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Symptoms of Sleep Apnea You Should Never Ignore


Sleep apnea is a condition that happens when your throat muscles relax during sleep, but the rest of your body is still trying to breathe. Because of this, your airway may be blocked, which causes you to wake up frequently throughout the night.

Sleep apnea is very serious and can cause a range of health issues. If you have sleep apnea, your dentist may recommend a sleep apnea appliance to help improve your sleep quality.

Here are the most common symptoms of sleep apnea:

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

One of the symptoms of sleep apnea is excessive daytime sleepiness. In fact, people with sleep apnea often find it difficult to stay awake during the day.

This sleepiness may be mistaken as laziness, but it’s actually caused by being deprived of oxygen throughout the night.

As a result, people with sleep apnea may fall asleep at inappropriate times, such as during meetings, during conversations, while driving, or even when talking.

Loud Snoring

Loud snoring can be a sign that you may have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes you to stop breathing or breath shallowly while you sleep. As a result, you wake up frequently during the night, which causes your quality of sleep to deteriorate. 

Choking or Gasping

Not only can sleep apnea cause you to stop breathing, but it can also cause you to wake up multiple times throughout the night gasping or choking.

The frequent waking and gasping or choking can leave you feeling exhausted every morning.

Frequent Awakenings

Waking up frequently during the night can also have similar symptoms. Frequent awakenings and snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form of this disorder.

If you suspect you have sleep apnea, talk to a doctor or sleep specialist. They can help diagnose the problem and recommend treatment. Your dentist can help you with oral devices and mouth guards to treat the condition.

Morning Headaches

Sleep apnea can cause morning headaches and migraines. Waking up with a migraine can be debilitating, and while many who suffer from migraines are very sensitive to light, apnea sufferers can have their sensitivity to light heightened.

If you suffer from headaches or migraines, it is important to see your doctor or sleep specialist. They will be able to diagnose you and prescribe a treatment or recommend you to a dentist who will recommend treatments, such as an oral appliance, to help you rest better at night.

Difficulty Concentrating

Many patients who experience sleep apnea have trouble concentrating during the day. Even if they sleep through the night, they may feel tired, fatigued, and moody. They may feel exhausted during the day, even when they have gotten a full night of rest. This can make it difficult to get work done or to concentrate during meetings.

Frequent Urination

Apnea causes the throat muscles to block your airways. This blockage blocks oxygen from reaching your brain and, in turn, causes the sleeper to wake up to breathe. Interrupting normal sleep patterns causes frequent urination.

Nighttime Leg Cramps

If you experience leg cramps during the night, it may be a sign of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is caused when apnea episodes occur so often that your brain loses control, causing you to wake up and breathe. During these episodes, you may experience sudden drops in blood oxygen levels, which can cause your leg muscles to contract.

Depression or Irritability

While this symptom is associated with depression, it can also be a sign of sleep apnea. Many patients with sleep apnea have trouble staying asleep. They may wake up frequently throughout the night and feel tired throughout the day. This can affect mood, leading to depression and irritability.

At Kusek Family & Implant Dentistry, we offer a full range of services, including cosmetic dentistry in a relaxed dental environment. To learn more about our dental services or to schedule your consultation with one of our dentists, call us at 605-371-3443 or visit us at 4921 E. 26th St., Suite 1, Sioux Falls, SD 57110. 

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