Sleep Apnea Symptoms
"How to Tell if You Suffer From Sleep Apnea"
By: Terrence Gaddis
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where a person suffers abnormal pauses in their breathing while sleeping. An
individual who suffers from this actually tops breathing from anywhere from 5 seconds to minutes. It can occur five
to thirty times an hour. There are three types of sleep apnea: a) central (CSA); b) obstructive (OSA); c) complex.
Regardless of the type of sleep apnea suffered, most individuals who have this affliction are not aware that they
suffer from this. In fact, many people with sleep apnea go years without even knowing they
have a problem with this. Sleep apnea is diagnosed using a polysomnogram (or sleep study).
There are three types of Sleep Apnea:
a) Obstructive Sleep Apnea
b) Central Sleep Apnea
c) Complex Sleep Apnea
People who suffer from sleep apnea vary in age and can range from children to seniors. The normal sleep apnea
symptoms include a general lack of alertness and continued day-time sleepiness. In essence, the afflicted suffer
from problems with fatigue, vision, and an overall inability to concentrate. Studies on the brain activity of sleep
apnea patients show that the planning and executing functions of the brain are impaired. Memory also is shown to be
affected. These symptoms have be known to lead to behavioral issues and many sleep apnea patients have demonstrated
moodiness, decreased drive, and increased belligerence. In some cases, this has resulted in depression in the
Other noted symptoms have included items such as irritability, Noctoria, decreased libido, higher heart rates,
heavy sweating, acid reflux, anxieties, and concentration or attention deficiencies.
The diagnosis approach to sleep apnea include categorizing the patients sleep apnea symptoms and undertaking sleep
study, which rates the number of apneic events per hour using the Apnea Hypopnea Index or an alternative called the
Respiratory Disturbance Index. These indices allow the severity of the sleep apnea to be quantified. Of course, due
to the variability of patient physiology and the inherent variability in measurement technique the range to error
in identifying apnea severity can introduce debate into the actual measurements and diagnostic systems. One
generally agreed upon measurement benchmark is the use of the 10 seconds between breaths as an indicator of apneic
To better understand sleep apnea symptoms, a general classification scheme is
used. Sleep apnea is generally considered to come in three forms:
Central Sleep Apnea: the brain’s
respiratory control center is impaired and regular breathing control
Obstructive Sleep Apnea: the most common form of
apnea and is an obstruction of the airways which impedes breathing – has a higher probability of occurring in men, people who are obese, and older
Apnea: this type is a hybrid or combination of both the sleep
apnea types above
treatments for sleep apnea symptoms usually begin with behavioral
modifications that start with sleeping on one’s side and reducing the intake
of alcohol, sleeping pills, sedatives and muscle relaxants. These treatments attempt to prevent muscular blockage
that are associated with obstructive sleep apnea. Other treatments include the patient wearing a breathing mask
that provides for continuous positive airflow pressure (CPAP), which keeps the airways open. Another common
treatment is provided by dentists who specialize in providing appliances that you place in your mouth before sleep.
These appliances move the jaw forward and provide for better airflow. Finally, there are surgical procedures that
can also be employed in more severe cases of sleep apnea. They include restructure the muscle and tissue of the
The symptoms of sleep apnea are various therefore the methods of diagnostics and the
actual treatments themselves also vary by the individual case. If you believe you suffer from this affliction, then
it may be in your best interest to consult a local health
Go-to-Sleep.net is a website dedicated to the study of sleep. Everything that you could want to to know about how
to go to sleep, including: sleep disorders, causes, cures, and studies.
Terrence Gaddis has been fascinated with sleep maladies since suffering through a case of insomnia in his youth.
From this time forward, he has studied all the causes, treatments and news about this phenomenon.