What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

Posted by Jenny Spera Mar 01, 2023

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Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can impact your health and quality of life. It leads to disrupted sleep, which can result in daytime fatigue, mood issues, and more. Here are the common of sleep apnea:

Tiredness or Fatigue

Morning headaches and excessive daytime sleepiness are telltale signs of sleep apnea in many patients; however, it can also manifest as irritability during the day. If you constantly feel tired or fatigued when you wake up but have trouble getting back to sleep at night, you might have sleep apnea. Fatigue is a symptom of this disorder that most patients experience, and it’s most often felt during the daytime hours.

If you rarely feel rested even after getting a full night’s sleep, or if you often find yourself dozing off throughout the day, you might be suffering from the ill effects of sleep apnea. Patients who have this condition can experience sleep interruptions hundreds of times per night, so if they don’t get enough rest at night, they will be left feeling drained all day long. Fortunately, most patients with sleep apnea don’t know they have it unless they have a sleep study done. 

Loud Snoring

If you or your partner are a loud snorer, you may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. When sleep apnea occurs, the soft tissue in your throat is relaxed. This blocks your airways and leads to loud snoring while sleeping.

Since people often don’t notice their symptoms, it is important to ask your partner about your snoring habits at night. If you notice you wake up with a headache every morning, you may want to speak to your dentist about your symptoms to see if you need treatment. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to more serious health concerns over time.

Shortness of Breath

Some sleep apnea sufferers only experience obstructive sleep apnea, but others have a combination of conditions, such as obesity and asthma, that may also cause shortness of breath. If you feel out of breath while you are asleep or when you wake up in the morning, see your dentist for a diagnosis. 

Choking or Gasping During Sleep

One of the most obvious symptoms of sleep apnea is the sensation of choking or gasping for air while sleeping. While many people chalk this up to snoring, it’s actually a more extreme symptom of the condition that shouldn’t be ignored. In addition to waking up feeling unrested and tired after a night of poor sleep, people with sleep apnea will often feel exhausted during the day as well. 

Memory Problems

People with sleep apnea are more likely than those without the condition to experience problems with memory loss. This happens because sleep deprivation affects memory and learning ability, and it may also happen because the condition is linked to the degenerative brain disease Alzheimer’s. Additionally, if patients stop breathing repeatedly during the night, it can result in brain damage that may lead to problems with memory and thinking skills.

Morning Headaches

Waking up with a headache is never fun, but it might be a sign of sleep apnea. This is because the airways become blocked throughout the night and your brain receives no oxygen. As a result, you wake up feeling a groggy, fatigued, and throbbing pain in your head. Your dentist can work with you to determine if you have sleep apnea and provide treatment that can improve your symptoms or eliminate them altogether.

To learn more about our dental services, contact Spera Dental at 5190 E. Farness Drive, Suite 102, Tucson, AZ 85712, or call (520) 323-3241.

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