Hundreds of thousands of new sleep apnea cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. This sleep disorder makes it nearly impossible to get a good, restful night of sleep. That’s because sleep apnea causes multiple cessations of breathing throughout the night, sometimes hundreds of times a night. The temporary breathing cessation is caused by a partially or fully blocked airway when tissues of the throat relax. Your body temporarily wakes you up, just enough for your throat muscles to tighten and open your airway.
Here are 5 warning signs of sleep apnea:
- Gasping or choking during the night. Your significant other may tell you that they can hear you gasping, snorting or making choking sounds during sleep. This could be a sign that your airway is partially blocked, so your body is causing you to gasp for air.
- Loud, recurring snoring. Not all snorers have sleep apnea, but most sleep apnea suffers snore. The snoring is caused by the airway blockage, as the air squeezes past the intruding tissues.
- Extreme daytime fatigue. Sleep apnea awakens you throughout the night, although the waking is so subtle that you may not even realize it’s happening. Without the right amount of high-quality sleep, you may find yourself excessively tired during the day.
- Depression, moodiness and irritability. No one feels 100 percent without quality sleep. Over time, you may find it is affecting your mood and personality.
- Difficulty concentrating and remembering. Concentration and memory may be degraded as sleep apnea persists. Your brain needs sleep to function, and the lack of sleep may manifest as difficulty concentrating at work and impaired memory.
Untreated sleep apnea is quite dangerous. There are the immediate dangers of falling asleep at the wheel, falling asleep when supervising children, fighting more with your significant other/straining relationships and losing your job because you can’t focus. And there are long-term dangers, such as an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke. Treatment for sleep apnea is essential, but first you must get a proper diagnosis.
If you live in New York City and believe you may be suffering from sleep apnea, please call eos sleep at 1-212-873-6036, to arrange a consultation.