Sleep apnea can be a very serious problem. It is linked to several serious health problems, including both diabetes and cardiovascular disease. That’s why it’s critical you know the signs that might indicate that you have sleep apnea.
Here are five signs you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA):
1. Loud Snoring is One of the Most Common Signs You Have Sleep Apnea
Snoring is something your partner often notices, even if you don’t. Obstructive sleep apnea is generally caused when the tissues at the back of your throat relax and obstruct the airflow as you breathe.
When your breathing is obstructed, your oxygen levels drop, and your brain rouses you from sleep. You may not recall waking up, but some people wake up because of sleep apnea more than 100 times per night.
2. Several Episodes of Apnea
You would not likely notice this; instead, your partner might. They often will say that the rhythm of your breathing stops periodically.
They’re usually awake because of your loud snoring, and this is when they might also see that you are having episodes of apnea, which is just another way of indicating that you’re not breathing.
3. Gasping for Air
Gasping for air is something either you or your partner might notice. When your brain wakes you, you often gasp for air as you awaken. You’ve stopped breathing, and your body is trying to get oxygen as quickly as possible.
Gasping can happen several times per night. You might not be aware of it if you haven’t fully awakened, but your partner will definitely notice it.
4. You Feel Exhausted Even Though You Slept
Those who suffer from sleep apnea at night may not realize their sleep is being disturbed. Waking from your sleep frequently through the night due to recurring apnea symptoms, however, means you’re not getting a good night’s sleep.
It’s no wonder you feel tired and sleepy throughout the day. Not only is your sleep being disturbed when your brain awakens you, but you’re also not getting good amounts of oxygen to your body’s tissues.
5. Waking with a Headache is Another Sign of OSA
Another sign of obstructive sleep apnea is waking with a headache. Because you stop breathing on several occasions, your oxygen levels have fluctuated throughout the night.
The sporadic oxygen deprivation can leave you with a morning headache. If you find you’re waking with a headache frequently, you’ll want to get checked for sleep apnea.
Contact Us to Learn More About Sleep Apnea
At the Wheaton Dental Sleep Center, we specialize in treating patients with obstructive sleep apnea. If you have any or all of the five sleep apnea signs, give us a call today to make an appointment. Your body and your partner both will thank you!