7 Signs & Symptoms of Severe Sleep Apnea in Adults
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition, experienced by millions across the United States. Unfortunately, many don’t even realize that they have a sleep condition, let alone severe sleep apnea. When left untreated, this can lead to long-term and even life-threatening symptoms.
Sleep apnea is characterized by pauses in breathing that happen while you sleep. If you have severe sleep apnea, these pauses, known as apneas, happen more regularly and you may also experience a reduction of airflow to your lungs, called hypopnea. Your apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), determines the severity of your sleep apnea.
Severe sleep apnea is diagnosed when there are 30 or more episodes of apnea or hypopnea each hour. When oxygen is restricted in this way, it has a negative impact on your body. Sleep apnea can cause health concerns, including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Here are seven signs & symptoms of severe sleep apnea in adults:
This is one of the most common and most noticeable signs of sleep apnea. Snoring can be extremely loud, even waking the snorer, and may be accompanied by pauses. Many times, this symptom is first noticed by a bed partner. While snoring does not necessarily mean that you have sleep apnea, discovering the root cause of your snoring can help you eliminate it. Learn how you can stop snoring.
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
Many people with severe sleep apnea fight sleepiness during the day and may even fall asleep when they’re not active. This can be extremely dangerous, particularly if it happens behind the wheel or while operating machinery. This excessive daytime sleepiness is one of the reasons why severe sleep apnea sufferers are at a higher risk for accidents.
Night Waking and Gasping
Severe sleep apnea sufferers often wake at night, and sometimes with the feeling like they are gasping for air, or choking. This is the sensation that you feel when you experience an apnea, and it can be quite frightening.
When sleep is constantly interrupted, your body does not have the opportunity to recharge which can lead to mood swings. Severe sleep apnea has even been linked to depression and other clinical mood disorders.
Losing focus during the day is another common sign of severe sleep apnea. Sleep trouble and problems concentrating are closely linked. Your professional life shouldn’t suffer because of a sleep condition like severe sleep apnea! There are many treatment options available and you should speak to a sleep specialist to determine which snoring and sleep apnea solution is right for you.
Dry Mouth/Sore Throat
Struggling for breath or sleeping with your mouth open during the night can cause you to wake up with a dry mouth and a sore, scratchy throat. Sleep apnea sufferers often complain of a dry mouth and throat.
Lack of sleep, particularly REM sleep can aggravate headaches. These headaches can happen when you first wake up, or during the day. Severe sleep apnea has even been linked to migraines.
Seek Treatment for Severe Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea sufferers may deal with these symptoms in varying degrees. If you experience any of the signs of severe sleep apnea, it’s important to seek treatment. A board certified ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT doctor) can diagnose the cause of your symptoms and help you find solutions.
If your doctor suspects that you suffer from sleep apnea, you will likely need to undergo a sleep study to measure your AHI and determine if you do indeed have the condition. If you do have sleep apnea or severe sleep apnea, there are treatments available. At eos sleep, we offer a wide range of treatment options – it could be as simple as a 30-minute in-office procedure.
The cumbersome CPAP masks or BIPAP masks, traditionally prescribed as sleep apnea treatment, are now not the only option for relief. Minimally-invasive procedures may help to ease the symptoms of sleep apnea.
The doctors at eos sleep are experienced, board-certified sleep specialists who can diagnose your condition and develop a personalized treatment plan. If you suspect you may be suffering from severe sleep apnea, it’s important to contact a sleep specialist to get a diagnosis. Contact us to make an appointment and start on your journey toward better sleep.