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Sleep Apnea - When You Should See a Doctor

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Sleep apnea is a disorder where breathing is shallow or pauses during sleep. These pauses could last a few seconds or over a minute. Apnea episodes can occur 30 times or more an hour. When normal breathing resumes, it's sometimes accompanied with a loud snort or choking sound.

Common symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep as witnessed by another person
  • Sudden awakening accompanied by shortness of breath
  • Dry mouth or sore throat during the night
  • Headache in the morning
  • Difficulty remaining asleep
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty maintaining attention
  • Irritability

If you experience any of the following symptoms of sleep apnea, it's important to see your doctor.

  • Snoring that disturbs your sleep or the sleep of others
  • Shortness of breath that wakes you from sleep
  • Gasping for air or choking that wakes you from sleep 
  • Breathing interruptions during sleep
  • Feeling drowsy during the day, which may cause you to suddenly fall asleep

 

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