Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) has been on the rise in the last few years, now with over 200,000 new cases diagnosed every year. But being as common as it is, many people suffering from sleep apnea don’t even realize they have it! One of the most important early symptoms to look out for is excessive snoring while asleep. Snoring could just be snoring of course, but OSA can cause this symptom due to the partial blockage of airflow through your windpipe, causing loud and persistent snoring that can disturb you and your partner. Following this, if is very common to find yourself woken suddenly at night due to the instance of apneas, where you actually stop breathing due to airway blockage. These instances could just feel like waking for whatever reason, or it could be more sudden where you find yourself gasping for air. These are some of the earliest things to look out for in order to get yourself on the road to treatment.
If your OSA goes untreated for a more prolonged period of time, your symptoms could become much more serious. Due to these mini waking periods, even if you get what felt like a full night sleep many sufferers find themselves exhausted throughout the day. This can lead to irritability, mood swings, and a decrease in productivity, all of which can affect your relationships and job performance. Waking, you could experience a sore throat, dryness of the mouth, or headaches, all of which can have you starting off the day on the wrong side of the bed.
Further down the line, sleep apnea has actually been linked to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease when it goes untreated. If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, it is best to go see a doctor or get a sleep test done to avoid any further complications. Treatments like continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) have been shown as the most effective means of controlling your OSA and reducing the risk of severe symptoms down the line.
Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to Obstructive Sleep Apnea, but hopefully you now have a better idea of what symptoms to look out for. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.
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