Sleep Apnea Symptoms Questions and Answer
If you are having symptoms of sleep apnea, visit Koala Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders and talk to our team of healthcare professionals today. For more information call us at one of our clinics today or request an appointment online. We serve patients from all over the USA. Locations in Bloomington, IL, Peoria – Dunlap, IL, Lafayette, IN, Mishawaka, IN, Columbia, MO, Kansas City, MO, El Paso, TX, and Wausau, WI.
Sleep apnea, also referred to as OSA (obstructive sleep apnea), is a sleep disorder that is characterized by pauses in breathing throughout the night. In mild cases, people with sleep apnea may not even realize they are affected by the condition unless they have a partner who hears them stop breathing while sleeping. In moderate to severe cases, sleep apnea can cause dozens—or even hundreds—of pauses in breathing throughout their sleep, with some pauses that last for over 30 seconds. Sleep apnea can negatively impact quality of sleep and lead to daytime sleepiness, fatigue and moodiness.
Can I test myself for sleep apnea?
There are several things one can do to test for sleep apnea, the first and easiest step is to answer eight questions that can help determine the associated risk. These include:
- Do you snore loudly? In this case, loud snoring refers to snoring that is louder than talking, or can be heard through closed doors.
- Do you often experience daytime tiredness? Sleep apnea can disrupt sleep quality and cause people to feel tired throughout the day.
- Has anyone observed your breathing stop during sleep? Cessation of breathing or pauses in breathing is a telltale sign of sleep apnea.
- Have you been treated for hypertension? High blood pressure is an associated risk factor for sleep apnea.
- Is your BMI higher than 35? A person’s BMI, or body mass index, can help determine if sleep apnea is a risk, as the condition is significantly more prevalent in overweight and obese individuals.
- Are you over 50 years old? Age plays a large role in risk for sleep apnea, with seniors more commonly affected by the sleep disorder.
- Is your neck circumference greater than 15 inches? If your BMI falls within normal range, but your neck is thicker (higher circumference) than normal, it can contribute to sleep apnea.
- Is your gender male? Men are at higher risk for sleep apnea than women are, which immediately increases the risk for the male population.
What are the warning signs of sleep apnea?
The warning signs of sleep apnea are:
- Loud snoring that disturbs others
- Waking up gasping or choking
- Noticeable intermittent pauses of breathing during sleep
- Excessive daytime drowsiness
- Waking up with a sore throat
What percentage of people that snore have sleep apnea?
Around 5 to 10 percent of snorers have sleep apnea, whereas around 90 percent of people with sleep apnea snore.
What are the different types of sleep apneas and the symptoms?
There are three types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea — This is, by far, the most common type of sleep apnea and occurs when the airway becomes blocked due to relaxed throat muscles.
- Central Sleep Apnea — This type of sleep apnea varies from OSA in that there is no blockage of the airways. It occurs due to a miscommunication of brain signals to the respiratory muscles that control breathing and typically happens to patients who have underlying medical conditions. It may also be due to overdoses of certain drugs, mainly CNS depressants.
- Mixed Sleep Apnea — This type of sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea and is considerably rare.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of sleep apnea, come to Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders to meet with our sleep apnea doctor! Call one of our convenient locations to start improving your quality of sleep today! We have locations in: Bloomington & Peoria-Dunlap, IL; Mishawaka & Lafayette, IN; Columbia & Kansas City, MO; Wausau, WI; and El Paso, TX. All of our clinics are open from Monday to Thursday, with several of them also open on Friday or Saturday. A better quality of sleep is only a phone call away! We look forward to serving you!