Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where you have one or more pauses when breathing or shallow breaths while you’re asleep. The pauses in breathing can last from a few seconds to minutes, and can occur 30 times or more an hour. While this occurs, your diaphragm and chest muscles are working hard to try to open your obstructed airway and pull oxygen into your lungs. Sleep apnea can be dangerous due to the decrease in oxygen flow to your vital organs and can cause irregular heart rhythms.
Because sleeping is when your apnea is noticeable, it is difficult to self-diagnose sleep apnea. In fact, your spouse or sleep partner will be first to typically notice the signs and symptoms because they will be the one around to notice behaviors while you sleep. The signs or symptoms they may notice include the pauses while snoring, followed by a gasping or choking noise. Additional signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Headaches when you wake up
- Trouble keeping focused
- Feeling depressed, irritable or having mood swings
- Waking up frequently to go to the restroom
- Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up
According to research, sleep apnea is more common in men than in women. In order to properly diagnosed sleep apnea, your doctors will have to perform a physical exam and take your medical and sleep history. Your doctor may also want to speak with your family member or the people you live with about your sleep habits.
If you have questions or concerns regarding sleep apnea, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.
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