Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep ApneaSleep apnea has become quite the common sleep disorder. The most troubling aspect of sleep apnea is it is estimated more than three-quarters of cases are not diagnosed. Plenty of people struggle with this sleep disorder and the wide array of health problems it causes. If you notice any of the sleep apnea signs described below, schedule an appointment with us right away.

Snoring is the most common sign of sleep apnea

Loud and consistent snoring is the most common indicator of sleep apnea. Snoring is a result of vibrations within the airways of the respiratory system during sleep. Snoring also results from obstructions or blockages that prevent air from moving through these pathways in an efficient manner. However, a considerable percentage of people who snore are completely unaware they do so. Oftentimes, it takes a partner to speak up and let the individual in question know about the snoring.

While snoring is not a surefire guarantee of sleep apnea, snoring that is disruptive or especially loud is a strong indication sleep apnea exists. Be on the safe side by visiting us just to make sure the snoring is not related to sleep apnea or another health problem.

Constant fatigue

It is possible to spend upwards of 10 hours in bed and still feel fatigued due to sleep apnea. This is attributable to the fact that sleep apnea causes sleep interruptions that lead to diminished sleep quality and quantity. If an individual finds it difficult to wake in the morning, experiences fatigue throughout the day, takes frequent naps or is dozing off, then the individual might have sleep apnea. This fatigue is a major cause for concern as it could lead to dozing off behind the wheel while driving that leads to a deadly accident.

Pauses and breaks in breathing

Obstructive sleep apnea causes the fatty tissue in the throat to relax during sleep, fall into the airways and restrict the flow of air. This can lead to pauses in breathing for several seconds. The oxygen levels in the blood drop during such a sleep apnea event. This reduction in oxygen levels leads to the brain wake itself to kick-start breathing and move air beyond the blockage.

Though the brain partially wakes to respond to the breathing pause, you will stay asleep for the most part without even noticing you woke up. These constant sleep interruptions will reduce your sleep time and possibly cause other health issues.

Waking up with headaches

Those who suffer from sleep apnea often report waking with a headache. Sleep apnea causes frequent pauses in breathing through the night, leading to a diminished supply of oxygen to the brain. Such low oxygen levels trigger a widening of blood vessels that can lead to nasty headaches.

For more information call Lake Ridge Dental Care at (703) 651-1942.

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