sleepDo you have problems sleeping through the night? Have you ever wondered if you have sleep apnea?

It is a serious condition that can wreak havoc on your overall health if it’s not dealt with properly. Here are six of the most common symptoms for people who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms  it is advisable to contact an Orlando ENT to schedule an assessment.

Chronic Snoring

If your partner wakes you up frequently throughout the night because you are snoring loudly, or you wake yourself up snoring, you might have sleep apnea. Most ENTs agree that snoring loudly is generally the first signs indicating there is something going on. Snoring is not unusual, even loud snoring is normal for many people. However, if you find that your snoring is excessive, it is an indication you should at least visit with a doctor who can assess the situation.

Gasping for Air

Individuals who suffer from sleep apnea may experience odd breathing patterns throughout the night. It’s very common for them to have frequent pauses in breathing that are followed by gasping, snorting or choking. When the breathing pauses, oxygen levels drop and the brain gets the signal to wake up and take another breath. This occurs as you are hanging between waking and sleeping which causes you to gasp and try to get air.

Feeling Exhausted

If you feel tired no matter how long you sleep at night, your body might be telling you there’s a problem that needs attention. When you feel exhausted it can be difficult to stay awake and alert during daytime hours. You might find yourself falling asleep while driving, sitting through a class or even watching a movie. Unexplained exhaustion is one of the signs of sleep apnea because you never feel like you really get a good night’s sleep. When you suffer from sleep disorders, you end up sleeping very lightly through the night. It’s more like you are taking a long nap without getting adequate rest.

Waking Up Through the Night

For those dealing with obstructive sleep there can be literally hundreds of times throughout the night that you stop breathing. For some, these breathing pauses can last as long as 40 seconds. Each time this occurs, the body will wake you up to remind you to breathe. Not only can this add to the fatigue you feel the next day, it can also mean that you do not sleep through the night. There are sleep apnea tests that can be performed to see if it is the reason you cannot sleep through the night.

Waking Up with a Dry Mouth or a Sore Throat

The respiratory tract of individuals who have sleep apnea can really be stressed. When you struggle for each breath and snoring it can cause you to wake up with a very dry mouth or even a sore throat come morning. In addition to this, people who have sleep disorders tend to sleep with their mouth wide open. This can dry out the throat and cause it to be scratchy or sore. If you suffer from a consistent sore throat or dry mouth, you may have sleep apnea and should seek medical treatment.

Morning Headaches

Many individuals who suffer from sleep apnea complain of headaches in the mornings. There is a good reason for this. When you experience frequent pauses in your breathing throughout the night, the oxygen levels in the brain stay relatively low. This causes pain.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

If you suspect you are experiencing sleep apnea, talk to your Orlando ENT about your concerns. There are several different sleep apnea treatments:

  • Sleep study to see how your sleep is being interrupted
  • CPAP machine which applies mild air pressure to make sure the airways remain open
  • Somnoplasty
  • Somnoguard 
  • Medications to help you stay more alert throughout the day will encourage better sleep at night
  • Weight loss as obesity can interfere with nighttime breathing

If you think you may have sleep apnea, call 407.644.4883 or  click here to schedule an appointment.