What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects people during sleep. This condition is where one stop breathing for a short while during sleep. A very large number of people who are affected by this sleep disorder might not be aware of it because they think it is normal, most of the times, such peoples wake up really gasping for air. There are three different types of this condition, which are obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea and mixed apnea.
In obstructive sleep apnea a person stops breathing for a short while during sleep because the throat closes up or gets too narrow, with the central sleep apnea the stop in breathing comes because of the failure of the brain top send the communication for the muscles that are responsible for breathing and lastly the mixed apnea, involves both the obstructive and the central types of apnea.
There are quite a number of symptoms that are seen in people who have this condition, however, most of the people who have the disorder may not know about some of the symptoms, they can only be told by their family members or people who are close to them.
Symptoms of sleep apnea
Here are some of the most common symptoms that are seen in all types of sleep apnea.
- Snoring loudly- this is very common regardless of the type of apnea; this can only be reported to the victim by the person sleeping next to them. However, it is not that everyone who snores is having the condition; you should go for medical consultation when you realize you are snoring loudly.
- Gasping for air- the stops in the breathing will automatically cause gasping for the air due to insufficient supply to the breathing system; this will normally cause the victim to wake up during the night.
- Morning headache- the victims of this kind of disorder will always wake up with headache because of the less supply of oxygen to the head. Again, it is not always the case that if you wake up with a headache you have a disorder, let it be confirmed by a medical professional first
- Exercise tiredness during the day- if you get excessively tired when you are up during the day, there might be a possibility that you have a sleep apnea condition, this is because of the struggles you get in as you sleep.
- Attention problems-sometimes, people who have this condition will normally have a problem with paying attention on one thing for a long time during the day, it is advisable that you go for medical check up to ascertain the condition before you make conclusions.
- Sore throat and dry mouth- these are the conditions that will be experienced after the victim has just woken up. This is as a result of heavy breathing because of the narrowing of the throat
- Difficulty in sleeping- this is quite automatic, a victim will always have interrupted sleep at night because of waking up regularly, every time a person stops breathing, they will wake up gasping for breath and this is why they can’t get a peaceful sleep.
Those are the most common symptoms that will be observed in a victim of these conditions. So what causes this disorder?
Risk factors in sleep apnea
There are quite a number of risk factors that will result into any of the three types of sleep apnea, some of them are;
- Too much weight- this is one of the common factor that results into this kind of disorder. The reason is that, obese people have too much fat which is deposited around the throat muscles which makes it hard for them to breath due to narrowing of the throat.
- Old age- this is also a common cause of sleep apnea, older people have the muscles around the throat relaxed, this will make it hard for the air to pass throat hence a person stops breathing for a while.
- Excessive use of alcohol- people who consume a lot of alcohol are likely to have this disorder, this is because alcohol causes the muscles of the throat to relax making it difficult to breath.
These are just a few among many.