Sleep apnoea, also known as OSA, can affect anyone of any age and if you show any symptoms, it is a good idea to get it checked out right away. OSA happens when you are sleeping and the air ways are becoming obstructed. This hinders your breathing and as a result, lowers your body’s oxygen level, increasing the level of carbon dioxide.
Sleep apnoea never seems to get much spotlight as a prominent health issue but if left untreated, the results could be very serious. As more stress becomes placed on the heart due to lower levels of oxygen, conditions such as hypertension, high blood pressure and various cardiovascular diseases are more likely to occur. This means that if you see any signs at all, booking an appointment with a specialist who is able to diagnose and recommend treatment is the first thing you should do.
So what are some of the signs of obstructive sleep apnoea? This article delves a little deeper into the subject so you can understand what signals you might have of OSA so you can deal with it effectively. It doesn’t have to be a scary thing if it is dealt with early so you can prevent any negative developments at a later date.
The tell-tale signs of OSA
Here’s a quick list of symptoms you might have if you’re suffering from OSA:
- Waking up with chest pain
- Heavy snoring – often long-term and chronic snoring can signal you have the sleep disorder. When you snore ask your partner or spouse to watch if you pause often or even choke and gasp for air at certain points.
- Feeling very sleepy during the day – if you find yourself constantly having to battle with sleepiness during the daytime, it’s a strong sign that you may have OSA. You might even find yourself falling asleep quickly when it’s quiet or when you’re not up and about.
- Often waking up abruptly along finding you have to catch your breath
- Waking up to a sore throat/dry mouth
- Getting headaches in the morning
- Finding it hard to concentrate or experiencing some learning problems
- Getting irritable easily or having mood swings
- Waking up regularly during the night feeling the need to urinate
Who’s most likely to have sleep apnoea?
Obstructive sleep apnoea may be more common than you think with over 12 million people diagnosed with it in the US alone. It’s important to note that over half of these subjects are overweight and people diagnosed with it normally have thicker necks and smaller airways. It has also been known to be hereditary and can develop at some point in later life; you aren’t necessarily born with it. More men than women tend to have sleep apnoea however women do become more susceptible to developing it after the menopause.
Even babies can find themselves having OSA due to tonsil issues. When tonsils swell they get in the way of the air flow and become an obstruction, especially during sleep. It’s important to note that children who have sleep apnoea will normally breathe through their mouths instead of noses throughout the day.
With some of the risk factors being heart failure or even stroke if the sleep disorder is left untreated, it’s vital that if you feel that you have symptoms, to get yourself checked by a specialist who can diagnose you properly. It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to snore to have the sleep disorder. So if you have any of the above symptoms you shouldn’t hesitate to get in touch with a professional who will be able to advise you further.