Potentially a serious sleep disorder, sleep apnoea is a condition that occurs when your breathing repeatedly stops during sleep. There are three types of sleep apnoea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea – seemingly the most common form of sleep apnoea; Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) occurs when throat muscles relax and the airway becomes obstructed. It can be detected in a home-based sleep study.

Central Sleep Apnoea – harder to detect and requires a hospital-based sleep study; Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA) occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.

Complex Sleep Apnoea – also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnoea, occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnoea and central sleep apnoea.

Symptoms

Here are the 15 most common symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apnoea.

  1. Mostly associated with OSA- Loud snoring; Geelong
  2. Waking unrefreshed (even after 2hrs)
  3. Hard to get to or stay asleep (insomnia)
  4. Excessive daytime tiredness (hypersomnia)
  5. Choking or gasping for air during sleep
  6. Abrupt awakenings in the night with shortness of breath; mostly associated with CSA
  7. Sore, dry throat on waking
  8. Morning headaches
  9. Poor concentration
  10. Memory deterioration
  11. Decreased sex drive or impotence
  12. Personality changes that may include irritability
  13. A decrease in job performance
  14. Anxiety
  15. Depression

Consulting a Medical Professional

It is important to consult with a medical professional if you are experiencing, or if your partner notices, the following symptoms:

  • Loud snoring which disturbs others’ sleep
  • Choking or gasping for air during sleep
  • Abrupt awakenings in the night with shortness of breath;
  • Excessive daytime drowsiness(hypersomnia), which may cause you to fall asleep while you’re working, watching television or even driving

Not everyone that snores is symptomatic of sleep apnoea, however, it may be a sign of this serious condition. Left untreated, sleep apnoea may contribute to a range of health problems including high blood pressure, type II diabetes, the risk of stroke, obesity and other health issues.

Even if you don’t snore you may be symptomatic of sleep apnoea or another sleep disorder. If you experience continual excessive daytime tiredness or other symptoms as noted above; please speak to a medical professional.

At Dental Sleep Clinic Australia, we treat patients symptomatic of OSA with oral appliances. If you think you might have any form of sleep apnoea, please see one of our team or see your GP to be referred to a sleep physician.