The Tell-Tale Signs of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder in which patients stop breathing while they sleep. A serious condition, sleep apnea can cause sleep interruptions irregularly or many times throughout the night. This type of irregular sleep can cause your brain to suffer from lack of oxygen. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is when your airway is partly or fully blocked for brief moments during sleep. Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles to control your breathing while you sleep. Millions of Americans are affected by sleep apnea, but most don’t even know they have it.
You may be one of the many suffering from sleep apnea if you experience any of the following symptoms.
- Snoring. Loud, abrupt snoring is generally the first symptom and is usually detected by your sleeping partner. Snoring is caused by the nose or mouth being blocked, making it difficult to let air in and out.
- Struggling for oxygen.If you choke or gasp while sleeping, there’s a good chance you have sleep apnea.
- Insomia. Having difficulty falling or staying asleep is a sign of sleep apnea. One prominent theory suggests it may be caused because the person is aware that he or she stops breathing at night, which causes increased anxiety.
- Sore throat. People who suffer from sleep apnea complain of waking up with a sore or dry throat caused by breathing through their mouths most of the night. When you sleep with your mouth open, the mucus membranes in your throat dry out, leaving a painful feeling.
- Fatigue. When you have sleep apnea, you don’t sleep well, so experiencing fatigue during the day makes sense.
The best way to treat sleep apnea is by altering your lifestyle, wearing a mouthpiece or breathing device, or in extreme cases, surgery.
If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, contact us for a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!