With an estimated one in 15 adults with sleep apnea and 80% of cases going undiagnosed, it’s more important than ever to know the signs to recognize if someone has sleep apnea. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a lower quality of life and contribute to serious health risks like stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. At Massa Dental Center, we can provide comfortable sleep apnea treatment to help improve your quality of life and overall health.

Learn the top signs you might have sleep apnea so you can get the treatment you need.

Loud Snoring

One of the most common symptoms people with obstructive sleep apnea experience is loud snoring. Snoring is the sound of the soft tissue of your area vibrating. Snoring occurs when the airway becomes narrow and the air has a hard time passing through. When you have sleep apnea, it causes the soft tissue to obstruct the airway. The obstruction increases tissue vibration and thus causes snoring to grow louder. Although snoring is usually depicted as a funny noise, it’s actually a rise for concern. Anyone snoring on a regular basis should seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause.

Daytime Sleepiness

One of the symptoms that people with sleep apnea face when they’re awake is sleepiness or fatigue. No matter how early you went to bed or how many hours you slept, sleep apnea can cause you to feel tired all the time. This is because sleep apnea prevents one from getting the deep and restorative sleep they need to feel refreshed and awake. When the airway becomes obstructed during sleep, breathing stops, and the brain becomes alerted that there is no longer a flow of oxygen. The alert then forces the body to wake up to start breathing again. This cycle, known as apnea, can repeat hundreds of times throughout the night. As a result, sleep apnea can prevent one from going through the REM cycle which is important for restoring energy.

Choking, Coughing, or Gasping During Sleep

When the airway becomes obstructed during sleep and the brain alerts the body to start breathing again, it causes you to choke, cough, or gasp for air as a natural reaction to the lack of oxygen. Usually, people don’t notice it themselves if they choke, cough, or gasp while sleeping. They won’t know until someone who sleeps next to them tells them. If this occurs during sleep frequently, it’s a big sign you might have sleep apnea.

Morning Headaches

Another common symptom of sleep apnea is morning headaches. Morning headaches occur as a result of a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. Instead, there is excess carbon monoxide. The excess carbon monoxide will result in morning headaches. Morning headaches can also be a result of clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth during sleep which is another common symptom of sleep apnea.

Sore Throat and/or Dry Mouth Upon Waking

When you have sleep apnea, it’s common to sleep with your mouth open because your airways are obstructed. The snoring combined with an open mouth can result in a sore throat and dry mouth upon waking in the morning.

Night Sweats

Have you ever woken up drenched in sweat? Night sweats can indicate being sick, struggling with anxiety, or in some cases, sleep apnea. As your body struggles to breathe during sleep, cortisol (stress hormone) levels begin to rise. The more they rise, the body can begin to sweat profusely as a natural reaction. 

Trouble Concentrating and Forgetfulness

When you have sleep apnea, your body misses out on all the restorative benefits of the REM cycle, including your brain. Without restorative sleep, it can affect your brain’s ability during the day. As a result, you may have a difficult time concentrating on anything during the day. You’re also more likely to forget things and suffer mild memory loss.

Depression, Crankiness and/or Mood Changes

Sleep deprivation can also cause serious changes in your mood. Before having sleep apnea, you might feel generally happy and level-headed most of the time. When living with untreated sleep apnea, sleep deprivation can cause you to feel more cranky, irritable, depressed, anxious, and affect your overall mood.

Frequent Urination at Night

Another common sign that you might have sleep apnea is repeatedly going to the bathroom to urinate at night. With untreated sleep apnea, there is excess pressure in the chest cavity. This excess pressure increases the production of natriuretic peptide which is a hormone that induces the need to urinate. Those with sleep apnea may get up five or six times per night to urinate.

Get Sleep Apnea Treatment in Naples, FL

If you experience one or more of the symptoms listed above, we encourage you to book an appointment with us to learn more about sleep apnea treatment. We can connect you with a physician who can administer a sleep test to get you diagnosed. Once you receive your diagnosis, we can work with the physician to find the best sleep apnea treatment in Naples that works for you. If you already have a sleep apnea diagnosis and would like to explore your treatment options, please contact Massa Dental Center in Naples, FL today. Book an appointment by calling (239) 597-7333.