Do I Have Sleep Apnea? Here Are Some Common Signs and Symptoms
If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, you should see a doctor and undergo testing as soon as possible because the condition can seriously affect your breathing at night. In this blog post, the team at Smile Montreal in Westmount, QC, reviews warning signs that indicate you may have sleep apnea.
Signs Your Sleeping Partner May Notice
Some of the common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea occur during sleep. If you sleep with someone, they can let you know if they notice these signs when you sleep.
Loud snoring is one of the most obvious signs to your sleeping partner. While loud snoring is associated with a number of other causes, it also occurs for patients with obstructive sleep apnea. This condition causes the muscles in the throat to relax too much during sleep, leading to a partial or complete blockage of the airway. This often results in loud snoring, gasping, or choking sounds as air tries to pass through the narrowed or blocked airway.
At our practice in Westmount, we use the SomnoMed oral appliance to treat patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Similar to a mouthguard, this oral appliance keeps your airways open while you sleep so you no longer experience the negative health effects of sleep apnea.
Shallow or Pauses in Breathing During Sleep
Because of the blocked airways, patients with sleep apnea may be heard taking very shallow breaths, or actually go long periods without breathing at all. These pauses can last for 10 seconds or more, causing a drop in blood oxygen levels. This often leads to a brief arousal from sleep as the body tries to restore normal breathing.
Signs You May Notice
There are also signs of sleep apnea that patients may notice themselves. These include:
You Wake Up Gasping for Air
If you often wake up feeling as though you're choking or gasping for air, you should contact your physician to get tested for sleep apnea. This symptom is a key indicator that you are struggling to breath at night.
Restless sleep or constantly waking up at night can make you feel tired during the day. Morning headaches, irritability, and difficulty concentrating are just some of the consequences of not getting a good night of rest. While daytime sleepiness can be caused by a number of other factors, it is also a symptom of sleep apnea.
There is a link between being overweight and sleep apnea. Excess fat, particularly in the neck and throat area, can contribute to a narrowing of the upper airway. This can cause the muscles in the throat to relax excessively and increase pressure on the airways due to the weight of the chest and abdomen. This can make it difficult for the muscles to keep the airway open when you are sleeping.
Contact Smile Montreal
Sleep apnea can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, coronary artery disease, heart arrhythmias, heart failure, diabetes, and mood disorders. If you suffer from this condition, we may be able to treat it with a custom mouthguard. Contact Smile Montreal in Westmount to schedule an appointment with us.