Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder that can have serious consequences on your health if left untreated. People with sleep apnea will stop breathing several times throughout their sleep. For some, this can happen hundreds of times per night! Obviously these interruptions in sleep are bad for the brain because it isn’t getting sufficient oxygen. There are two main types of sleep apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Central Sleep Apnea. Before we get to the symptoms, it’s important to know the difference between these two conditions.
The two types
Obstructive sleep apnea is more common than central sleep apnea. It happens when there is a physical blockage in the airway. This can be due to soft tissue collapsing at the back of the throat. Central sleep apnea is a brain issue. It happens when the brain isn’t able to tell the muscles to breath. This can be due to a problem with the respiratory control center.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you could have sleep apnea. Regardless, if you suffer from more than one of these issues you should get it checked out by a doctor.
-Waking up with a dry or sore throat
-Loud snoring or waking up gasping
-Extreme fatigue or sleepiness throughout the day
-Regularly feeling tired while driving
-Waking up with headaches
-Experiencing restless sleep
-Forgetting things easily, changes in moods, or a diminished desire for sex
-Regularly waking up while you sleep or insomnia
If you have any of the following characteristics, you are more susceptible to developing sleep apnea: you are male, overweight, over the age of 40, have family members who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, nasal obstruction because of sinus problems or a deviated septum, large tonsils, large tongue, abnormally small jaw bone, or a large neck size.