Getting restful, quality sleep is not only essential for fighting off fatigue, but is also important for maintaining overall emotional, cognitive, and physical health. Sleep apnea is a condition that can affect a person’s quality of sleep, putting him or her at risk for serious chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and depression. Unfortunately, this condition is very common and often goes undiagnosed. Read on to learn more about sleep apnea and how it can affect your overall health.
Sleep apnea is characterized by pauses in breathing or abnormally shallow breathing that affects a person during sleep. These pauses can last from seconds to minutes before normal breathing starts once again, preventing deep sleep and significantly disrupting the sleeper’s rest. The altered sleeping patterns caused by sleep apnea can lead to a variety of symptoms, including:
- Loud, chronic snoring that can contain pauses.
- Fatigue and sleepiness at work, at school, or while driving.
- Headaches that are noticeable upon waking in the morning.
- Dry or scratchy throat upon waking.
- Difficulty concentrating or impaired memory.
- Frequent urination at night.
- Irritability or mood swings.
Because the symptoms of sleep apnea are most noticeable while the patient is asleep, it is most often the patient’s partner who reports the signs and recommends evaluation. If you suffer from any of the above symptoms and snore loud enough to disturb your partner, you may consider seeking treatment from an experienced physician.
At Menorah Medical Center, we are dedicated to helping our patients restore their normal sleep cycles and get the restful sleep they need to feel their best. With our American Academy of Sleep Medicine accredited Sleep Lab, our Sleep Disorders Program focuses on the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders using advanced medical technology and expertise. To schedule an appointment with one of our sleep specialists, call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (913) 498-6000.