What symptoms should you look out for if you believe you’re at risk of OSA?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea can be considered as a serious sleep disorder and sometimes even dangerous if left untreated as it means that your body has repeated episodes of airway obstruction occurring during your sleep, also known as Apnea events. The obstruction is commonly caused by the relaxation of the muscles in the tongue and the airway. OSA is typically the most common form of sleep apnea. More men than women suffer from it and it generally gets worse if left untreated. This may cause later health complications like heart failure or obesity. That is why if you have any signs or symptoms of sleep apnea, it is advised that you take a Sleep Study so that your sleep problems can be analysed and treated quickly, to ensure that you have the best quality of sleep possible.
So what signs should I be looking out for?
The common symptoms of sleep apnea to be aware of are:
– Loud or frequent snoring
– Choking in sleep, gasping
– Pauses in breathing during sleep
– Morning headaches
– Excessive daytime sleepiness
– Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
– Frequent need to urinate during the night
– Difficulty concentrating
– Memory or learning trouble
– Moodiness, irritability or depression
If you notice that you have any of these symptoms, we recommend you read about taking a Sleep Study to analyse what exactly is the cause of your sleeping problems and if it could be a sign that you may have apnea events during the night.
So what are the causes for Sleep Apnea?
A common misconception is that sleep apnea affects older, overweight men only. However this assumption is very wrong as anyone can have sleep apnea, regardless of gender, age or body type.
There are some risk factors listed below that could mean that you are at increased risk.
– Excess weight
– You are considered to be overweight if you are an adult with a BMI of 25 or higher. The more excess body weight you carry, the more you are putting yourself at risk
– Large neck size
– Above 43cm for men and above 40cm for women. A large neck will have more fatty tissue that cause blockages to your airway
– Older age- 40+ for men and 50+ for women. Sleep Apnea tends to occur more often in adults, especially people older than 60. The quicker you diagnose your sleeping problem, the less likely you are to be at risk of serious health complications in the future
– Male- Men have twice the risk of developing sleep apnea compared to women, however, whoever has the sleeping disorder will also have a major impact on their sleeping partner if left undiagnosed
– Smoker– Smokers are at higher risk as it narrows the airflow to the lungs causing apnea events
– High blood pressure is very common in people with sleep apnea
– Family history – Sleep apnea can run in the family so if you know that it is in your family history, it is better to get a sleep study to determine whether you also have it. If you have OSA, it is important that you begin to make lifestyle changes and avoid some of the following factors when you can as these may be contributing to the cause:
– Alcohol may worsen your apnea events. This is due to the alcohol relaxing your muscles
– Sleeping tablets
– Sleep deprivation
If you believe that you have some of these risk factors and/or suffering from the symptoms of Sleep Apnea, then it is advised that you take a Sleep Study test to determine whether you have sleep apnea and the severity of your apnea events. You will then be able to get treatment depending on the results of your study.
Do you have any questions?
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