One of the most troubling things about sleep apnea is that so many people with the condition remain undiagnosed. As we are working to improve awareness among people and their doctors, we want to make sure people understand the basic signs and symptoms to watch out for that can warn you that you may have sleep apnea.
Symptoms You May Experience
There are some sleep apnea symptoms you should watch out for. These include:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Falling asleep during periods of inactivity
- Feeling unrested despite long sleep
- Feeling irritable, depressed, or moody
- Memory problems
- Inability to concentrate
- Waking up frequently to urinate
- Waking up short of breath
- Weight gain/inability to lose weight
- Dry mouth in the morning
- Morning headaches
Not everyone experiences all these symptoms. The most common symptom is daytime sleepiness and other symptoms related to not getting enough rest, such as waking up tired. Dozing off while driving is a common symptom, but many people don’t realize how bad it is until they have an accident or near miss.
Signs Your Partner May Notice
Many of the most common signs of sleep apnea are those you can’t detect because you are asleep when they happen. These include:
- Loud snoring
- Gasping or choking noise
- Cessation of breathing
- Restless sleep
These signs can be very disturbing to your sleep partner. They can cause your partner to lose sleep, and, often, your partner may be worried about you. They may request that you see a doctor about your symptoms. This is only partly for their sake: they want you to be healthy, too.
Conditions Your Doctor May Diagnose
Other warning signs of sleep apnea may come in the form of medical diagnoses. Sleep apnea is associated with (and may even cause) a number of health conditions, including:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Coronary artery disease
- Congestive heart failure
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Fatty liver disease
- Sexual dysfunction
- Depression and other mood disorders
All these conditions are more common in people that have sleep apnea. If you are diagnosed with any of these medical conditions, it’s important to talk to your doctor about sleep apnea.
A Positive Diagnosis
If you suspect sleep apnea, the next step is to get a proper diagnosis of sleep apnea, which requires a sleep test, which can be taken in a sleep center or at home, depending on your condition.
If you need help getting in contact with a sleep doctor or if you are looking for information about sleep apnea treatment options, please call (402) 493-4175 for an appointment with an Omaha sleep dentist at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center today.