Signs You Have Sleep Apnea
Millions of people worldwide suffer from insomnia. It can be triggered by a number of things, including stress, trauma, overexertion, even breathing problems could be a cause. One of the most common reasons many men and women go without a good night’s sleep or suffer from extreme daytime drowsiness is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
OSA is a sleep disorder in which a person’s airflow is interrupted in uneven intervals throughout the night. These interruptions of sleep can range from mild to severe, waking the person up completely or only in part throughout the night. These constant interruptions in the sleep cycle make for a poor night’s sleep – if any amount of quality sleep is even achieved at all.
OSA is often experienced by people on a level that they might be unaware of. They go without a decent night’s sleep for long periods without really ever realizing that it’s the constant interruptions in airflow that are waking them up. Additionally, there are some other sure signs you have sleep apnea that are not well known, such as:
- Excessive snoring or gasping noises during sleep
- Feeling sleepy or noticeably tired during the day
- Lack of focus and loss of memory
- Lack of interest in sexual activity
- Feeling irritable or high strung during the day
- Frequent bathroom visits
- Sore throat
- Teeth grinding
Fortunately, there is a solution called CPAP therapy, and if you have four or more of these symptoms, you are likely a candidate.
What Do CPAP Machines Do? Benefits of CPAP Therapy.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy uses a machine to help people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) breathe more easily through the night. This condition is serious and occurs when the muscles supporting the soft tissue in your throat temporarily relax. When this happens, your airway narrows or closes, momentarily cutting off your breathing. A CPAP machine helps increase the air pressure in your throat so that your airway does not collapse when breathing in.
Some benefits of CPAP therapy include:
- You may have a more restful night’s sleep
- You will feel more alert and awake
- You are less likely to get into an auto accident from drowsy driving
- You may be able to control high blood pressure
- You lower risk of stroke
- You reduce the risk of other cardiovascular issues
- You reduce the risk of cognitive decline
- Your sex life can improve
Does Snoring Mean You Have Sleep Apnea?
There is a slight difference between snoring and sleep apnea. Millions of people struggle with some type of snoring activity during sleep, and while some of these are just primary snorers or “simple snorers,” many others struggle with snoring that comes with obstructive sleep apnea.
Snoring is caused by the soft tissue in the throat relaxing just enough to partially block the airway and vibrate, creating that dreaded snoring sound. Depending on each person’s anatomy, lifestyle, alcohol consumption, body weight, and more, the vibration can make a much louder or much softer sound.
Loud and frequent snoring is one of the primary signs you have sleep apnea. When people with sleep apnea fall asleep, their breathing halts for ten or more seconds and sometimes up to a minute. These conditions can worsen over time due to obesity, enlarged tonsils and tongue, aging, and neck and head shape.
Consult a doctor if you or your bed partner are frequent loud snorers or if either of you:
- Stop breathing during sleep
- Choke or gasp during sleep
- Experience excessive nighttime restlessness
- Feel extremely tired during the day
CPAP therapy for sleep apnea is highly effective. Patients who have used the machine for six or more weeks report that treatment increased energy and mental sharpness throughout the day. When used as directed, CPAP therapy has also been proven to lower blood pressure and reverse most other sleep apnea symptoms altogether.
Wondering if you qualify for CPAP treatment? The best way to determine if you’re a candidate is by participating in a sleep study. Contact us at Valley Sleep Center and schedule a consultation with a sleep specialist today!
Already been diagnosed? Find supplies, replacement equipment and product information throughout the Valley Sleep Therapy site.