Signs of Sleep Apnea?

Does your partner complain about your loud snoring? Maybe you’ve even woken yourself up a few times with it? Do you often wake up with a dry throat and/or a headache? Falling asleep during the day? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then it is possible that you have a condition known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous sleep disorder and if you believe you may have it, then contact your doctor immediately.

Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person pauses breathing during sleep for up to ten seconds or more. Often, the person will interrupt sleep with this, rouse awake suddenly, then drift back off. There may be up to dozens of these sleep disturbances in one night, yet the person wakes up without memory of them. As a result, it is very difficult to get a good night’s rest when one suffers from sleep apnea.

There are two kinds of sleep apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Central Sleep Apnea (CSA). OSA is the most common and is caused by the relaxation of soft tissue in the back of the throat, obstructing the airway for moments at a time during sleep. CSA is caused by a problem in the Central Nervous System. In essence, a person’s brain simply forgets to breathe for a moment or two.

Sleep apnea can be the cause of a number of mental and physical problems. Without steady, deep sleep, a person will experience daytime drowsiness, irritability, depression, mood swings, and maybe even psychosis. Physical problems caused by lack of sleep include headaches, loud snoring, and fatigue. Sleep apnea is more likely to occur in those who are overweight, obese, and/or middle-aged.

The longterm effects of sleep apnea are even more severe, so it is important that a doctor is sought to begin treatment. Without it, a person runs the risk of inducing a stroke or a heart attack as they grow older. Sometimes, only minor intervention is needed to cure sleep apnea, such as quitting smoking, drinking, or losing weight. Regardless of the cause of the condition, it is vital that signs of a sleep disorder be dealt with by a physician.

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