How Can I Tell If I Have Sleep Apnea?

Posted on: May 15, 2019

While there are many signs that may indicate that you are in need of a sleep apnea diagnosis, the only way for you to know for sure is to make an evaluation appointment with a medical professional. If you are indeed diagnosed with this fairly common sleeping disorder, your next recommended step is making an appointment with a dental professional to treat the disorder.

Treating sleeping disorders in a timely manner is important as unmanaged sleep apnea can lead you to experience serious general health problems.

About sleep apnea

There are two main types of sleep apnea — central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the air flow is blocked, preventing sleepers from being able to breathe. Soft tissues in the back of the throat are often the culprit behind obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain does not properly signal the breathing muscles to breathe. This rarer form of sleep apnea can lead to serious health issues, such as heart failure.

How to tell if someone may have obstructive sleep apnea

Sleep apnea causes people to stop breathing during the night. These non-breathing episodes can occur hundreds of times every single night, making immediate treatment essential for their good overall health. The list below includes four common signs of sleep apnea.

Loud snoring

Loud, chronic snoring is a common sign of sleep apnea. While not everyone who snores will receive a sleep apnea diagnosis, if the snoring is very loud and has been taking place for a long time, then making an appointment for professional evaluation is necessary.

Ongoing headaches

Ongoing headaches, whether they are mild or severe, are another sign of sleep apnea. When someone stops breathing during the night they are depriving their body and brain of oxygen. Low oxygen amounts often lead to headaches due to the widening of the blood vessels.

Feeling tired throughout the day

The fact that sleep apnea causes people to stop breathing off and on during the night means that they are not getting the necessary amount of sleep they need in order to feel refreshed the following day.

Experiencing a sore throat

A sore throat is common for two reasons. The first reason is that the respiratory tract is undergoing a lot of stress due to the constant struggle to catch one’s breath. The second reason is due to the need to breathe through the mouth, causing the throat to feel sore due to the dryness.

Do you think you have sleep apnea?

If you think you have sleep apnea, your next step is getting a proper diagnosis. Treatment includes finding a dental professional who is specifically trained in treating sleep disorders as they can offer you a few different treatment options to minimize or even eliminate your symptoms.

One of the more common treatment options those diagnosed will benefit from is a CPAP machine and other patients with milder cases of sleep apnea being treated by using certain types of oral appliances. Since untreated sleep apnea can lead to heart failure, stroke, diabetes, depression and high blood pressure, the sooner you seek treatment, the better.

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