Obstructed Sleep Apnea is also referred to as just Sleep Apnea and it is one of the most common sleep disorders that causes shallow or paused breathing during sleep, which can be extremely dangerous. Most people don’t even know they have sleep apnea, so it is essential to know the sleep apnea symptoms. We’ve outlined a few sleep apnea symptoms for you.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
There are many signs and symptoms that a person may be suffering from obstructed sleep apnea.
- Loud Snoring. Although many people snore at night, people with sleep apnea will display extremely loud snores. Occasionally, it will be disruptive and wake them from slumber.
- Sleeping During the Day. When a person has sleep apnea, he or she often feels tired throughout the day, including at work. This can cause a person to repeatedly fall asleep during times of inactivity and can be especially alarming when a person is operating a motor vehicle.
- Mood Swings, Depression, and Concentration Issues. Since sleep apnea disrupts a peaceful rest, a person may suffer emotional problems from lack of sleep. It is common for an individual to be irritable, depressed, or have mood swings. The disorder may make it difficult to concentrate as well.
- Morning Headache or Sore Throat. A person with sleep apnea often wakes with a headache, sore throat, or dry mouth.
Sleep Apnea Causes
Sleep apnea occurs when the throat’s muscles relax. These muscles usually support the tonsils, side walls, soft palate, and the uvula. When the muscles relax, airways close. This hampers a person’s oxygen intake. In severe cases, a person stops breathing completely. The brain senses the problems and causes a person to wake up. Since, the disruption is so quick, a person rarely remembers waking up.
Sleep apnea can be made worse by:
- Being overweight. Carrying extra weight especially in the neck area, can cause airways to narrow even more.
- Large Tonsils. The size of a person’s tonsils may worsen sleep apnea. A large tongue and tonsils can make it difficult for air to pass through the airways.
- Age. Studies show sleep apnea worsens with age.
- Natural Head or Neck Shape. Some people may be born with small airway openings, which obstruct the throat during sleep.
- Smoking. Smokers are at an increased risk to develop sleep apnea. This bad habit increases inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airways.
Health Risks Associated with Sleep Apnea
When left untreated, sleep apnea may negatively affect the body. Stress hormones may be triggered, which changes how the body processes energy. Also, it may place a person at risk for heart attack or stroke.
When a person suspects this problem, it is vital to seek medical help. Correcting the disorder will provide a person with crucial sleep that makes him or her happier and healthier.
Additional Reading: Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
To learn more about the treatment of sleep apnea and related diagnostic services, please call our office at 407-869-7333.