Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Often the first signs of OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) are recognized not by the patient, but by the bed partner. Many of those affected have no sleep complaints. The most common signs and symptoms of OSA include:
- Daytime sleepiness or fatigue
- Restlessness during sleep, frequent nighttime awakenings
- Sudden awakenings with a sensation of gasping or choking
- Periods of not breathing while sleeping
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon awakening
- Cognitive impairment, such as trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, or irritability
- Mood disturbances (depression or anxiety)
- Night sweats
- Sexual dysfunction
- Gastric reflux and/or heartburn
About 90 million Americans suffer from snoring activity during sleep. While half of these people are “simple snorer’s” or primary snorers, the other half may have OSA. The two conditions are often inaccurately used interchangeably and may be incorrectly treated as a result. While OSA will almost always leads to loud and frequent snoring, snoring does not always indicate OSA.
Understanding the differences between sleep apnea and primary snoring is the first step to effective treatment of both conditions. For all the people across the country who are getting nudged or elbowed throughout the night from frustrated bed partners, it’s important to know what their snoring means, and how they can silence it. Knowing the difference between the two conditions is key in determining proper treatment. Snoring is the result of tissues in the throat relaxing enough that they partially block the airway and vibrate, creating a sound. Depending on an individual’s anatomy and other lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption and body weight, the sound of the vibration can be louder or softer.
Snoring treatments range from lifestyle alterations, such as weight loss, a decrease in alcohol consumption and changing sleeping positions, to Oral Appliance Therapy (the same appliance we provide for OSA).