It is often hard to differentiate between snoring and a serious medical condition known as sleep apnea. However, there are definitive symptoms of sleep apnea if you know what to look for. Snoring, for instance, is a distracting occurrence caused by vibrations from fatty tissues rubbing against the back of the throat.
Sleep apnea is much more serious and may be recognize by the presence of heavy snoring, pauses between breaths, etc. A spouse may be the best source of information relating to these, but the apnea sufferer will instantly recognize the absence of breath through the night.
One of the symptoms of sleep apnea is the complete loss of air on multiple occasions throughout the night. It is a known fact that sufferers actually stop breathing on more than on occasion.
As a result, the sufferer may awake short of breath, choking or gasping for air, etc. They may not realize what has happened at first, but may start to recognize a pattern of shortness of breath and discomfort during the night.
Sleep apnea is often recognized in other ways, as well. One of the less obvious symptoms of sleep apnea is fatigue, which is also present in so many other ailments. Fatigue exists due to the disruption of sleep and/or inability to fall asleep. Additional symptoms of sleep apnea may include headaches, the inability to concentrate on everyday activities, exhaustion, irritability, etc.
The symptoms of sleep apnea are noticeable if you are familiar with them. However, even if symptoms of sleep apnea are present, only a physician can properly diagnose the disorder. A series of questions and a sleep study may be ordered during the evaluation period.
It is very important to receive an early diagnosis because, if left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to other serious medical conditions. Among them, heart disease, an increased risk of a stroke and more.
This article is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be used as, or in place of, professional medical advice. Before beginning any treatment for snoring, please consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis and remedy.