Sleep apnea does more than interrupt a good night’s sleep. It’s an insidious unrecognized chronic disease state that can lead to or exacerbate deadly medical conditions like hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure and stroke. But it is treatable – and REPAP.com can help.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea costs you more than a good night’s sleep – it’s detrimental to your health, well-being and happiness. With the right approach, it can be successfully treated – but the first step is diagnosis. Four out of five sleep apnea sufferers don’t know they’re affected. There are various symptoms – some of them very common – that may mean you have sleep apnea.
Do you feel tired every day, despite getting a full eight hours of sleep? Do you experience sometimes overwhelming feelings of exhaustion throughout the day? These are potential signs of sleep apnea. Because people with sleep apnea wake up repeatedly – sometimes hundreds of times a night – they are never able to reach or stay in the deepest cycles of sleep necessary to recharge the body. As a consequence, they wake up feeling tired, and may also experience morning headaches, blurred vision and dry mouth.
This continuous exhaustion is more than simply an annoyance – it can pose serious risk to your health and well-being. Sleep apnea sufferers experience decreased concentration, memory, energy and libido. They may also experience mood swings, irritability and poor performance at work or school. Sleep apnea sufferers may “nod off” during the day – including while driving – creating a serious danger to themselves and others. If you experience consistent, even daily exhaustion, you should get tested for sleep apnea.
Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea – but just about everyone who has sleep apnea snores. Snoring is the most common and most noticeable symptom of sleep apnea. Since it is so common, people rarely get concerned about it – aside from the annoyed partner who has to deal with it. The reality is, however, that snoring should be taken seriously.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea causes the tongue, soft palate and uvula to fall onto the back of the throat, blocking airflow. When air is partially inhibited in this manner, breath must squeeze through the narrow passage of the airway, causing the soft palate and uvula to vibrate, producing the sound of snoring. A complete closure of the airway may result in the patient choking or gasping for air as they wake up. These frequent awakenings are often alarming to the individual and/or their bed partner.
Those suffering from sleep apnea may experience additional symptoms which, at first glance, may seem unrelated, but can be red flags:
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