Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a sleep related breathing disorder caused by interruptions in normal breathing during sleep. These interruptions can manifest as snoring or actual pauses in breathing. A sleep test in needed to determine how many breathing interruption events are happening per hour and whether they are numerous enough to be diagnosed as sleep apnea. For more detailed information on sleep apnea, please read our other article “Obstructive Sleep Apnea Overview: Signs, Symptoms, Terms, and Treatments”
There are many signs and symptoms of sleep apnea and it is possible to have many or even just one and still be diagnosed with sleep apnea. Here is our top 10 signs and symptoms of sleep apnea list:
1. Regular Snoring
2. Difficulty maintaining sleep, either by “tossing and turning” or frequent urination
3. Pauses in breathing either witnessed by others are experienced as waking up gasping, snorting, or chocking
4. Daytime fatigue, drowsiness or exhaustion – feeling tired all the time
5. Unrefreshed sleep – waking up feeling tired and wanting to go back to sleep
6. Morning headaches
7. Decrease in mental clarity or having issues with memory
8. Depression or irritability
9. Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
10. Dependence on excessive stimulants such as drinking coffee throughout the day
Other signs and symptoms that are also very commonly associated with sleep apnea are: obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, night sweats, waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat, and low sex drive.
A sleep study is highly indicated if you are experiencing some signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can cause serious and potentially life-threatening health complications. If you have sleep apnea, getting diagnosed and treated as soon as possible is the key to living a long and vital life. To find out more about the long-term health complications of sleep apnea, please read our article "Top 10 Health Complications of Sleep Apnea". For more detailed information on the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, please read: “What are the Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?”
If you live in the Bay Area, you can visit us at San Francisco Dental Sleep Medicine if you have questions or concerns about sleep apnea, getting diagnosed, or getting treatment. Click here to request a complementary one-on-one consultation with Dr. Chenin.