Sleep Apnea Symptoms
How Do I Know If I Suffer From Sleep Apnea?
The best way to find out if you have sleep apnea is by getting a sleep study. Also known as a polysomnography, a sleep study takes place overnight in a sleep clinic where a specialist will monitor your sleep. Using information including oxygen levels, brain activity, and muscle movement, a sleep study can accurately diagnose your sleep disorder.
Some of the warning signs that can indicate that a sleep study is necessary include:
- Frequent urination throughout the night
- Daytime fatigue
- Long pauses in breath while sleeping
- Loud, habitual snoring
- Falling asleep during tasks like driving
- Morning headaches
- Forgetfulness and depression
If these symptoms sound like they apply to you, then we recommend you undergo a sleep study. Since there are different kinds of sleep apnea, it’s important to find out which one you have so we can find the ideal treatment option. We are delighted to connect you with a sleep specialist that can accurately diagnose and pinpoint your sleep disorder.
What Types of Sleep Apnea Are There?
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Here’s how it works. When you sleep, the muscles in your throat relax. However, when your tongue and throat muscles relax too much, it can temporarily obstruct your airway.
After several seconds without air, your brain will wake you up to take your next breath. This cycle can happen many times in a single night, keeping you from getting the restful sleep you need.
For mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, oral appliances are a fantastic option for many of our patients.
A less common type of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea. It works differently from OSA and has more to do with how your brain, lungs, and muscles communicate. Central sleep apnea requires different solutions, and that’s why it’s so important to find out which sleep disorder you need treatment for.
Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
Both types of sleep apnea can be worsened by factors including:
Gender — Men are more likely to develop sleep apnea
Age — As patients age, they are more prone to develop sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea risk factors also include:
- Smoking and alcohol consumption
- Excess weight
- Family history
- Nasal congestion
- Small lower jaw
- Enlarged tongue or tonsils
Even though sleep apnea affects millions of Americans, it’s estimated that four out of five cases of moderate to severe sleep apnea go undiagnosed. Treating sleep apnea has never been easier and won’t just save your life, it will empower you to live life to the fullest.
When patients suffer from sleep apnea, they are at a higher risk of developing other complications as well.
Sleep apnea can cause large drops in blood oxygen levels and has many connections to long-term health issues. It increases the risk for high blood pressure as well as heart problems, including strokes and heart attacks. Sleep apnea has also been linked to liver problems and is correlated to other health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes.
Sleep Apnea and Your Well Being
Sleep apnea doesn’t just limit the amount of sleep you get every night, it also dramatically decreases the quality of the little sleep you do get. Even when getting a full night’s rest, it’s common for sleep apnea patients to feel lethargic and exhausted in their daily life. This affects every aspect of your life and takes a toll on your most important relationships.
Sleep apnea is also known to have a strong connection with depression. According to the CDC, obstructive sleep apnea is associated with depression no matter the age, sex, weight, or ethnicity of the individual. We understand how much depression can impact your life and want to help you find the sleep apnea solution that fits your specific needs.
It’s no exaggeration to say that treating sleep apnea can change your life. It can dramatically improve your physical and emotional health and is an important step in getting your overall health back on track.