Differentiating Snoring From Sleep Apnea

While snoring is treated as a laughable condition by the general public, few realize the dangers that they may face if they have a serious snoring condition. When a snoring problem degenerates, it can turn into sleep apnea, a terrible sleep disorder that can cause numerous bad health effects. If you are a snorer, it’s important to find out whether or not you may have sleep apnea, as it is a treatable condition that, if left untreated, can be very damaging to your health. There are a few simple questions to ask yourself when you think you may have sleep apnea. Do you snore on a regular basis? If so, you are more likely to be afflicted with apnea.

If your snoring wakes you or your partner up at night, the chance that you have sleep apnea is quite prevalent. One of the main warning signs for a case of apnea is waking up in the middle of the night, choking or gasping for air. This is due to the fact that apnea occurs when blockage in the air way occurs to such an extent that it causes you to actually stop breathing for periods of ten seconds or longer. A person with apnea can wake up a number of times throughout the evening, causing them to have a lack of good sleep and leading to irritability and an inability to concentrate when the morning comes. Severe cases of sleep apnea can result in the afflicted person waking up as many as 100 times per night. People afflicted with sleep apnea also often wake up with headaches due to a lack of oxygen, which is another symptom to consider. Rapid weight gain, memory loss, depression, changes in personality and a short attention span are other symptoms to watch for.

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If these conditions sound all too familiar, you may want to look into the possibility that you have sleep apnea. One way to determine whether or not you may have apnea is to record yourself breathing while you sleep with a tape recorder. If you note frequent breathing cessations, you should consider going to a hospital for a polysomnography test. A polysomnography test consists of an overnight study in which your sleep is monitored, so that a proper diagnosis for apnea can be determined. It is a harmless test, and it is often covered by insurance carriers. Another method for pre-diagnosing sleep apnea in the household is to keep a sleep diary. Sleep diaries should be made by your bed partner, and they should consist of a notebook, pen, and flashlight.

When your bed partner wakes up in the middle of the night, they should note some factors in your sleeping. They should record whether or not you are snoring, how loud your snoring is, whether you are asleep or not, and whether or not you are having trouble breathing. This simple notebook can really help you to see the extent of your problem. Sleep apnea, if untreated, can lead to an increased risk of heart problems and an increased stroke. That’s why it’s important to diagnose your problem today.