If you’ve heard of sleep apnea, you may have heard of some of the telltale warning signs of this serious sleep disorder. Issues like snoring are a chief complaint of people with sleep apnea. But did you know that not everyone with sleep apnea snores? Or that there are other symptoms that may be a red flag that you suffer from sleep apnea without even realizing it?
Snoring is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can strike anyone. Though it is most common in obese, middle aged and older men, it can be found in women, children, and persons of any weight. It can be caused by neck or tongue fat pressing on the airway as you sleep, or by genetics due to the shape and size of your airway.
With so many potential reasons for sleep apnea, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what causes the illness, however it is often much easier to alert yourself to the warning signs. Here are a few symptoms you may not have realized could be sleep apnea related.
If you suffer from frequent headaches, you could be suffering from sleep apnea, too. Sleep deprivation can cause headaches, and the constant waking from sleep apnea can cause sleep deprivation.
Another side effect of sleep apnea is depression, also due to sleep deprivation. If you are feeling depressed, speak to your doctor about treatment and about undergoing a sleep study to rule out sleep apnea as a cause.
Anxiety often goes hand in hand with depression, so it could also be caused by sleep apnea sleep deprivation.
Do you wake frequently throughout the night, but you aren’t sure why? Do you struggle to fall asleep at a reasonable hour? You could have insomnia, caused by sleep apnea.
If you notice any of these symptoms but aren’t sure why you are experiencing them, speak to your doctor about scheduling a sleep study. Known as a polysomnogram, a sleep study monitors your sleep cycles and helps to diagnose sleep apnea. It can be done at a sleep center or in the comfort of your own home.
Once you have a sleep apnea diagnosis, speak to Dr. Abelar about a custom sleep orthotic, which can be custom molded to your mouth. These devices are portable, comfortable, easy to use, and easy to care for, and most people find them more comfortable than CPAP machines.