Sleep Apnea Symptoms: 10 Signs You May Have Sleep Apnea
Lack of sleep is reaching epidemic levels in the United States and much of the sleeplessness that we are experiencing is self-induced; from late-night TV to the blue glow of late-night screen time with your favorite device. I guess you can call it techy-induced insomnia. Our world has quickly changed due to the evolution of technology and many feel it is a main cause of a disorder known as Sleep Apnea. Many times this disorder is improperly diagnosed as insomnia. Over 20 million Americans suffer from Sleep Apnea, but almost 90% of people who have Sleep Apnea are undiagnosed.
Here are a couple of eye-popping statistics about people who suffer from Sleep Apnea:
- People with sleep apnea are twice as likely to crash and die in a car accident
- People with sleep apnea also have a 30% higher risk of dying from a heart attack
The most common type of sleep apnea is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It can set off a chain reaction of negative health conditions that include stroke, depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression … the list goes on and on.
Related Article: Having Trouble Sleeping? Talk to Your Dentist!
It’s important to pay attention to signs or symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea to know if you should find help.
Here are ten signs that you might have sleep apnea:
1. Excessive and persistent snoring
Does your snoring wake you up in the middle of the night? Or does it wake the person sleeping next to you up at night? Does the snoring sound like a lawnmower? Is it extremely loud? This type of excessive snoring is the first sign of sleep apnea. This is because there is an obstruction in the respiratory tract, which is pretty much the definition of sleep apnea.
Of course, just because you snore doesn’t mean you have sleep apnea. A lot of people snore and a lot of them snore loudly. It’s just a sign that if you have excessive, loud snoring, you should talk to Dr. Skrobanek about it during your next dental appointment.
In the U.S., obesity rates are out of this world and approximately 65% of Americans are obese or overweight. We lead a much more sedentary lifestyle than our ancestors did. One hundred years ago, our population was very active. They were laborers, farmers and field workers. And they ate real food; not processed food and definitely not fast food. Our lifestyle is wreaking havoc on our health as a nation and on our waist line.
However, researchers believe that the heavier someone is, the larger their neck is, which could increase a person’s chances of developing sleep apnea.
3. Always feeling tired
Regardless of how long you sleep each night, do you wake up still feeling tired? Is it hard to stay awake during a meeting at work or while you’re driving? Chronic fatigue is another very common sign of sleep apnea. Especially if you are consistently feeling like you’ve had a bad night of sleep.
You may not realize that you’re having multiple pauses in your breathing every night, which can keep from getting into that deep sleep your body needs. If this is the case, your body thinks you’re taking a light cat nap instead of getting 7 to 8 hours of restful, deep sleep. Make sure to let Dr. Skrobanek know at your next dental appointment if you’re more tired than normal.
4. Night sweats
Do you wake up in the middle of the night dripping in sweat? It could have been a nightmare and it could because you have sleep apnea. Your body goes into hyper-drive each time you stop breathing or have when is commonly referred to as an apnea. Essentially your body is fighting to get air and causing night sweats. Or because you’re lacking oxygen and missing breaths, your body is in fight or flight mode of panic. Either way, you’re waking up from night sweats and you could be suffering from sleep apnea.
5. Continually waking up at night
Sometimes people with obstructive sleep apnea can experience hundreds of breathing pauses during the night. Each time this happens, your body is waking you up and causing you to be tired the next day. This can be one of the most damaging signs of sleep apnea, because it’s causing your body to not get the deep sleep it desperately needs.
6. Frequent nighttime urination
Are you waking up several times during the middle of the night to go to the bathroom? Most people can sleep for 7 to 8 hours during the night without having to urinate; however, if you are suffering from sleep apnea, getting up multiple times every night to go to the bathroom is definitely a tell-tale sign.
Researchers believe that frequent nighttime urination is caused by a disruption in the circadian rhythm that regulates your sleep patterns. So, you’re in a vicious circle of waking up gasping for air and needing to urinate.
7. Morning headaches
Do you wake up in the morning with a headache on a regular basis? If so, you could be suffering from sleep apnea. Deep, painful, throbbing headaches can be caused from an increased amount of carbon dioxide in your bloodstream, due to a lack of oxygen. The excess carbon dioxide that is being trapped in the blood vessels around your head is causing you to wake up with a headache. They usually occur on both sides of the head, instead of just on one side. Make sure to mention this to Dr. Skrobanek at your next dental appointment.
8. Waking up with a sore throat or dry mouth
All of your snoring and struggles to breathe each night can wreak havoc on your respiratory tract and can cause you to wake up each morning with an extremely dry mouth or sore throat. The tendency to sleep with your mouth open is a habit of people who suffer from sleep apnea.
9. Irritable, anxious and depressed
Not getting enough sleep can make us irritable and anxious. A poor night’s sleep can release a hormone into your body called cortisol, which increases your stress levels and can cause depression. Yes, this is yet another sign that you could be suffering from sleep apnea, especially if you don’t have other medical conditions.
Studies show that nearly 50% of people who suffer from diabetes also suffer from sleep apnea. So, researchers believe there is link between sleep apnea and type-2 diabetes. Why is this so prevalent? This percentage is so high, because sleep apnea can cause severe disruptions in blood sugar levels. This is caused because when you get less sleep, your body processes less glucose. So, if you have sleep apnea, there is a good chance you have or will be diagnosed with diabetes. And, if you have diabetes, you have a higher chance of suffering from sleep apnea.
Dr. Skrobanek can help …
Believe it or not, dentists can be the first healthcare professional to see the signs of disease, which is one of the main reasons you should always make your twice a year dental appointments a high priority for you and your family.
Dr. Skrobanek at GPS Dental and his team of experts makes it one of their top priorities to help each of their patients have the best oral health possible. Oral health is one of your best defenses in keeping the rest of your body healthy.
Now what do I do?
If you’re suffering from any of these signs of sleep apnea, please alert Dr. Skrobanek. Having the proper information can help him get you proper treatment. Many people can be treated for sleep apnea by wearing custom mouthguards when they sleep. In fact, there are over 100 sleep appliances that are FDA approved to help this very common disorder and Dr. Skrobanek will determine which is best for you.
Related Information: Sleep Apnea Treatment in San Antonio
Custom mouthguards can help!
Custom mouthguards, or oral appliance therapy, is a very effective treatment for snoring and sleep apnea. The mouthguard is worn while you sleep and fits like an orthodontic retainer. These devices support your jaw to help you maintain an open upper airway while you sleep.
Related Article: Wake UP Gary!! Put in Your Mouthguard!!
Custom mouthguards or oral appliance therapy is covered by many insurance plans and the team at GPS Dental can help answer any questions you may have about your coverage.
Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implants, sleep apnea, TMJ / TMD Treatment, cosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.