Do you wake up in the morning feeling exhausted? Has a bed partner ever told you that you snore very loudly or that it sounds as if you’re gasping for breath while you sleep? If your answer to either question is YES, then you may be suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a disorder that stops people from breathing normally while they are asleep.
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The most common sign that a person may be suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is loud and chronic (ongoing) snoring. Pauses may occur in the snoring, and choking or gasping may follow the pauses as they try to catch their breath, after which they immediately fall back to sleep. Most people experiencing an apnea event often have no recollection of it, which is why they are
not aware that they snore or show signs of sleep apnea—only a bed partner or sleep test can alert them to this.
Another common sign of OSA is excessive sleepiness during the day, at work, or while driving. You may find yourself dozing off at certain times of the day when you’re not active. Other symptoms, some of which may be attributed to other causes, include difficulty waking up, increased forgetfulness, decreased concentration, and becoming irritable, moody, or depressed. People suffering from sleep apnea may also experience night sweats, restless sleep, heartburn or other stomach issues, dry mouth or sore throat, and morning headaches.
About sixty percent of people struggling with OSA are overweight or obese. While having excess weight can lead to sleep apnea, having sleep apnea can also lead to becoming overweight. (If you find this confusing, you’re not alone—contact us for an appointment today and we’ll be happy to discuss it with you!)
Left untreated, OSA can lead to a range of conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, an increased risk for different cancers, increased weight gain, thyroid problems, erectile dysfunction and type 2 diabetes.
Sleep apnea can be a life shortening condition if left untreated. Studies have shown that OSA can take as much as 12 to 15 years off of your life. A lot of people brush it off as a simple snoring problem, but the health consequences are severe and should be taken seriously. Many people would have added years to their lives had they known they were suffering from this condition. Please don’t make the same mistake—call us for an appointment today!