Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Identifying Your Symptoms
Do you ever wake up in the morning feeling like you didn’t get a good night’s rest? Poor quality sleep is detrimental to your health and wellbeing. In order for your brain and body to function efficiently throughout the day, a healthy seven to nine hours of sleep is essential.
Heavy snoring is frequently the symptom that sleep apnea sufferers and their loved ones notice first. Since there are many different indications that you might be suffering from sleep apnea, catching the early signs can protect you from serious health complications down the road.
The most noticeable warning signs of sleep apnea include:
- Feeling tired and restless all day
- Irritability and mood swings
- Waking up short of breath
- Chronic headaches
- Anxiety and depression
- Impaired memory
- Loss of libido
Two Types of Sleep Apnea: OSA and CSA
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep apnea. OSA occurs when the patient’s throat muscles relax during sleep, causing the tongue to fall back into the airway. This creates an obstruction that completely blocks the airway, preventing the patient from breathing altogether.
During an OSA episode, the brain perceives that you’re not getting enough oxygen and it jolts you back awake so you can start breathing again. Sleep apnea sufferers commonly wake up several times throughout the night without even remembering it. Sleep apnea robs you of your stamina by preventing you from getting into a deep, relaxing sleep.
The other, less common form of the sleep disorder is called central sleep apnea (CSA). With CSA, the stoppage of breathing isn’t caused by an obstruction in the airway. Instead, CSA episodes occur when your brain doesn’t properly signal the muscles that control your breathing.
With CSA, your brain’s effort to restart your breathing pattern fails and your breathing is completely stopped for a short period of time. You’ll then quickly wake up, gasping for air, almost as you would after holding your breath underwater.
Dr. Hobbs in Longview will make sure you get the right diagnosis and treatment for your sleep apnea.
Are sleep apnea & snoring the same thing?
Most people who have sleep apnea snore, but not all people who snore have sleep apnea. Loud and frequent snoring is one of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea. If you snore, our Longview team highly recommends undergoing a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea.
Once you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, we can begin a treatment that works for you immediately. Whether you have sleep apnea or you simply snore, we’ll assist you with treatment so you can start enjoying restful nights.
Risk Factors for Untreated Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea affects all types of patients, men and women, young and old. But there are a number of risk factors that make some people more susceptible to the disease.
For example, older patients and males are at higher risk for sleep apnea than kids, young adults, or women. Other factors that heighten your chances of having OSA include family history, allergies, a large neck circumference, a narrow airway, smoking, and alcohol use.
How can I reduce my risk for sleep apnea?
When combined with professional treatment, making certain lifestyle changes may be beneficial in reducing sleep apnea symptoms. Some effective natural remedies that Dr. Hobbs recommends include:
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Exercise regularly (yoga specifically promotes oxygen flow)
- Change your sleep position, also referred to as positional therapy
- Use a humidifier to open your airways
- Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption, especially before bedtime
Health Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea
It’s estimated that over 22 million Americans have sleep apnea and most of them don’t even realize that they’re suffering from a serious disease that can be fatal when left untreated. Sleep apnea has been linked to a number of major health issues, such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart attacks
- Abnormal heartbeats
- High blood pressure
- Liver issues
- Car accidents
Sleep Apnea and Your Well Being
If you or a loved one have noticed any of the above symptoms, the next course of action is to seek care from a qualified professional like Dr. Hobbs. He’ll make sure you receive the right diagnosis from a certified sleep physician.
Dr. Hobbs is an experienced sleep dentist. He’ll help you find the treatment option that’s right for you. Although CPAP is an effective treatment for sleep apnea, many of our patients stop using it because they find it to be loud and difficult to use.
That’s why Dr. Hobbs features alternative treatment options. He’ll help you discover the treatment that works best for you, a treatment that won’t interfere with your lifestyle. Many of our patients find relief from sleep apnea using an oral appliance, a small device that keeps the airway open by gently shifting your jaw forward.