Sleep apnea is a very serious condition that can affect both men and women. There are certain risk factors that could increase your chances of developing obstructive or central sleep apnea, including being overweight, having large tonsils or a large tongue, or sinus and allergy problems.
Look over the following 10 sleep apnea symptoms and consult a doctor if the problems persist.
1#1 – Difficulty Sleeping Through the Night
Restless sleep, awakening throughout the night, difficulty falling asleep, and insomnia could all be signs of sleep apnea.
When you suffer from sleep apnea, your breathing stops momentarily at various times throughout the night. This often causes sufferers of sleep apnea to awake in the middle of the night, which can lead to restless sleep.
If the condition remains untreated, this can progress to insomnia.
Difficulty sleeping can be especially problematic for people that already suffer from insomnia or restless sleep. Once you wake up, you may have trouble falling back asleep.
The longer your sleep apnea goes untreated, the more severe the consequences become. Your restless sleep can cause fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and many of the other symptoms connected to sleep apnea that you will learn here.
As with any of the symptoms described, sleep apnea may not be the culprit. There are many health conditions that can lead to insomnia and trouble sleeping. This includes depression, heartburn, asthma, arthritis, and substance abuse. Stress and physical discomfort can also lead to insomnia.
Typically, when a patient seeks treatment for a sleep disorder, the doctor will perform a thorough evaluation and may ask the patient to keep a sleep diary.
The patient will keep track of their sleep patterns for one or two weeks, making notes about their sleep problems. In order to rule out or confirm sleep apnea, a sleep study may be required.
Difficulty sleeping is a common problem. Millions of Americans suffer from sleep disorders, related to a wide range of health problems. If you suspect your restless nights are the result of sleep apnea, you should definitely consider setting up an appointment with your doctor.
#2 – Loud and Persistent Snoring
Loud snoring is one of the most commonly recognized signs of sleep apnea. Unfortunately, you will have to rely on your partner to let you know if your snoring is louder than usual. It is estimated that about 45 percent of adults occasionally snore and about 25 percent are regular snorers.
Generally, snoring is the result of an obstruction in your air passages in the back of your nose and mouth. When your tongue and the upper part of your throat touch the soft palate and uvula in the back of your airway, snoring occurs.
In addition to sleep apnea, your snoring could be caused by excessive weight, additional throat tissue, obstructed nasal passages, or a lack of muscle tone in your tongue and throat.
Snoring can be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, as the obstruction causes the snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea is typically characterized by interruptions in breathing that last about 10 seconds or longer, as the airway collapses or narrows. People suffering from obstructive sleep apnea can experience as many as 300 interruptions during the course of the night.
It is hard to determine if you are snoring, without someone informing you that you are snoring. If your partner regularly complains about your loud snoring, then you may want to consider whether or not you are experiencing any of the other sleep apnea symptoms.
For a complete diagnosis, you may have to undergo a sleep study, either at home or in a laboratory.