Sleep apnea is a condition where a person randomly stops breathing while sleeping and then resumes breathing again. Undiagnosed sleep apnea that is not treated can be a very serious sleep disorder, so anyone who has any symptoms that may indicate sleep apnea should see a sleep apnea doctor for a sleep study. If a sleep study determines that you do have sleep apnea, there are several treatment options available. The key to managing sleep apnea is to recognize the symptoms so you can seek a diagnosis and the appropriate treatment. Some of the most common signs of sleep apnea in adults include the following:
Chronically Dry or Sore Throat
Since people with sleep apnea can have a difficult time breathing, many become open-mouth sleepers in an attempt to take in more oxygen. When a person regularly breathes through their mouth while sleeping, the throat can become very dry and may be sore after waking. If you notice that your throat is almost always very dry in the morning, or if you have chronic sore throats without any other symptoms of illness, it is a good idea to make an appointment to see a sleep apnea doctor.
Waking Up in the Middle of the Night Short of Breath
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder defined by the lack of regular and consistent breathing when a person is asleep. Thus, it is not abnormal for a person to wake up in the middle of the night gasping or experiencing shortness of breath due to disordered breathing. If you experience multiple episodes of waking up in the middle of the night gasping or feeling short of breath, don't brush it off or convince yourself that it is no big deal. This type of symptom indicates that you should see a sleep apnea doctor as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.
Very Loud Snoring
Most people who have sleep apnea, especially obstructive sleep apnea, snore very loudly while asleep. You will not know if you are a loud snorer, but if your partner complains that your snoring is loud enough to prevent him or her from falling asleep, or if your snoring wakes your partner in the middle of the night, it is worth looking into. Loud snoring can be caused by several issues, but since sleep apnea can be a serious condition, it is a good idea to see a sleep apnea doctor if you are a loud snorer.