Sleep Apnea (cont.)

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What are obstructive sleep apnea symptoms?

Obstructive sleep apnea has many well-studied consequences. First, as one would expect, it disrupts sleep. Patients with disrupted sleep cannot concentrate, think, or remember as well during the day. This has been shown to cause more accidents in the work place and while driving. Thus, people with obstructive sleep apnea have a three-fold greater risk of a car accident than the general population.

Sleep apnea symptoms at night time include:

  • Snoring, usually loud and bothersome to others
  • Gasping for air, witnessed apneas, or choking sensation
  • Insomnia
  • Restless sleep

Sleep apnea also can cause significant and sometimes serious daytime symptoms as a result of insufficient sleep at night, including:

  • daytime sleepiness
  • nonrestorative sleep (feeling as tired in the morning as before going to bed)
  • fatigue
  • frequent day time naps
  • headaches
  • irritability
  • poor memory and attention
  • confusion
  • mood and personality changes, such as depression and anxiety
  • sexual dysfunction

It is important to note that the bed partner of individuals with sleep apnea may also suffer from poor nighttime sleep and can have some of the same symptoms.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/25/2012

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