How can I tell if I have sleep Apnea?
There’s really no way to tell if you have sleep apnea without undergoing a sleep test provided by a professional and experienced sleep clinic like NYC SleepWell. If you’re suffering from one or more symptoms of sleep apnea, the best thing you can do is to schedule an appointment for an exam to see if your sleep specialist recommends a sleep study. The symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
- Restless sleep
- Waking up with a sore or dry throat
- Daytime sleepiness and fatigue
- Morning headaches
- Forgetfulness, mood changes, and a decreased interest in sex
- Recurrent awakenings or insomnia
It’s important to note that having any of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have sleep apnea. Again, the only way to definitely determine if you have the disorder is to schedule an exam with a sleep specialist. At NYC SleepWell, our Board Certified doctors and sleep specialists offer a convenient home sleep test that will be offered if a physical exam indicates you might be a candidate for sleep apnea. What happens if I have sleep apnea and do not receive treatment? Sleep apnea is a chronic and progressive health problem that will potentially worsen over time. If left untreated, it can cause serious long term health issues including:
- High blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure, sleep apnea can make it worse. When you wake up often during the night, your body gets stressed. That makes your hormones go into overdrive, which boosts your blood pressure levels. Also, the level of oxygen in your blood drops when you can’t breathe well, which may add to the problem.
- Heart disease. People with sleep apnea are more likely to have heart attacks. The causes may be low oxygen or the stress of waking up often. Strokes and atrial fibrillation — a fast, fluttering heartbeat — are also linked with the condition. Sleep apnea disrupts how your body takes in oxygen, which makes it hard for your brain to control how blood flows in your arteries and the brain itself. People with sleep apnea aren’t just sleep deprived; they’re also oxygen deprived.
- Weight gain. Extra weight increases your chances of getting sleep apnea, and the condition also makes it harder to slim down. Sleep apnea can also make your body release more of a hormone called ghrelin, which makes you crave carbs and sweets. When you’re tired all the time, you might not be able to turn the food you eat into energy as efficiently, which can lead to weight gain.
- Type 2 diabetes. Sleep apnea is common among people with Type 2 diabetes. Untreated sleep apnea results in increased levels of cortisol, the hormones that are released in response to stress. Prolonged exposure to elevated levels of cortisol leads to hyperglycemia or elevated blood sugar levels, as well as weight gain. Sleep apnea has also been linked to insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.
- Depression and anxiety. When your body releases large amounts of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline while asleep, this can cause or exacerbate conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Sleep apnea is a disease to treat seriously and seriously treat! Again, if you have any of the symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s important not to ignore them – or try to self-treat with an advertised store-bought or online solution. At NYC SleepWell, we’re here to help diagnose and treat your sleep apnea with the most state-of-the-art and proven solutions – all in the convenience of our Manhattan office. Don’t let sleep apnea ruin your life. Take the first step by visiting your sleep specialists at NYC SleepWell today. Our goal, plain and simple, is to help you sleep well and be healthy!