Sleep apnea is a very common occurrence, however, many fail to recognize sleep apnea symptoms. The most apparent symptoms of apnea occur while you’re asleep, making it difficult to notice you are having any symptoms at all. Often, it’s your spouse or another family member that brings the symptoms into the light. But, even while awake, you may have signs of apnea whether you know it or not. Even at night, you may be experiencing symptoms but just aren’t aware you’re actually having symptoms of the condition. West 7th Smiles brings you the top signs of sleep apnea so you can get treatment right away.
Pauses in Breathing
Sleep apnea causes pauses in breathing while you sleep, whether due to an obstruction in the airway or due to the brain sending incorrect signals. No matter the cause, these pauses in breathing will happen multiple times a night, lasting as long as 30 seconds per episode.
The most notable sign of apnea is loud chronic snoring. While everyone snores from time to time, those with sleep apnea snore much louder and almost nightly when compared to those who don’t have apnea.
Waking Up Often
The pauses in breathing can cause you to wake often throughout the night. Often, after an interruption in breathing has occurred, you may wake up choking, gagging or gasping for air, while others wake up with shortness of breath. In addition, you may even have difficulty staying asleep due to insomnia.
Day Time Fatigue
When left untreated, sleep apnea can cause a huge impact on your quality of life. At first, you may begin to experience day time fatigue, but overtime you can actually become sleep deprived. Once sleep deprivation sets in, you might have difficulty concentrating, memory problems, loss of productivity, and an overall sense of tiredness.
The lack of sleep often causes your mood to change—not for the better. Those with untreated apnea can become very irritable and even depressed.
It’s not uncommon to experience headaches in the morning. The lack of oxygen and poor sleep quality cause many to wake with a headache and continue to feel tired despite sleeping all night.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
If you or anyone else notices you have possible signs of sleep apnea, you need to seek treatment right away. Untreated apnea won’t just impact your quality of life, but your overall health. Those with untreated apnea have an increased risk for serious and potentially deadly health complications.
Sleep apnea treatment will require you to first undergo a sleep study to properly diagnose the condition. Then, you’ll likely need a CPAP machine, which delivers a steady stream of air to keep the airways open. In some cases, lifestyle changes will aid apnea, such as losing weight. For those with severe apnea, surgical interventions may be needed to open the airways.
West 7th Smiles provides sleep apnea treatment with a CPAP machine. If you’re experiencing sleep apnea symptoms, don’t wait. Schedule an appointment today to regain your quality of sleep and life.