Sleep Apnea is one of the most undiagnosed conditions of all those handled at hospitals. It is believed that as many as 90% of the cases go undetected. (Source: MedSurge Nursing – A Journal of Adult health. Issue: 06th March, 2008.). It’s illusive nature comes from the fact that more often than not, the patient herself/himself has no idea that s/he suffers from it since it is a condition that affects the person when s/he is asleep. The patient is thus not able to inform the doctor of anything apart from the symptoms s/he may experience during daytime – the time when s/he is conscious and aware, and those symptoms are shared with those of many other conditions.
So how could you tell if you are suffering from Sleep Apnea? The best way still is to consult your doctor and tell him/her your symptoms. Your doctor may be able to refer you to a Sleep Apnea Specialist. If you are experiencing some or any combination of the symptoms mentioned under, you could give your doctor a lead by informing her/him of them.
1. Having your partner complain that you snore loud.
2. Waking up from your sleep gasping for breath.
3. Feeling drowsy, depressed and irritable through the day.
4. Aching head in the morning.
5. Restless sleep at night
6. Waking up to a dry mouth.
7. Finding it hard to remember chores, names at day time etc
8. Sweating during sleep.
9. Waking up often to urinate.
10. Weight gain, hypertension.
If you are curious what Sleep Apnea is because you suspect you are suffering from it on the basis of the symptoms chalked out above, it is a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder in which you pause breathing several times (up to 30 times) every hour while sleeping and for anything between a few seconds to a minute each time. Resumption of breathing is generally automatic and follows choking or gasping for breath.
If you think you suffer from Sleep Apnea, you are not alone.