Sleep apnea creates a number of telltale symptoms that become increasingly obvious as the condition worsens. Bedmates may warn you of outward signs such as irregular snoring, stoppages in breath and awakenings associated with choking sounds or gasps for air. The OSA sufferer may notice that they wake periodically through the night, have an increased need to urinate at night, wake with morning headaches or a sore throat, and feel listless and unable to focus through the day. Mood swings, attention deficit, weight gain and depression may also be symptoms of sleep apnea.
If you answer yes to one or more of the following questions, you are likely at risk of having sleep apnea:
• Do you find yourself unintentionally falling asleep during the day, or falling asleep while driving:
• Do you experience general daytime sleepiness or a continuing state of fatigue
• Are you unable to achieve refreshing sleep or suffer from insomnia
• Do you ever wake from sleep with a choking feeling or gasping for breath?
• Has your bed partner noticed that you snore loudly or stop breathing while you sleep
• Do you often wake up with a headache?
• Do you have a neck size of 17 inches or greater, or a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher?
• Do you have high blood pressure?
• Do you have a family member who has sleep apnea?
The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is often used tell if you have daytime fatigue, a symptom of sleep apnea.
Self assessment can provide an indication of a sleep apnea condition, but before any treatment can be provided, an accurate assessment of the condition must be obtained. This can only be done through an overnight sleep study, which Dr. Lalji can arrange.