Sleep Apnea Symptoms
You might not notice the sleep apnea episodes as they occur during your sleep. However, there are many sleep apnea symptoms you might notice during the daytime. You should suspect sleep apnea if you experience more than one of the following:
- Morning headaches
- Waking up feeling unrested
- Dry mouth in the morning
- Daytime sleepiness
- Dozing off at work or while driving
- Lack of energy or interest
- Memory problems
- Inability to focus
- Waking up at night
- Nocturia (nighttime urination)
- Irritability or moodiness
Depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, you might notice some or all of these symptoms, but don’t dismiss the possibility of sleep apnea because you don’t check all these boxes.
You should also pay attention to signs other people might notice such as:
- Loud snoring
- Restless sleep
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Choking or gasping during sleep
Sometimes these signs can be so severe that they drive your partner to another room, or lead to fights and disputes.
You might also be diagnosed with related medical conditions by your doctor. This might include:
- High blood pressure
- Atrial fibrillation
- Low testosterone
These conditions might be related to your sleep apnea, or they might be a misdiagnosis of sleep apnea symptoms. If your doctor won’t consider the possibility of sleep apnea, you should seek a second opinion from a sleep doctor.
Sleep Apnea Diagnosis
Once you notice any of the above signs or symptoms, it’s important to get a sleep test. This is the only way to properly diagnose sleep apnea. There are many screening tools available for sleep apnea, but these don’t actually lead to a sleep apnea diagnosis. You must get a sleep test for a true diagnosis.
If you do get a sleep test, it will tell you about your sleep apnea in terms of your apnea events per hour. Your sleep apnea is usually scored according to this scale:
- 0-4 apnea/hypopnea events per hour (AHI): No sleep apnea
- 5-14 AHI: Mild sleep apnea
- 15-29 AHI: Moderate sleep apnea
- 30+ AHI: Severe sleep apnea
The severity of your sleep apnea will determine your risk as well as potentially limit your treatment options.
Do You Suspect Sleep Apnea in Torrance?
If you have reason to believe that you have sleep apnea, sleep dentist Dr. Webber can help. He will help you find a sleep dentist who can prescribe a sleep test so you can get a positive diagnosis. Please call (310) 534-3477 today for an appointment at Simply Smiles in Torrance, CA.