Symptoms That May Mean You Have Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea impacts more than just your energy level and day-to-day functioning. It can increase the chance of developing serious health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes.

At Pro Dental Care in Elgin and Sleepy Hollow, Illinois, dental specialists Rick Brar, DMD, and Irej Aslam, DDS, offer the latest and most powerful sleep apnea solutions. Custom sleep apnea appliances reposition your jaw during sleep to keep your airway open. This small change can make a major difference in treating sleep apnea. 

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea, which happens when your breathing pauses often during sleep, is one of the most prevalent sleep disorders. It poses a major health danger to up to 22 million Americans, including children.

Obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea are the two types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your airway collapses or becomes obstructed while you’re sleeping. People with neurological disorders are more likely to have central sleep apnea. It occurs when the brain fails to deliver messages to your muscles to allow you to breathe.

Who is affected by sleep apnea?

Various factors can raise your chances of having obstructive sleep apnea, including:

  • Obesity or overweight
  • Your gender — men are more likely to be at risk than women
  • Older age
  • Family history
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Tonsils enlargement
  • Smoking

While central sleep apnea is less frequent than obstructive sleep apnea, there are some similarities in its signs and symptoms.

Sleep apnea warning signs

The following are some of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea:

Snoring

Snoring, snorting, or gasping while sleeping can be a warning sign of sleep apnea. Not all snorers have apnea, but the two frequently coexist. The likelihood of experiencing sleep apnea increases as snoring becomes louder.

If you have sleep apnea, your bed mate may notice that your snores are punctuated by breathing pauses. These are apnea episodes, and they can occur hundreds of times throughout the night.

Unrefreshed sleep

People who have apnea frequently toss and turn and display other indicators of restless overnight sleep. If you wake up kicking, writhing, jerking, or waking up under a twisted mess of untidy blankets, apnea could be the culprit. If you wake in the morning feeling unrefreshed, this could be a sign that you have sleep apnea. 

Feeling tired all of the time

If you obtain a full night’s sleep but still feel weary all day, apnea may be hurting your sleep quality. You may nod off while reading or watching television. You may become more cranky, less productive, and make more errors at work. 

You may even develop more colds as a result of the immune system being compromised by a lack of sleep. There are numerous spillover effects from poor sleep quality into your day-to-day activities. 

Excessive daytime sleepiness

Sleep apnea is a major cause of excessive daytime sleepiness, which is more than just feeling sleepy — it’s a distinct type of fatigue. Undiagnosed sleep apnea interrupts restful sleep and can cause you to fall asleep during the day when you shouldn’t. You might need to take a nap in the middle of the day just to get by. This can cause issues at work, school, hobbies, and even relationships.

Don’t put off evaluation if you have symptoms of sleep apnea. Treatment can help you feel and function better, and reduce your risk of related complications. To learn more about how we treat sleep apnea, call our Elgin or Sleepy Hollow office to schedule a visit or request an appointment online today!

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