What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea? Symptoms and when to see a doctor

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a sleep related breathing disorder that can stop your breathing repeatedly in sleep

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There are a number of kinds of sleep apnea but one of the most common type is obstructive sleep apnea. This happens when the muscles in the throat tend to relax when in sleep and blocks the airway during sleep. It stops the breathing for nearly 5 to 10 seconds and then the brain sends a signal to get back to breathing and gives a jerk to the person while disturbing his/her sleep.

What are its symptoms?

1. Stopped breathing episodes during sleep for nearly 6 to 10 seconds.
2. Headache in the morning.
3. Soring loudly
4. Finding it tough to focus during the day time.
5. Changes in mood and irritability.
6. High blood pressure.
7. Decreased libido
8. Feeling sleepy during the day time.

When do you need to see a doctor

If you have observed a few symptoms on your partner then it is time to see a medical practitioner.

1. Loud snoring that disturbs your sleep and also others. Snoring is otherwise normal, but when it becomes too loud then it could be a cause of concern.

2. Waking up while gasping for air – If your partner is waking up suddenly while gasping for air, it can be a clear symptom and needs to be checked out immediately.

3. Paused breathing – Paused breathing during sleep for a good 5 to 10 seconds can be a warning sign.

4. Daytime drowsiness – If your partner is facing excessive day-time drowsiness and tend to fall asleep while working or watching television then it can be a warning sign and needs to be accessed by the medical practitioner.

Make sure that you see a doctor if you have observed snoring with interrupted periods of silence. People who have this condition might not be aware of their interrupted sleep. Many times people with such kind of sleep apnea do not realize that they have not slept well the entire night.

Photo Credits: Pixabay