OCEAN SLEEP MEDICINE

11 Mareblu, Ste 200, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

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What Is Sleep Apnea?

Updated: Feb 16, 2019



Overview

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. If you snore loudly and feel tired even after a full night's sleep, you might have sleep apnea.


The main types of sleep apnea are:


  • Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax

  • Central sleep apnea, which occurs when your brain doesn't send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing

  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome, also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, which occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea

If you think you might have sleep apnea, see your doctor. Treatment can ease your symptoms and might help prevent heart problems and other complications.


Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas overlap, sometimes making it difficult to determine which type you have. The most common signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apnea include:


  • Loud snoring

  • Episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep — which would be reported by another person

  • Gasping for air during sleep

  • Awakening with a dry mouth

  • Morning headache

  • Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)

  • Difficulty paying attention while awake

  • Irritability


When to see a doctor

Loud snoring can indicate a potentially serious problem, but not everyone who has sleep apnea snores. Talk to your doctor if you have signs or symptoms of sleep apnea. Ask your doctor about any sleep problem that leaves you fatigued, sleepy and irritable.


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