Obstructive sleep apnea is a real problem in the U.S. One out of 5 adults has a mild case, and 1 out of 15 adults has a moderate to severe case. Worse, it’s estimated that 75 percent of obstructive sleep apnea cases remain undiagnosed. You may be suffering from this condition without even knowing it.
Do you exhibit any of the following five signs of obstructive sleep apnea?
1. You Wake Up Exhausted
Since sleep apnea interrupts your REM cycle, you may wake up in the morning feeling like you barely slept. If you are excessively sleepy during the day, it’s a sure sign you’re not getting the restful sleep you need at night, and obstructive sleep apnea could be the cause.
2. You Snore Loudly
If your spouse is complaining that you’re keeping him or her up at night with your loud snoring, this is one of the first clues that you may have obstructive sleep apnea. The noise comes from you trying to breathe while tissues are blocking your airway.
While not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, nearly everyone diagnosed with sleep apnea snores.
3. You Suffer from Chronic Headaches
Since this condition causes pauses in your breathing, your body isn’t getting enough oxygen. When the brain’s oxygen levels decrease, it can cause headaches.
If you wake up with a headache nearly every day, it’s time to see a doctor.
4. You Have High Blood Pressure
Hypertension is another sign of a breathing problem. When tissue blockage causes your body to stop breathing for short periods, you physically respond with a “fight-or-flight” reaction, which raises your blood pressure.
Eventually, once this fight-or-flight symptom occurs frequently enough, your blood pressure ceases to stabilize. Continuous high blood pressure puts you at risk of cardiovascular disease, so investigate and treat the root cause quickly.
5. You Visit the Bathroom Frequently at Night
The body’s fight-or-flight response can also cause your bladder to feel full, pulling you into wakefulness and causing you to visit the bathroom often during the night.
What Happens During the Test?
If you exhibit one or more of these symptoms, it’s time to see a doctor and find out for sure if your body is dealing with this condition. You will undergo a sleep study in which your body’s heart, brain and lungs are monitored while you sleep. Your blood pressure, blood oxygen levels and breathing patterns will also be monitored overnight.
If you’re diagnosed, your doctor will likely refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to determine if a physical blockage is causing the condition. Surgery may be an option for correcting the problem and giving you back a full night’s rest.
Trust Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery to treat your obstructive sleep apnea successfully. Schedule a consultation today and learn more about your options.