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Sleep Apnea Symptoms and What to Do Next

Posted on Mar 6, 2017 5:00:00 AM by Gina Rubel

Sleep Apnea Symptoms and What to Do Next | Hawkeye Sleep CenterSleep apnea is a potentially dangerous condition that impacts millions of adults in the United States. This condition is more than simply snoring on occasion or having a sleepless night. Genetics, anatomy, and lifestyle choices can all impact your likelihood of developing sleep apnea. So, how do you know if you have sleep apnea? The first step is to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of the condition. Once you are familiar with the symptoms you can take steps toward having it professionally diagnosed and treated.

  • Sleep apnea symptoms
1. Snoring can be one of the symptoms of sleep apnea. Snoring and sleep apnea are both related to your airway. If it is narrow or something is in the way you may experience snoring. Often a partially obstructed airway can become completely obstructed as your body relaxes deeper into sleep. When this happens your body has to compensate by coming out of the deep sleep to clear the airway and start breathing again. There are times when snoring does not indicate sleep apnea but the two are often related.

2. Choking and shortness of breath during the night can point toward sleep apnea. If you wake up choking or trying to catch your breath it could mean that you stopped breathing. This is a serious symptom that should not be ignored. Even if you do not snore waking up with shortness of breath warrants a trip to the doctor.

3. Gaps in breathing while sleeping is a symptom of sleep apnea that others must tell you about. Has anyone ever expressed concern that you seem to stop breathing while asleep? This is a strong sign of sleep apnea and should not be ignored.

  • What to do next
1. See a doctor if you have any reason to suspect sleep apnea. This condition will make it impossible for you to get a restful night’s sleep and will start negatively impacting your quality of life. It can also contribute to the development of other, serious medical issues.
2. Get a sleep study. Your doctor can recommend a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea and its severity. This is a great place to start because it will help you and your doctor develop the best course of action for treatment.
3. Make lifestyle changes. There are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to decrease the severity of your sleep apnea. Losing weight, cutting out cigarettes, and reducing alcohol intake can all help minimize your sleep apnea symptoms.
4. Get the right equipment. There is equipment designed to help people with sleep apnea get more restful sleep. Dental appliances and CPAP machines are two commonly used devices that can help people deal with their sleep apnea.

If you suspect sleep apnea is behind your inability to get a good night’s rest then you likely have one or more of the symptoms mentioned above. Even if you are unsure, it is important to get checked out by a doctor. The possible side effects of sleep apnea are much too severe to take the chance of allowing it to go undiagnosed and untreated.

Topics: Snoring

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