Are you suffering from a sleep disorder known as sleep apnea? Chances are that you are not fully aware or you could be in denial. Unlike many disorders, sleep apnea is not easily diagnosed. No doctor could tell if you have one only after one consultation or visit. It is also not diagnosed through blood tests and other clinical procedures.
It is often the roommate or bed partner of a patient who could tell if a person has sleep apnea. That is because no person could really tell what goes on during his sleep, just like no person could tell if he really snores because he could not hear himself do so during his own sleep.
There are general symptoms and signs that a person has sleep apnea. It is important that you know of such indications. If you could not observe it in yourself, probably you could observe it in your bedmate or roommate. It is also important that your housemates or family know of the following manifestations and symptoms of the condition.
First, there is chronic or ongoing and loud snoring. You may notice sudden and prolonged pauses in between snores. This could indicate that breathing is pauses, a major symptom that there is actually sleep apnea. After a while, the person could suddenly gasp or choke, an indication that there is difficulty in breathing. Take note that this could only happen during sleep.
Snoring is a good indication and it should be observed well. Usually, snoring is at its loudest when a person sleeps in his back; less noisy if a person turns to his side. It may not happen every single night. However, when there is sleep apnea, snoring happens more frequently and it gets louder and louder. You could not tell if you have sleep apnea, as mentioned. You are probably asleep when gasping or snoring occurs. Another thing to emphasize is that not all people who snore suffers from sleep apnea.
Another major symptom of sleep apnea is a person’s tendency and strong urge to fight off sleepiness on daytime, especially after the sleep apnea attack. It could be very dangerous if the person would go on to drive or operate risky equipment at work. That is because lack of sleep may catch up anytime of the day.
You could find yourself immediately and rapidly falling asleep especially during the quieter time of the day or when there is temporary idleness. If you think you have attained enough hours of sleep but still you are sleepy the following day, you might be suffering from sleep apnea, which triggers stress hormone production that leads to this manifestation.
There are more signs and symptoms observed. Sleep apnea could possibly be present if you suffer from regular morning headaches, depression, personality changes, and mood swings. Feeling of irritability is often observed in people with the disorder. There is also frequent urination at night. When you wake up, you may feel that your throat is all dried up, which should not be the case.
Sleep apnea is more frequent in adults but children are not totally spared. Sleep apnea in children is shown through hyperactivity, aggressiveness, and poor school performance. They also tend to have unusual sleeping positions and may breathe through the mouth instead of through nose during daytime. Bedwetting could also be a manifestation.