There are two different types of sleep apnea: obstructive and central. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the air passages become blocked, preventing you from getting the oxygen you need.
Sometimes this happens because the throat muscles become relaxed as you fall asleep. Eventually they collapse into the airways, cutting off the oxygen supply. Other times, a person’s tongue may simply fall into the back of the throat, which also cuts off the airway passages. This is particularly prevalent in individuals that sleep on their back.
When this occurs night after night, it causes a person to become sleep deprived. That has negative effects on everything they do and causes them to function less effectively.
Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Often sleep apnea is first suspected by a person that sleeps in the same room as a person suffering from it. This is due to the fact that the sufferer cannot detect some symptoms, such as loud snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea may also cause someone to suddenly wake up, even if it’s just for one second. While the person suffering from sleep apnea may not be aware of it, others often are.
There are some symptoms individuals can look for if they believe they may suffer from sleep apnea. These include:
- Headaches when waking up, or shortly after
- A sore throat or dryness in the mouth
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing
- Changes in mood
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, it could indicate sleep apnea.