You may already know just how common sleep apnea is in the U.S., with an estimated 22 million people suffering from it, but did you know that only 20 percent of people with a moderate or severe case actually know they have sleep apnea? This is because the warning signs and symptoms of sleep apnea aren’t always so obvious. But if you’ve been experiencing any of the signs or symptoms, then you’ll absolutely want to seek professional care, as in some cases sleep apnea can lead to fatal health conditions. Read on to learn more about the condition and the warning signs to look out for.
Who is at risk of developing sleep apnea?
Generally, it’s older and overweight men who develop the condition, but it’s possible for women and even children to develop it. Because genetics may be a factor, it’s possible for an entire family to develop the condition. Other factors may be health and lifestyle factors, and not all of these factors have been identified by researchers. Sometimes a jaw joint disorder (TMJ disorder) can cause or contribute to sleep apnea.
You may be at risk even if you don’t share any of the traits of people commonly at risk. If you have any of the signs or symptoms of sleep apnea, then you’ll definitely want to have them addressed.
So what are the warning signs of sleep apnea?
It’s very possible for people to suffer from different warning signs/symptoms of sleep apnea than other people. Multiple combinations of symptoms are possible too. Some of the most common warning signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Excessive snoring at night (which can be an obvious sign of sleep apnea)
- Choking/gasping at night that wakes you up
- An inability to sleep well at night (this is known as insomnia)
- Restlessness, tossing, and/or turning in bed
- Difficulty breathing from the nose or breathing regularly from the mouth
- Significant daytime tiredness/fatigue
- Migraines or headaches in the morning
- Difficulty with short-term memory
- Lowered sex drive
- Excessive weight gain, an inability to lose weight, high blood pressure, and/or diabetes
- Acid reflux
- Depression, severe anxiety, temperamental behavior, or ADD/ADHD
It may be difficult for you to tell whether any of the symptoms you’re having are those of sleep apnea. This is one of the many reasons why getting professional care is so important. It’s also important because sleep apnea can, in fact, lead to fatal health conditions like heart disease.
What should I do if I have the warning signs of sleep apnea?
If you have such warning signs, then it really is important to seek professional care from a provider like Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders. At a clinic like ours, you’ll be able to have your symptoms properly interpreted, and if you do have sleep apnea, then you can be professionally treated for it.
Our clinic is able to provide actual testing for sleep apnea as well as effective treatments like oral appliance therapy. This kind of therapy is especially effective in many cases of sleep apnea, as it can treat the causes of the condition, such as a TMJ disorder or another issue with a patient’s oral anatomy. Often, these things are overlooked by doctors when treating sleep apnea, and this is a problem. The common treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy, but this doesn’t necessarily address the underlying factors causing the condition in the first place, whereas oral appliance therapy can. We’re proud to be able to provide the therapy to you here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders.
If you’re concerned that you might have sleep apnea, reach out to us today for a consultation. We’ll tell you everything else you’d like to know about sleep apnea and help you determine whether your symptoms are those of the condition. Call us today or visit our Locations page for a list of our locations in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin. We look forward to your call!