Sleep apnoea warning – does your breathing sound like this? When to see a doctor revealed
Sleep apnoea symptoms include loud snoring, gasping for air, and difficulty breathing while asleep. You could be at risk of the condition, and may need a sleep apnea machine, if your breathing sounds like this. Should you speak to a doctor?
Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a common condition that causes the walls of the throat to relax during sleep. Narrowing of the throat walls makes it increasingly difficult to breathe properly, it warned. Sleep apnoea can cause interrupted sleep, and a reduced quality of life. It makes patients feel sleepy the following day. You could be at risk of sleep apnoea symptoms if your breathing sounds laboured while you’re asleep.
Laboured breathing, where it sounds like you’re really straining to breathe properly, could be an early warning sign of sleep apnoea.
It could be caused by the reduced airway space in the throat, which causes patients to struggle to breathe.
It can also make your breathing much louder than normal, and may even result in snoring.“The symptoms of OSA are often first spotted by a partner, friend or family member who notices problems while you sleep.
“Signs of OSA in someone sleeping can include loud snoring, noisy and laboured breathing, and repeated short periods where breathing is interrupted by gasping or snorting.
Some people with OSA may also experience night sweats and may wake up frequently during the night to urinate.
During an episode, the lack of oxygen triggers your brain to pull you out of deep sleep – either to a lighter sleep or to wakefulness – so your airway reopens and you can breathe normally.
“These repeated sleep interruptions can make you feel very tired during the day.”
You could also have sleep apnoea if you sometimes wake up feeling groggy and unrefreshed.
Some people have a bad headache in the morning, a poor memory, or even poor co-ordination.
While it’s normal for the throat muscles to relax and contract a little during sleep, it shouldn’t cause problems with your breathing.
You could be at risk of the condition if you’re overweight, or if you have a relatively large neck.
A collar size of greater than 17 inches increases the risk of developing OSA, while men are more at risk than women.
The best way to avoid the condition is to make some lifestyle changes in a bid to lose excess weight.
If you have sleep apnoea, there are a variety of treatments available to reduce your symptoms. Click here to read more about what the Beacon Dental Clinic offers.
Beacon Dental Clinic, Beacon Consultants Clinic, Dublin 18, Ireland
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