Sleep apnea symptoms aren't always obvious, but their effects on your health and your ability to function during the day can be severe. Dr. Gerald Rich, Dr. Radhika Breaden, Dr. Gregory Clark and Dr. Andrea Matsumura--your Portland, OR sleep medicine specialists at Pacific Sleep Program share common symptoms of sleep apnea and explain treatment options.
What is sleep apnea?
People who have sleep apnea stop breathing frequently during the night for periods of 10 seconds or longer. Even though breathing eventually resumes, those short pauses can have serious health consequences and may increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
- Snoring: Everyone who snores doesn't have sleep apnea, but many people who have the condition do snore. Snoring may occur if your tongue blocks your airway or the muscles in your throat relax while you sleep and obstruct the flow of air.
- Gasping and Choking: Do you ever wake up suddenly because you feel as if you're choking? Gasping and choking serve an important purpose because they prompt you to start breathing again.
- Headaches: Waking up with a headache may be an indication that you have sleep apnea.
- Sore Throat: That sore throat may not be a sign that you're getting a cold. If you wake up every day with a sore throat, sleep apnea and snoring may be to blame.
- Sleepiness: Frequent breathing pauses affect the quality and quantity of your sleep. When you don't get enough sleep night after night, you may feel increasingly tired during the day.
- Difficulty Concentrating: Lack of sleep can also make it more difficult to focus or concentrate, which can be a serious problem if your job involves operating complicated machinery or driving.
- Irritability: Not getting enough sleep can also tend to make you feel grumpy.
How is sleep apnea treated in Portland?
Keeping your airway open is the key to preventing sleep apnea. After a sleep study confirms that you have sleep apnea, your sleep medicine specialist may recommend that you use a continuous positive airway machine (CPAP), which forces a steady flow of air into your throat while you sleep.
Do you have any sleep apnea symptoms? If you do, why not make an appointment with your Portland, OR sleep medicine specialists at Pacific Sleep Program? Call (503) 228-4414 to schedule your visit.