Early Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders in the United States. It makes you stop breathing for periods of time while you’re asleep, and you could have it without knowing it.

In fact, an estimated 22 million Americans have sleep apnea — but experts believe up to 80% of people with the condition go undiagnosed. Undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea poses serious health risks, like high blood pressure, heart problems, and type 2 diabetes.

The good news is that treating the condition lowers your risk of health complications and helps you sleep better. At Medical Associates of North Texas, our doctors offer care for chronic respiratory conditions, including sleep apnea.

From snoring to daytime sleepiness, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the warning signs of sleep apnea.

Signs you could have sleep apnea

There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea syndrome. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common, and it develops when your throat muscles relax while you sleep and block air passages. Central sleep apnea is a neurological condition, and complex sleep apnea syndrome is a combination of the other two. 

Although the causes behind sleep apnea can vary, symptoms are often similar. The most common warning signs of sleep apnea include:

Some sleep apnea symptoms may not be apparent to you, because they happen while you sleep. If you share a bed or a bedroom with someone else, they might notice some of the following signs while you’re sleeping:

Anyone can have sleep apnea, but some people are more likely to have it than others. Men are 2-3 times more likely to have sleep apnea than women. Family history of sleep apnea, a thicker neck circumference, and being overweight or obese also increase your risk.

Diagnosing and treating sleep apnea

If the symptoms of sleep apnea sound familiar to you, it’s important to get a sleep apnea evaluation. Untreated sleep apnea could have a range of negative effects on your health, including:

Sleep apnea is generally diagnosed with a sleep study. If you have the condition, managing it helps lower your risk of health complications and gives you better, more restorative sleep.

Our Medical Associates of North Texas team partners with people of all ages to manage chronic respiratory conditions like sleep apnea. Depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, we may recommend a nighttime oral appliance or a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to keep your air passages open during sleep.

Don’t ignore the early warning signs of sleep apnea. Learn more about this common sleep disorder and how you can protect your health with a consultation at Medical Associates of North Texas. Contact us online or call the office at 972-695-8053.

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