What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder that repeatedly disrupts breathing throughout sleep, preventing the body from going into deep sleep and causing those affected to wake up several times throughout the night. It affects people of all ages, including children and even babies. When left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to other serious health problems, such as heart diseases and a high blood pressure.
The earlier you seek treatment for sleep apnea, the more tolerable and effective the therapy will be. Read on to find out more about the common sleep apnea symptoms.
Common Signs of Sleep Apnea
Below is a list of the 13 most common symptoms that people who have sleep apnea experience. If you are experiencing majority of the symptoms, it is recommended that you see a medical professional for diagnosis.
- Loud snoring
- Breathing pauses during sleep
- Waking up abruptly with a shortness of breath, which usually goes away after sitting upright
- Waking up choking and gasping for air
- Experiencing sore throat and dry mouth after waking up
- Feeling excessively sleepy during daytime
- Difficulties to focus or to pay attention throughout the day
- Frequent mood swings
- Decrease in sex drive or sexual dysfunction
Risk factors of Sleep Apnea
Although sleep apnea can affect anyone, there are a group of people that are more prone to developing sleep apnea: older men who are overweight or have habits such as excessive alcohol consumption and smoking of tobacco.
The structure of your body can also play a part. People who have a larger neck structure, low-hanging soft palate, small jaw with overbite, enlarged tonsils are more prone to developing sleep apnea as airways are more likely to get blocked when lying down and sleeping.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea in Children and Toddlers
While it may be easy for adults to diagnose themselves for symptoms of sleep apnea, children may not be able to express the sleeping difficulties that they are experiencing. According to a research done by Johns Hopkins Medicine, about 10 to 20 percent of children that snore may actually have sleep apnea.
Children that have sleep apnea have been noticed to have adaptive, behavioral and learning issues similar to ADHD. Some ways that parents can check for symptoms is to observe whether their children are experiencing breathing pauses, choking, or sweating during sleep. In the daytime, symptoms include falling asleep at random inappropriate times, and slow growth as compared to those their age (both in height and weight).
Seeking Treatment for Sleep Apnea
If you suspect that you or your child may have sleep apnea, seek the opinion of a medical professional immediately. Often, doctors would recommend CPAP therapy to those diagnosed with sleep apnea. CPAP machines provide a continuous airflow to patients throughout sleep, ensuring sufficient oxygen and less breathing problems.
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