Sleep apnea symptoms and signs are often an indication that your health is being negatively affected. Maybe someone has told you your snore is deafening, or you’ve woken up on more than your fair share of mornings feeling less than refreshed. In those instances, it’s probably pretty obvious something’s up with your sleep. But in the case of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a disorder wherein people stop breathing while asleep, sometimes hundreds of times a night, pinpointing the problem can be significantly trickier. We’ve compiled the list of signs and symptoms of sleep apnea below to hopefully make pinpointing easier.
One of the most common signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is loud and chronic (ongoing) snoring. Pauses may occur in the snoring. Choking or gasping may follow the pauses. These brief periods of breathing cessation don’t trigger full alertness, but disrupt sleep enough to leave sufferers groggy in the mornings — and at risk for a number of more serious health problems, often without even realizing there’s a problem. You likely won’t know that you’re having problems breathing or be able to judge how severe the problem is. A family member or bed partner often will notice these problems before you do.
However, it is important to note that not everyone who snores has sleep apnea.
Major Sleep Apnea Symptoms and Signs
- Waking up with a very sore or dry throat
- Loud snoring
- Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
- Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day
- Sleepiness while driving
- Morning headaches
- Restless sleep
- Forgetfulness, mood changes, and a decreased interest in sex
- Recurrent awakenings or insomnia
- You have diabetes or other health problems*
Others sleep apnea symptoms include:
- Memory or learning problems and not being able to concentrate
- Feeling irritable, depressed, or having mood swings or personality changes
- Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up
- Weight gain
Left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious and life-shortening consequences: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, automobile accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel, diabetes, depression, and other ailments.
Do you have one or more of these sleep apnea symptoms?
If you or a loved one have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or display a combination of the symptoms above, treatment is essential. Ask your physician about taking a Sleep Apnea Risk Evaluation Screening test, which is a simple questionnaire. If you have already been diagnosed with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), consider using a SomnoDent device for Continuous Open Airway Therapy (COAT). Click here to contact us to find a SomnoMed dentist near you.
*Undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea doesn’t necessarily cause additional health problems, but it does increase your risk of many, including diabetes and obesity. With the help of your doctor, you can rule out sleep apnea as a contributing factor, or find the best treatment. In the latter case, treating sleep apnea may in the process treat other issues as well.Source: American Sleep Apnea Association