Signs and Symptoms

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which a person's breathing will continually stop and start during their sleep. The most common type of sleep apnea is called "obstructive sleep apnea", or OSA, which occurs when the tissue in the back of throat relaxes and collapses over the airway during sleep, blocking the airway and preventing breathing.  While most signs and symptoms of sleep apnea do not seem threatening to a person's health outright, it could lead to more severe long term health issues such as heart disease or stroke.

In the United States, there are over 45 million people who suffer from OSA, while only 10% of them have sought treatment for it. The reason being is that often times, those who have sleep apnea have no idea that they have it, since most signs and symptoms go unnoticed or are ignored. Doctors Dave and Joe and a few staff members and their loved ones suffer from sleep apnea. We have gone through everything our patients will/have and wear the very appliances we place in our patient's mouths. At Federici Dental, we want to make a difference when it comes to helping those with sleep apnea, which is why offer professional sleep apnea and snoring treatment with oral appliance therapy and CPAP technology. To help you identify sleep apnea so you can seek treatment if necessary, here's a guide on the most common signs and symptoms.

What Are The Common Signs Of Sleep Apnea?

Since obstructive sleep apnea occurs while you're unconscious, it's difficult to spot the signs yourself. However, the signs of sleep apnea can be easily noticed by a partner, friend, or family member if they watch your behavior for a short time during your sleep. The most common signs of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring or choking sounds
  • Sudden lapses or stoppages in normal breathing
  • Completely or partially waking up abruptly.

If anyone notices one or all of these things while you are sleeping, it is possible that you suffer from sleep apnea. If you don't have anyone to assist you to observe your sleep behavior, you should get a home sleep test (HST). 

What Are The Symptoms That Result From Sleep Apnea?

While you may not be able to spot the signs of sleep apnea on your own without the help of a sleep apnea diagnosis kit, the symptoms are something that you will notice in your daily life, since they manifest as pain, discomfort, or mental and emotional distress. The most common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Feeling tired & lethargic during the day
  • Restless sleep
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Frequent headaches
  • Irritability
  • The need for naps or stimulants such as coffee, 5 hr energy drinks, red bull drinks etc to get you through the day.

Pay close attention to how you're feeling throughout your day and you might start to pick up on some of these symptoms. In general, those with sleep apnea don't feel rested, making their daily life more difficult because they are low on energy and their body did not get the rest it needed to recover properly.

The Long-Term Dangers Of Sleep Apnea 

While the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea don't seem to be severe enough to pose a serious threat to your health, remember that the cause of all of those signs and symptoms is a blockage that is preventing you from breathing. The consistent shortage of oxygen that you get when you sleep starts to take a toll on your body over time, and if left untreated, it can lead major health issues including:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Increased risk of car accidents & falling asleep at the wheel
  • A-Fib
  • Early onset dementia (due to continual oxygen deprivation to the brain)
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased libido

The only way to prevent those health issues is to seek out sleep apnea and snoring treatment from a professional.

Get Treated For Sleep Apnea & Snoring Today!

With proper diagnosis and treatment from Drs. Dave and Joe Federici, you can get the great night's sleep that you've been missing all this time. If you believe you're displaying any of these signs or symptoms, contact us and a member of our staff will assist you in getting all the information you need. You can also use our online appointment request form if you'd prefer. We look forward to helping you have a healthier smile and a healthier life, by providing you with the superior care that you deserve.