sleep apnea symptoms

If a bed partner has told you that you snore, you might have sleep apnea. In this condition, a blockage of airflow into the airway causes repeated pauses in breathing throughout the night. As your body restarts breathing, it wakes you up, leading to continually interrupted sleep.

The most obvious of the sleep apnea symptoms is snoring, which may be loud enough to interrupt your spouse?s sleep. Your partner may also notice that you choke or gasp for air. If you?re not sleeping well at night, chances are you will be sleepy during the day. You might even doze off.

Other common sleep apnea symptoms include difficulty remembering or concentrating, feeling irritable or depressed, and having headaches or dry mouth when you wake up in the morning. Sleep apnea symptoms in children can manifest as behavioral problems, including hyperactivity, anger, and difficulty in school. Kids with this condition may be described as ?mouth breathers,? inhaling and exhaling through their mouth instead of their nose.

If your bed partner tells you that you snore, or you feel excessively tired during the day, it may be time to see your doctor for an evaluation. In addition to performing an exam, your doctor might recommend a sleep study, in which you sleep in a center while hooked up to equipment that measures your breathing and vital signs.

About half of people with sleep apnea are overweight, and weight loss can be an effective strategy for managing the condition. Sleeping on your side, rather than on your back, can also prevent snoring and other nighttime sleep apnea symptoms. If lifestyle interventions aren?t effective, the doctor can prescribe a machine called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). A mask that fits over the nose and mouth blows air gently into your throat to keep the airway open while you sleep. A device called an oral appliance can also be helpful for adjusting the lower jaw and tongue to keep air flowing into the lungs. Some people may need surgery to correct sleep apnea. Procedures typically remove or stiffen excess tissue to widen breathing passages.

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