The Mystery of Sleep Apnea
Many of us who work with sleep and sinus disorders see patients with sleep apnea on a daily basis. One of the most common complaints we hear during these appointments is that patients often had no idea that they suffered from sleep apnea – sometimes for decades at a time.
This should change.
Several recent news items have mentioned the scary fact that a significant percentage of people who struggle with sleep apnea – a closing of the airway during sleep that can lead to gasping and breathlessness – aren’t aware they have any disorder at all. Of course this makes sense in a way: Sleep apnea strikes while we’re asleep and vanishes during the day, and how many diseases work like that?
So U.S. News and World Report recently published this quick checklist of symptoms for people who are wondering whether they have obstructive sleep apnea:
- Chronic and loud snoring that may be interrupted by a pause, followed by a gasping or choking sound.
- Feeling very sleepy during the day, or even falling asleep while working or driving.
- Having headaches, a sore throat or dry mouth in the morning.
- Struggling with learning, concentration or memory.
- Noticing changes in mood or feeling depressed or irritable.
- Waking up often during the night to urinate
Sleep apnea is both serious and dangerous, and is associated with a number of health problems including depression, headaches and heart disease. Some common causes may include nasal polyps, a deviated septum or sinusitis.
If you’re looking for a permanent way to address your sleep apnea, I urge you to contact my sinus surgery offices here.