What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

Posted by SUN-PARK DENTAL on Aug 24 2022, 06:11 AM

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when a person’s airway closes while they sleep, interrupting their breathing. This can happen multiple times throughout the night, causing a person to wake up. Sleep apnea is most common in overweight individuals, but it can happen to anyone. It is estimated that 22 million Americans have sleep apnea. 

Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a number of issues, both physically and psychologically. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact our dentist in Rocklin for an evaluation:

Daytime Sleepiness

Sleep apnea develops when your throat muscles relax during sleep, blocking your airway. This can cause loud snoring and sudden, gasping breaths. This gasping for air causes you to wake up briefly, which may cause you to feel very sleepy during the day.

Headaches

The most common symptom of sleep apnea is an unrelenting, severe headache. Often, these headaches will occur when the person is sleeping, so they will have no idea they are occurring.

While headaches are typically not thought of as being caused by sleep apnea, this is simply because of the way headaches are usually treated. Most dentists will prescribe a medication that treats the pain. However, this does not address the root of the problem.

While sleep apnea is certainly a serious medical condition, it is not a life-threatening one. However, it is associated with other diseases that can potentially be life-threatening. For this reason, proper treatment for sleep apnea is important.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can be a symptom of sleep apnea. As a person’s blood oxygen levels drop throughout the night, their body must work harder to regulate their blood pressure. 

Some patients do not notice their high blood pressure, while others may feel a throbbing headache, a rapid heartbeat, or altered vision. Because sleep apnea is such a serious condition, patients should speak to their doctor about ways to reduce their blood pressure.

Heart Disease

Sleep apnea causes high blood pressure, which may lead to heart disease. It may also cause irregular heartbeat, which can cause a heart attack.

Depression

Sleep apnea can lead to depression because the condition prevents sufferers from getting much-needed rest each night. If you wake up feeling tired even after sleeping for eight hours, you might be suffering from sleep apnea. You might also notice that you are more irritable or moody than normal. Depression can be linked to sleep apnea because sleep deprivation can lead to feelings of sadness and hopelessness. If you have been feeling depressed and your doctor has ruled out other medical conditions that might be causing your symptoms, sleep apnea might be the culprit.

Memory Problems

The most common symptoms associated with sleep apnea are memory problems. People with sleep apnea often have trouble concentrating, remembering, and making decisions. These symptoms can disrupt relationships at home and work.

Another symptom is waking up feeling tired. This feeling of fatigue can continue throughout the day, leading to drowsiness both at work and while driving.

Restless Legs Syndrome

People with restless legs syndrome (RLS) often feel a creeping or crawling sensation in their legs, usually in the evening or at night. Their legs often feel heavy and achy, and this feeling isn’t relieved by movement. RLS can make it very difficult for sufferers to get a good night’s sleep, and they often wake up feeling tired.

Weight Gain or Loss

Sleep apnea can cause weight gain or loss, depending on how much sleep the patient is getting. Some people with untreated obstructive sleep apnea may lose weight. Untreated sleep apnea causes the body to use energy at a high rate. The body awakes when breathing becomes difficult. This can happen many times throughout the night, causing the body to expend more energy.

Difficulty Concentrating

A patient suffering from sleep apnea may notice that they are having trouble concentrating. They may fall asleep during the day or feel exhausted and drowsy. Even if they do manage to stay alert, they may notice that their mind often wanders away from their tasks. Some may experience problems at work or in school.

Loud Snoring

Loud snoring isn’t the only symptom of sleep apnea. In fact, snoring occurs in 90 percent of cases. If someone tells you that they snore, then they may be suffering from sleep apnea. However, not all people who are snorers have sleep apnea.

Call us at 916-435-1155 or schedule an online appointment with Dr. Nguyen for a consultation at our office in Rocklin, CA.

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