Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

The most common symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness.
Just about everyone who has had sleep apnea snores. However, not everyone that snores has sleep apnea. Excessive daytime sleepiness occurs when a person falls asleep when they normally should not be falling asleep, such as while you are driving, eating or even talking.

Other symptoms of sleep apnea are periods of not breathing which could occur from 5 times and hour to more than 50 times per hour which is a sever case of sleep apnea. By not breathing while sleeping, it results in having less oxygen in your blood.

Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

• Constantly tossing and turning during sleep.
• Choking, gasping for breath, sweating and chest pain during sleep
• Irritable and tired, personality changes
• Feeling un-refreshed after sleeping
• Memory and concentration problems
• Approximately 50% of sleep apnea sufferers report headaches
• Nighttime heartburn
• Nocturnal urinating

A short lapse in breathing when sleeping will not usually cause a big drop in your blood oxygen level. Seniors may normally have periods when they stop breathing while sleeping thus making it difficult to diagnose sleep apnea.

Many sleep apnea sufferers do not even know that they stop breathing during the night. These episodes of not breathing can happen up to a hundred times a night. Sleep apnea can be fatal if the person does not wake and it can be very harmful due to serious and severe sleep deprivation.
There are factors that you should be aware of if you think you have sleep apnea. Lifestyle changes could reduce your sleep apnea symptoms without seeking medical help. Some factors cannot be changed or controlled such as age and throat structure.

Controllable factors include being overweight, especially in the neck area. Irregular sleep patterns such as working different shifts are a controllable factor to some degree. Smoking and drinking alcohol are factors as well. Sleep aids that relax the throat muscles can obstruct your airway leading to sleeping problems. Allergies that block the nasal passage are another somewhat controllable factor.

If your symptoms are severe, or lifestyle changes have not helped then it is recommended that you consult your physician. In time, you should be able to fix your sleep apnea problem and enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Thomas D. Houser

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