Symptoms of Sleep Apnea: Causes, What It Is & More!

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a phenomenon when a person is asleep, snores and makes quite a loud noise. Are you suffering from sleep apnea? How to know if someone is suffering from sleep apnea? If you have these questions hovering around your mind, then do not worry because we have got you covered. In this article, we will talk about the symptoms of sleep apnea, its causes, and its treatment too, in brief. One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea is that the person tends to feel tired even after a full night’s sleep. There are various other signs and symptoms of sleep apnea that are discussed in the article below. To know more, scroll down.

Before discussing the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, we will see what sleep apnea actually mean

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder in which the breathing of a person stops and starts over and over again. Let us see some more facts about sleep apnea:

  • Sleep apnea is a type of sleeping disorder that is more common in men.
  • In India, more than one million people suffer from potentially serious sleep apnea. 
  • Sleep apnea once diagnosed should be immediately treated by a medical professional as it has various risk factors such as age, obesity, and diabetes.
  • Sleep apnea is a chronic syndrome and it can either last for years or be lifelong.

What is sleep apnea

Usually, sleep apnea is of three major types:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea 

This is the most common type of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused when the person’s throat muscles relax, and this, in turn, blocks the flow of air into the lungs. As a result, the breathing of the person starts and stops repeatedly which causes a snoring effect. 

  • Treatment-emergent central sleep apnea

Treatment-emergent sleep apnea is commonly known as “complex sleep apnea.” Complex sleep apnea happens when a person already has obstructive sleep apnea. After a person is diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, he goes for treatment. However, while receiving the treatment, his obstructive sleep apnea gets converted into central sleep apnea, and the person is then diagnosed with treatment-emergent sleep apnea. 

  • Central sleep apnea 

This type of sleep apnea occurs when the brain (or the central nervous system) does not send enough proper signals to the muscles of the body that control breathing. As a result, there is a continuous stoppage and starting of breathing patterns. 

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

You should keep in mind that some of the symptoms of three different types of sleep apnea are greatly similar, while there are fewer which helps us to distinguish between different types of sleep apnea. Let us start with the most common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea:

  1. The most basic symptom of sleep apnea (any type) is loud snoring. A person will continuously make loud disturbing noises with his mouth or nose while breathing for air during the night.
  2. A person suffering from sleep apnea will not have a good feeling after waking up from sleep. He will be suffering from headaches or pain in between the eyebrows after getting up from sleeping. Usually, this happens when a person sleeps at night and wakes up in the early morning. 
  3. When a person is suffering from sleep apnea, you will notice that sometimes he is stopping his breaths unknowingly while sleeping. In these cases, you should try to wake up the person. In most cases, the person realizes that he is not getting enough oxygen, so he wakes up and starts to cough. This is a sign of sleep apnea. 
  4. As the person loses his breath while sleeping, he is likely to gasp for air during his sleep. This is also a common sign of sleep apnea. 
  5. A person who is suffering from sleep apnea is likely to wake up in the morning with a dry mouth. That is, he is going to feel thirsty as soon as he wakes up. This is another common sign of sleep apnea.
  6. Another symptom of sleep apnea is insomnia. This means that a person who has sleep apnea is going to have difficulty falling asleep. Even if he falls asleep, once his sleep is interrupted, it is going to be difficult for him to sleep again. 
  7. Another surprising symptom of sleep apnea is that the person will not be able to get good sleep even if he sleeps for like eight to ten hours. He is going to wake up lazy, procrastinating, and dehydrated. This also causes excessive daytime sleepiness which is known as hypersomnia. 
  8. Since he is always going to be procrastinating, he will not pay attention when he is awake. Hence, sleep apnea will make a person lose his concentration. 
  9. A person who is suffering from sleep apnea will always be more bitter and irritated than others. This is because even after a full night’s sleep he wakes up tired and with a headache. 
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Hence, these are some of the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea that are diagnosed in most patients suffering from it. 

Let us know about the symptoms of different types of sleep apnea in detail:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms

  1. Excessive sleepiness during the daytime.
  2. Loud snoring while sleeping.
  3. Watched episodes of stopped breathing while asleep.
  4. Suddenly waking up during the night.
  5. Waking up gasping for breath or choking.
  6. Awaking after sleep with a dry mouth or a sore throat.
  7. Having morning headaches.
  8. Having trouble focusing and concentrating the entire day. 
  • Central Sleep Apnea Symptoms 

  1. Getting very tired during the day.
  2. Waking up frequently during the night.
  3. Having really bad headaches in the mornings.
  4. Procrastinating at work and having trouble concentrating.
  5. Having a bad memory.
  6. Having mood swings.
  7. Shortness of breath (even upon waking up.)

You may also be wondering, when you should see a doctor.

To answer your question most clearly, as soon as you find the first symptom of sleep apnea (that is, loud snoring), you should consult a medical professional immediately. This is because sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleeping disorder and it can be a sign of many underlying diseases. You should contact a doctor or healthcare examiner and get checked as soon as possible. Sleep apnea is a chronic disorder, but most of the time, early treatment can be effective. If you avoid any kind of treatment sleep apnea can be open to a various other risk factor. Let us know about them in detail:

What kinds of diseases are you prone to after getting diagnosed with sleep apnea?

  • Cardiovascular problems

Cardiovascular problems

Sleep apnea can also cause cardiovascular problems like a sudden drop in blood oxygen levels. This occurs mostly when the person is suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. 

  • Diabetes

Diabetes

It is a fact that sleep apnea is indirectly linked to impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. Therefore, sleep apnea can cause Type 2 diabetes in people, mostly in men. 

  • High blood pressure 

High blood pressure

If a person has been suffering from sleep apnea for a long time, and he is not going through any treatment, it can increase the blood pressure of the man. This phenomenon is also known as hypertension. If a person already has hypertension and is then diagnosed with sleep apnea, this becomes the worst scenario. In this case, the person should be treated immediately. 

  • Stroke 

Stroke

According to our sources, the third leading cause of death due to stroke is sleep apnea. A stroke is likely to happen when the brain stops the functioning of the breathing muscles. Therefore, do not neglect the symptoms of sleep apnea as it can even lead to the death of an individual. 

  • Daytime fatigue

Daytime fatigue

A person suffering from sleep apnea (especially, obstructive sleep apnea) is likely to suffer from daytime fatigue. This means that even if the person gets a full night’s sleep, he is going to wake up tired the whole day. If the person suffering from sleep apnea is an office worker, it is going to be very difficult for him as he is going to spend the whole day procrastinating and not concentrating.

  • Complications after surgery

Complications after surgery

This means that people who have sleep apnea, are going to face complications after surgery. In short, the person will have difficulty resting and getting a night of proper sleep. This in turn will make him heal slower from the surgery.

  • Depression

Depression

A person suffering from sleep apnea is likely to get depressed and the cause of getting depressed is quite simple. If a person even after getting a full night’s sleep is tired and suffering from a headache the next morning, he will spend the entire day procrastinating. As a result, he is going to fail to complete his work. This may cause him some really serious depression. 

  • Metabolic syndrome 

Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a type of syndrome that is caused when the person is suffering from sleep apnea. The effects of metabolic syndrome include abnormal cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and weight gain.

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 Hence, these are the serious diseases that you can conceive if you do not get any treatment for sleep apnea.

Conclusive Insights 

We would like to conclude our article by saying that if you are really suffering from sleep apnea then get immediate treatment. Sleep apnea is quite a serious sleeping disorder and it has various side effects, like the symptoms we discussed in this article. We hope you liked reading our blog and found it relevant to your search.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1 Q.How do you know that you have sleep apnea?

Ans) Here are some common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea:

  • Loud snoring
  • Procrastinating
  • Headache in the morning
  • Insomnia 
  • Difficulty in breathing while asleep 

2.Q. How can I fix sleep apnea naturally?

Ans) You can try various weight loss techniques. The best way is to consult a dietician and ask her to make you a diet chart which will help in weight loss and decrease the risk of sleep apnea. 

3 Q. How serious is sleep apnea?

Ans) Sleep apnea is quite serious because it can even lead to death by stroke. 

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