Signs of Sleep Apnea

by anonymous user on August 26, 2010

It is possible to suffer from sleep apnea for a long time without even realizing it. This is because the symptoms aren’t readily identifiable without another person around while you sleep. Few people with sleep apnea are able to spot the most noticeable symptoms by themselves. For this reason, most people suffer from sleep disorders without getting it treated, despite the number of available treatments.

When sleep apnea goes too long without treatment, a person’s health will begin to deteriorate. This is because sleep is such an important part of our day. Without adequate sleep, the body’s immune system begins to function less efficiently. A person becomes lethargic and tired. Many life threatening problems like heart attacks and strokes become more likely. Luckily sleep apnea can be easily identified in someone else. If you know what to look for, you will be able to identify sleep apnea in your spouse or loved ones.

Signs to Watch Out For

Sleep apnea is usually discovered by accident. Here are the common indicators that someone you know suffers from this disorder.

1.  Snoring. Snoring is a prevalent condition among the public. However, nearly every person with sleep apnea is a regular snorer.  Snoring in addition with other symptoms is one of the best indicators of sleep apnea.

2. Breathing problems. Sleep apnea makes it difficult to breath during sleep. Sometimes breathing altogether stops for short spurts of time.  If your partner snores regularly but then stops breathing for ten or more seconds at a time, sleep apnea may be the problem.

3. Excessive daytime sleepiness, or EDS. EDS is characterized by sleepiness that persists throughout the day.  People with sleep apnea often suffer from sleepiness on a regular basis, and may find it difficult to stay awake while doing monotonous tasks. EDS is a potentially dangerous condition, especially while operating a motor vehicle.

4. Daytime fatigue. The low quality of sleep gained from those with sleep apnea can result in fatigue.  Often they will have trouble remembering  things and might not be able to concentrate on the task at hand.  It might also result in mood swings or anxiousness.

5. Depression. Sometimes depression and sleep apnea go hand in hand. It turns out that people suffering from sleep apnea are five times more likely to be depressed.

6. Headaches. Headaches are commonly experienced throughout the night and also in the morning upon waking. Roughly half of patients with sleep apnea report persistent headaches.

7. Additional symptoms. People suffering from sleep apnea often wake up wet with sweat. This is likely the result of the panic induced by not breathing for short periods of time. Sufferers might also have to urinate frequently throughout the night, and they often wake up with a dry or sore throat. Sometimes sexual dysfunction is a side effect.

Usually the more of these potential symptoms a person has, the more severe the case of sleep apnea. Sometimes a doctor can make a diagnosis based on reported symptoms and a look at the medical records. Other times it may be necessary to participate in a sleep study, which gives a doctor the required information to make an accurate diagnosis.

If you notice these symptoms in another person, then let them know it could be a result of sleep apnea. The sooner this sleep disorder is treated, the better.

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