Obstructive sleep apnea describes a condition during which your breathing is completely interrupted multiple times throughout the night, depriving your mind and body of the deep rest they need to rejuvenate. As a result of overly relaxed oral tissues, sleep apnea is typically marked by excessively loud snoring, and an irritated sleeping partner usually points the condition out to a patient. However, the snoring does not typically rouse the patient to consciousness. Therefore, if you sleep alone with no one to complain about the noise, then detecting your sleep apnea can be more difficult.
If You Snore and No One Hears It
When you sleep, your body’s muscles and tissues relax, including the ones in your airway. Snoring is the sound of air trying to squeeze past compressed mouth and throat tissues, and becomes louder the more tightly compacted these tissues become. In apnic patients, these tissues can completely close your airway and stop you from breathing. After about ten seconds or more, the lack of oxygen causes your mind to panic, and your body wakes just enough to restart the breathing process. You may not be aware of the episodes, but they can occur hundreds of times a night and prevent you from falling into a deep, rejuvenating rest. As a result, you can suffer symptoms of sleep deprivation, even though you believe you’re sleeping soundly through the night. Other symptoms can include:
- Daytime fatigue/difficulty staying awake
- Unusual irritability
- Inability/Reduced ability to handle stress
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and/or problem solving
- Vague discomfort and sudden changes in appetite
- Blurred vision
- Weakened immune system (falling ill more frequently)
Learn More About How to Detect Sleep Apnea
If you sleep alone, then it could be more difficult to realize if you snore or have sleep apnea. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Houston Sleep Solutions in Spring, TX, at (281) 320-2000, or in Pearland, TX, at (832) 564-3508.