Sleep apnea is a serious condition which can prove fatal if ignored. In simple terms, sleep apnea means that often, you stop breathing for more than ten seconds while sleeping. This problem can be mild or severe depending on how many time in am hour it happens and how often enough air does not reach lungs. It can happen anywhere between 5-50 times per hour.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
There are few common sleep apnea symptoms that include feeling tired in the morning, usually waking up with a headache in the morning, and feeling extremely sleepy during the daytime to the extent that you fall asleep during class, working or driving.
Other sleep apnea symptoms include loud snoring, gasping for air or choking while sleeping, stop breathing for 10 or more seconds and tossing and turning in your sleep as if you are quite restless.
Kids who suffer from sleep apnea always snore, find it difficult to breather during sleep and are quite restless while sleeping. They usually end up waking up many times during the nights. This also results in excessive sleepiness during the day.
Not being able to sleep well because of sleep apnea can lead to some serious health problems such as high blood pressure, high blood pressure in your lungs, abnormal heart rhythm, heart failure, stroke, depression or coronary artery disease.
90% of people suffering from sleep apnea symptoms are not even aware of it. Though the episodes of gasping for air and choking may occur many times during the night, but you may not have any recollection. Your partner is a good source to find out if you have sleep apnea symptoms. It is important to differentiate between snoring and sleep apnea.
Snoring is just an unpleasant that one makes while breathing during sleep as if there is an obstruction to the airway but snoring is not harmful. But, sleep apnea causes lack of oxygen as the airways are totally blocked which can have major health impact.
Most common sleep apnea treatment includes CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) in case of moderate to severe sleep apnea that can be decided based on the sleep apnea symptoms. To feel more comfortable with CPAP, take your own time and make adjustments to the mask as per your convenience.
Patients suffering from sleep apnea symptoms are not able to concentrate or remember during the daytime. It is also a cause of more accidents on road or in the work place. People suffering from sleep apnea are three times more likely to get into a car accident.
It is hence important to diagnose this disease based on sleep apnea symptoms. If you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea, take help of your partner or relatives who can videotape your sleep pattern which can then be shown to the doctor who can verify if the disease exits and its severity.