Unfortunately, there are many symptoms of sleep apnea which can make it difficult to diagnosis. However, once we know many of the major signs it’s a bit easier to zero in on.
Having sleep apnea affects every system in the human body because oxygen and sleep deprivation affect every system: endocrine, circulatory, and all the other systems. This is what makes it so powerful. Thankfully, there are several prominent symptoms of sleep apnea which we should all familiarize ourselves with as identifying them can lead to early diagnosis and proper treatment.
Loud Snoring – Your First Sign of Symptoms
One of the biggest symptoms of sleep apnea is snoring. Loud and frequent snoring is a big tip off. Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, however, those who do snore often do.
So how does one know that they snore at night if they’re asleep? If it’s not too difficult we should recruit a family member or even perhaps close friend to tell us about our snoring. However, if that option is not available then using a tape recorder or other recording device is the next best thing. Listen for symptoms of sleep apnea such as loud snoring and gasping sounds and snorting, followed by long pauses (the apnea). These are sure fire symptoms of sleep apnea, but only a doctor can officially diagnose the condition. If these signs are observed a doctor’s appointment is a good idea.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea in Children
- Weight Loss or Poor Weight Gain – Not growing properly or losing weight can be symptoms of sleep apnea. This is a sign that the brain and the hormonal systems are being affected.
- Aggressiveness & Behavior Problems – Children who act out and are aggressive often are displaying symptoms of sleep apnea. They may also have other trouble in school such as problems with grades, inattention, and so on.
- Hyperactivity – Anxiety and depression are symptoms of sleep apnea, as well as not being able to sit still for even two seconds. If a child cannot sit still for long and their mind is always wandering, they may have this problem.
- Severe Bed Wetting Or Night Terrors – Frequently waking up at night from nightmares, excessive sweating, and wetting the bed severely are all symptoms of sleep apnea. But again, what may seem like symptoms of sleep apnea may have other causes as well. It’s very important to attempt to link loud snoring with any of these additional behaviors. If you suspect your child may have this sleep disorder it’s important to observe their sleep and to always have a doctor run tests as well.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea in Adults
- Problems With Memory – Because the brain suffers from a lack of oxygen, there is often brain tissue damage, severe memory problems, and lack of concentration – all symptoms of sleep apnea.
- Headaches – Headaches are common symptoms of sleep apnea, especially headaches early in the morning directly after waking up.
- Insomnia – Awakening frequently throughout the night could be one of the symptoms of sleep apnea, as well as getting up frequently to go to the toilet (Nocturia). If a person is not sleeping well, this condition is very often to blame.
- Daytime Sleepiness – When a person has this disorder they are not getting enough restful sleep at night, especially the deeper stages of sleep. All of this sleep deprivation will cause excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue. This should not be confused with Narcolepsy, which is a separate disorder. Unexplained and constant fatigue and tiredness are common symptoms of sleep apnea.
The symptoms of sleep apnea, unfortunately, will often look like other conditions, or they can be somewhat mild in nature. This may cause the affected to not realize that they are suffering. This disorder is very much under diagnosed, but we can all protect ourselves and our families by being attentive and alert to all of these signs. It is also important to contact a doctor if we feel there is even a possibility of sleep apnea.