Recognizing the Signs
Sleep apnea can lead to life-threatening conditions, so it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Familiarizing yourself with the symptoms of sleep apnea could save your life or the life of someone you love.
The Three Types of Sleep Apnea
There isn’t just one type of sleep apnea — there are three. Knowing the distinctions between them can help you get the correct diagnosis and treatment. Though they’re all called sleep apnea, their treatment methods differ greatly.
The three types of sleep apnea are Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), Central Sleep Apnea (CSA), and Complex Sleep Apnea, also called Mixed Sleep Apnea. All types of sleep apnea cause breathing to stop during sleep, but their causes are different.
OSA is by far the most common type of sleep apnea, caused when your airway becomes blocked during sleep and leading to difficulty breathing. Dr. Garceau specializes in improving the lives of people with OSA through various convenient treatment options.
Risk Factors for OSA
There’s no single cause of sleep apnea, but a number of risk factors that can play a role in increasing your risk for developing sleep apnea. These risk factors include:
- Excess Weight
- Narrowed Airway
- High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
- Family History of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can affect people of all age groups, even children and young adults. Tonsil size and jaw size can contribute to sleep apnea.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The most recognizable symptom of OSA at night is snoring. Snoring isn’t always a sign of sleep apnea, but loud and persistent snoring is a common symptom. It can also be disruptive for partners trying to sleep in the same room.
Other nighttime symptoms include gasping for air during sleep, pauses in breathing, and waking up to use the bathroom frequently.
People with OSA often don’t remember waking up throughout the night, so it may not be obvious there’s an issue. But the effects of sleep apnea show themselves during the day.
You may have difficulty concentrating and feel depressed or irritable often. When you wake up in the morning, it’s common to have a headache, sore throat, and dry mouth.
Symptoms in Children
Children who have sleep apnea are often misdiagnosed with ADHD because of symptom overlap. Some of these symptoms may include:
- Night sweats
- Learning and behavior disorders
- Problems at school
- Unusual sleep positions
- Pauses in breathing
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the daytime symptoms of OSA?
If you’ve been diagnosed with OSA but haven’t sought treatment, your daily routine could be affected by daytime symptoms including:
- Excessive daytime fatigue
- Feeling drowsy/sleepy during routine activities
- Poor concentration
- Depression or irritability
- Early morning headaches
What are the nighttime symptoms of OSA?
Unlike the daytime symptoms of OSA, the nighttime symptoms are much harder to spot on your own. If you or somebody you care about shows signs of any of the symptoms below, please seek help from Dr. Garceau, our expert sleep dentist.
Nighttime symptoms of sleep apnea are as follows:
- Choking or gasping for air during sleep
- Loud or disruptive snoring
- Restless sleep
- Frequent visits to the bathroom
- Witnessed pauses in breathing
What are the potential consequences of untreated sleep apnea?
Whether you’ve been diagnosed or not, if you don’t seek treatment, in some rare cases, sleep apnea can cause death. There are other consequences including heart disease and heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, fatigue-related motor vehicle and work accidents, and a decreased overall quality-of-life.
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact our office and speak with our sleep apnea specialist, Dr. Roberta Garceau. She will help you get the diagnosis and treatment that you deserve.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Can Help
If you notice the symptoms of sleep apnea in yourself or a loved one, seeking diagnosis and treatment could be life-saving. Dr. Garcea is proud to be able to help people like you achieve a higher standard of living by providing treatment that can reinvigorate you.
To learn more about sleep apnea and its symptoms, call our office by dialing 860-254-6189 or by filling out our online contact form, located on this page. We’ll be happy to help you.