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.
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.
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.
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.
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.