Sleep apnea can affect both children and adults. It is known to be a silent killer because it affects you while asleep. Some people wake up and don’t even know that they have experienced apnea attacks. Sleep apnea symptoms are common to other sleep disorders that’s why it very hard to diagnose.
It is important to recognize if you or your loved ones have sleep apnea symptoms. If untreated, it can lead to heart problems and, in severe cases, death.
Sleep apnea symptoms can be tricky. For adults, it can be an irregular breathing pattern while asleep. During attacks, the person stops breathing for about 10-20 seconds per stretch throughout the night. When this happens, the person wakes up slightly to catch his breath, creating a loud snoring and snorting sound. Loud snoring is a major symptom of this disorder. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea.
If you live alone and there’s nobody who can tell you whether you snore or not, you can check for symptoms by finding some clues based on how you perform during the day. Do you wake up feeling exhausted even if you are getting enough sleeping hours? Do you often wake up with a headache?
People with this disorder experience frequent urination and often have dry throat. They feel extremely sleepy and exhausted throughout the day. This affects their daily routines significantly. They become more irritable, moody, forgetful, and clumsy.
Short term effects :
- Morning headaches and irritability
- Poor judgment and concentration
- Daytime sleepiness
- Restless sleep
The most common type of sleep apnea is the obstructive apnea. Some obvious symptoms are loud snoring, daytime sleepiness and excessive perspiration. The mental effects can include mood-swings and depression. It has also been recently linked to memory loss.
For children, the symptoms can include sudden behavioral changes that cannot be explained. They can become easily irritated and unusually hyperactive. A suffering child also sleeps longer than his or her usual sleeping hours. Other symptoms are bed-wetting, headache upon waking up in the morning and forceful breathing.
Cases of this disorder are more common among men than women and children. Older people tend to develop it around the age of 65. It is also experienced by some women after menopause.
The cause may also be biological, like if you were born with small air passages on the throat, nose, and mouth areas. Allergies and nasal congestions that block air passages can also cause this disorder.
The symptoms may be present for years and the person may not even be aware of it. The danger is that the suffering person might become adapted to these symptoms. It would be easier to think that the sleepiness and fatigue are just caused by his or her job or lifestyle. This may be especially true for people who are overweight.
Long Term Effects
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart related problems
- Memory loss
The dangers associated to sleep apnea doesn’t only affect you but the people around you. If you continue to snore loudly, the people sleeping around you gets disturbed and also get poor quality of sleep. If you always feel exhausted and sleep in the daytime, your performance at work is greatly affected.
When you are driving and you suddenly fall asleep, it could lead to car accidents that might not only hurt you but other people as well. If a family members has this kind of sleep disorder, you have a good chance of developing it too. Take note of these symptoms because it can save your family’s life or your own.