Symptoms of Sleep apnea


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General information about symptoms of Sleep apnea: The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible symptoms of Sleep apnea. This symptom information has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of symptoms of Sleep apnea. Furthermore, symptoms of Sleep apnea may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of symptoms and whether they are indeed symptoms of Sleep apnea.

List of symptoms of Sleep apnea: The list of symptoms mentioned in various sources for Sleep apnea includes:

Symptoms of Sleep apnea: Symptoms of sleep apnea may include restless sleep, loud, heavy snoring (often interrupted by silence and then gasps), falling asleep while driving and/or during the day (at work, watching TV, etc.), morning headaches, loss of energy, trouble concentrating, irritability, forgetfulness, mood or behavior changes, anxiety or depression, obesity, and decreased interest in sex. Not all people with sleep apnea experience all of these symptoms and not everyone who has these symptoms has sleep apnea. However, it is recommended that people who are experiencing even a few of these symptoms visit their physician for evaluation. Prompt and proper diagnosis of sleep apnea is an important first step to treating the disorder. 1

In a given night, the number of involuntary breathing pauses or "apneic events" may be as high as 20 to 30 or more per hour. These breathing pauses are almost always accompanied by snoring between apnea episodes, although not everyone who snores has this condition.2

Because of the serious disturbances in their normal sleep patterns, people with sleep apnea often feel very sleepy during the day and their concentration and daytime performance suffer. The consequences of sleep apnea range from annoying to life-threatening. They include depression, high blood pressure, irritability, sexual dysfunction, learning and memory difficulties, and falling asleep while at work, on the phone, or driving. Risk for heart attack and stroke may also increase in those with sleep apnea. In addition, sleep apnea is sometimes implicated in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).2

People with sleep apnea usually arenít even aware they have a problem and may not believe it when told. For many sleep apnea patients, their spouses are the first ones to suspect that something is wrong, usually from their heavy snoring and apparent struggle to breathe. Coworkers or friends of the sleep apnea victim may notice that the individual falls asleep during the day at inappropriate times (such as while driving a car, working, or talking). It is important that the person see a doctor for evaluation of the sleep problem.2

More symptoms of Sleep apnea: In addition to the above information, to get a full picture of the possible symptoms of this condition and its related conditions, it may be necessary to examine symptoms that may be caused by complications of Sleep apnea, underlying causes of Sleep apnea, associated conditions for Sleep apnea, risk factors for Sleep apnea, or other related conditions.

Medical articles on symptoms: These general reference articles may be of interest:



Footnotes:
1. excerpt from NINDS Sleep Apnea Information Page: NINDS
2. excerpt from Sleep Apnea: NWHIC

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