or choking for air. The person may not feel that they are running out of air, but the body simply involuntarily snorts or gasps, which can cause a waking jolt. In many cases, a partner notices these behaviours before the individual with the disorder realizes them.

Excessive Fatigue

Sleep apnea can make it difficult to sleep through the night and can pull sleepers from deep sleep into light sleep. This means that the body and mind are not well rested for the next day. Extreme sleepiness throughout the day is a symptom of the disorder.

Mood Changes

Lack of deep sleep can lead to changes in mood and personality. Sleep apnea can cause increased irritability and signs of depression. Children that suffer from this disorder might show signs of hyperactivity and difficulty focusing in school.

Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

There are numerous factors that increase the likelihood of developing sleep apnea, including:

  • • Being overweight
  • • Family history of sleep apnea
  • • Drinking alcohol excessively
  • • Taking sedatives
  • • Smoking

Medical professionals have also found a connection between high blood pressure and sleep apnea. It is not clear, however, if sleep apnea causes high blood pressure or if high blood pressure is a cause.

Seeking Treatment

Sleep apnea is not a condition that can be diagnosed with blood tests. The best way to diagnose the problem and begin a treatment plan is to tell a physician about the symptoms you are experiencing. You might be referred to a sleep clinic that can provide you with breathing treatments and devices to provide relief for your problem.

If you have trouble staying awake through work, while reading, while watching TV, or while driving, these are serious signs that you are not getting quality sleep at night. Frequently nodding to sleep throughout the day is a sign that you should consult with your physician or a sleep clinic.

Loud Snoring

Because sleep apnea is often caused by blockages and obstructions in the airways, it is often accompanied by loud and regular snoring. As mentioned, this snoring might be punctuated with gasping sounds.

Dry Mouth

Due to obstructions, people with sleep apnea often sleep with their mouths open. This means that they will wake with excessively dry mouths and/or sore throats. These individuals may rely more heavily on breathing through the mouth throughout the day as well.

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