Sleep Apnea Q and A

q-aDo you think someone you know suffers from sleep apnea? Or maybe someone you know thinks you do. The person who has sleep apnea is usually the last to know, because they are asleep when the symptoms present themselves. However, there are daytime symptoms that you can be on the lookout for.

Q and A:

Q: Is sleep apnea common?

A: It has been estimated that 1 in 15 people orĀ 18 millionĀ Americans suffer from sleep apnea, while over 50 percent of cases still go undiagnosed.

Q: My partner says I snore loudly. Does that mean I have sleep apnea?

A: Occasional loud snoring does not mean you have sleep apnea. In fact, it is estimated that about 90 million Americans snore at some point in their lives. However, chronic, excessively loud snoring is one of the most common symptoms.

Q: My partner says I gasp and choke in my sleep. Does that mean I have sleep apnea?

A: If you are waking up choking and/or gasping for air during the night, you may very well have sleep apnea. The reason behind this assumption is that when apnea suffers sleep, the fatty tissues at the back of their mouth and around their throat relax and block their breathing airway. When this happens, which can be numerous times a night, their brain will trigger them to wake up and begin breathing again. These sudden awakenings to catch their breath often result in the gasping and choking sounds.

Q: Are there daytime symptoms I can look out for?

A: Yes, there are several daytime symptoms associated with sleep apnea including excessive daytime sleepiness, headaches, short temper, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and depression.