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What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?


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Sleep apnea is a condition that involves interrupted breathing while sleeping. Breathing can repeatedly stop and start and occur hundreds of times each night. There are numerous symptoms of sleep apnea, some of them include:

Daytime Sleepiness

Patients with sleep apnea may experience extreme daytime sleepiness due to a lack of quality sleep during the night. They may even fall asleep during conversations or while performing routine tasks. Additionally, sleep apnea can also cause insomnia at night due to difficulty breathing while sleeping. All of these symptoms can seriously affect the patient’s quality of life.

Loud Snoring

Patients with sleep apnea will snore loudly and often. This is because air is not able to get through the blocked airway, and the body’s attempt to compensate causes vibration of tissues in the throat and mouth. Snoring is often worse when the patient lies down to sleep because gravity pushes the tongue towards the soft palate, further blocking the airway. Many patients with this issue have spouses that complain about the noise every night. Snoring can also be exacerbated by alcohol or sedatives, which is why many sufferers are afraid to go to sleep without drinking something.

Choking and Gasping During Sleep

Many people who experience sleep apnea also suffer from asthma or allergies. This can cause snoring and breathing issues. These patients may wake up during the night feeling as if they are choking, coughing, or making other odd noises. This can be scary for their partners, who often think the patient is being strangled in their sleep. However, this routinely occurs in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. If you constantly feel that you cannot breathe well at night, you should consult your doctor about treatment.

Morning Headaches

If you experience frequent morning headaches, you could have sleep apnea — especially if your headaches go away after you start treatment. Sleep apnea causes oxygen deprivation by restricting your airways while you sleep. When your breathing is obstructed for so long and then suddenly resumes when you wake up, your brain thinks you’re suffocating and responds by sending pain signals to your body.

Mood Swing

Obstructive sleep apnea can cause anxiety, depression, and mood swings. Patients may also experience headaches, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, and depression.

Sleep apnea is more than just an inconvenience – it’s downright dangerous. If left untreated, it can increase your risk for a variety of chronic illnesses that can have lasting implications for your health.

If you suspect you have sleep apnea, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible so you can enjoy restful sleep night after night. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, contact your dentist to schedule an appointment today. By working with a team of experts who are highly trained in oral appliance therapy, you can more easily and effectively treat your sleep apnea without medication or other risky treatments.

Hollander Dental Associates, located in Carlsbad, CA, is equipped with the best dentists and modern technologies that enable the best dental care facilities for patients. Call us at (760) 434-2526 and schedule an appointment with the dentist in Carlsbad, CA, to learn more about dental treatments. 

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