The symptoms of sleep apnea are both short-term and long-term, and over time, if untreated could wreak havoc on your health.
Some of the short-term symptoms include:
• Daytime fatigue
• Sleepiness during the day
• Feeling exhausted upon waking
• Trouble concentrating during the day
• Memory issues
• Mood swings/irritability
Snoring is also a common symptom, but it’s more than a symptom—it has a cause-and-effect relationship. Snoring is the sound you make while trying to force air through an obstructed airway during sleep. If you snore, you have sleep apnea; if you have sleep apnea, you will snore in most cases.
Sleep apnea occurs when the tissue in your airway becomes too relaxed and collapses, causing a blockage that will not allow air to pass through smoothly. Snoring occurs when you force air through the blocked airway, and choking and gasping for air throughout the night is common. You may not even know you’re doing this, but your sleeping partner is likely aware of your sleep struggles.
The breathing cessations that sleep apneics suffer from may occur hundreds of times each night and could last up to ten seconds or even longer. That level of interrupted sleep certainly takes a physical, emotional, cognitive, and mental toll on the person. Dr. Richard Crosby is the sleep apnea dentist who can help.