Feeling tired all the time? Struggling with morning headaches and lethargy? These issues might be a sign of sleep apnea.
This condition affects over 18 million Americans. Each year, sleep apnea contributes to cardiovascular problems that result in about 38,000 deaths.
When you have this disorder, your upper airways become blocked several times during sleep. This reduces or stops airflow. Basically, you’re not breathing anymore.
Sleep apnea can drain your energy and affect mental focus. It affects your ability to work, drive, and complete your daily tasks. In the long run, it may contribute to hormonal imbalances, heart disease, and mental disorders.
Identifying the signs of sleep apnea could save your life. Once you become aware of your problem, you can take the steps needed for recovery.
Sleep Apnea at a Glance
Before discussing the symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s important to understand this disorder. Most signs are undetectable and can become worse over time.
Sufferers stop breathing repeatedly during sleep. When this happens, their brain and lungs don’t get enough oxygen. This causes loud snoring, abrupt awakenings, and shortness of breath.
Researchers have identified three forms of the disease: central, obstructive, and mixed sleep apnea.
Any of these is life-threatening and can harm your health on long term. For this reason, it’s critical to identify the signs of sleep apnea as early as possible. Treatment can relieve your symptoms and prevent complications.
If you’re struggling with this disorder, your doctor will prescribe lifestyle changes. He may also recommend breathing devices that help keep the airways open.
Simple things, such as taking a warm bath before bedtime and drinking valerian tea, can make all the difference. If you’re obese, even the slightest weight loss can relieve your symptoms.
Other options include sleep apnea implants, tongue retaining devices, and surgery. Sufferers can also opt for less invasive procedures, such as oral appliance therapy.
Signs of Sleep Apnea to Watch Out for
In general, those who suffer from sleep apnea tend to snore loudly. However, snoring can be inaudible in women and individuals who’ve had surgery for this condition.
Another common symptom is excessive daytime sleepiness. Many people who have this disorder experience fatigue, tiredness, and poor mental focus during the day. This puts them at risk for accidents and affects their professional life.
If you have sleep apnea, you may feel anxious, irritated, or overwhelmed in your daily life. Since your sleep is constantly interrupted, your brain doesn’t have the time to recharge and recover from stress.
Sufferers often report morning headaches, sore throat, dry mouth, low libido, and memory loss. Over time, these signs of sleep apnea can lead to severe health problems, such as:
- Cardiovascular problems
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
Additionally, this disorder can impact your performance at school or work. Your personal and social life will suffer too.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that affects your health and quality of life. Early diagnosis can help manage its symptoms and stop them from getting worse.
Call your doctor immediately if you experience shortness of breath, loud snoring, daytime drowsiness, and headaches in the morning. Better yet, consult a specialist in sleep apnea and other related conditions.
With adequate treatment, you can get your life back on track and enjoy better health. Schedule an appointment today to receive expert help!