Sleep apnea presents itself differently in everyone. While one person may show multiple signs and symptoms, some may not even realize what they’re experiencing could be caused by sleep apnea. Dr. William Harper of Coastal Virginia Sleep Solutions discusses what to be on the lookout for to see if you’re experiencing sleep apnea in Newport News, VA.
Why Do I Snore?
One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea is snoring. Sleep apnea is caused by the soft tissues in the back of your mouth/throat collapsing while you’re sleeping. This causes the airway to be partially blocked off, making it hard to get the full amount of oxygen you need. Snoring is a sign of those muscles blocking airflow as your body tries harder and harder to get full oxygen into your lungs.
There are multiple factors that can make you more likely to be a snorer. These include your age, weight, posture while you sleep, and everyday habits. As we get older, we lose muscle tone, This makes the throat muscles looser and more prone to collapsing. If you’re overweight, you have more fatty tissue than normal, on top of poorer muscle tone. This can cause an almost violent form of snoring.
Smoking and drinking alcohol regularly are also risk factors that make you snore. Drinking alcohol, particularly before bed, relaxes your muscles, including the ones in the back of the throat. Smoking irritates those muscles, as well as your nasal passages. This can also disrupt your airflow.
Lastly, especially if none of the other factors apply to you, your sleep posture could be the cause of your snoring. Back sleepers tend to have issues with snoring. The soft tissues in the back of your throat can easily fall back farther when you’re in this position. If you can, try sleeping on your side to try and prevent this from happening.
How Else Can I Determine if I Have Sleep Apnea?
While snoring may be the main sign of sleep apnea, there are other ways for you to tell. These include:
- Headaches, especially when you wake up
- Feeling tired even when you thought you got a full night of sleep
- Waking up gasping for air throughout the night
- Making choking or snorting sounds when you sleep
- Being depressed or irritable throughout the day
- Falling asleep when driving
- Having a sore throat or dry mouth
- Unexplained weight gain
- Having trouble falling asleep
Do you experience one or many of these symptoms? Sleep testing may be beneficial to determine if you’re definitely suffering from sleep apnea.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea in Newport News, Virginia
If you’re snoring or show other symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s not something you should let continue. Sleep apnea can be dangerous, causing high blood pressure, the danger of falling asleep while driving or doing other important tasks, as well as other issues. Call us today or schedule an appointment online today to get started.