What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep. The most common sleep apnea symptoms are loud snoring, sudden awakenings accompanied by a choking or gasping sound, excessive daytime sleepiness, and awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat.
Treatment options for sleep apnea may include a sleep apnea machine such as a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, lifestyle changes, or in severe cases, sleep apnea surgery. A sleep apnea test, such as a polysomnogram or home sleep test, can help diagnose sleep apnea and determine the best course of treatment. Common sleep apnea causes include obesity, alcohol consumption, and smoking.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
The most common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- Sudden awakenings accompanied by a choking or gasping sound
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Headaches in the morning
- Difficulty paying attention or staying alert during the day
- Awakening with shortness of breath
- Insomnia or difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Depression or irritability
- Restless tossing and turning during sleep
It's important to note that not everyone with sleep apnea will experience all of these symptoms, and some people may experience symptoms not listed here.