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Sleep apnea is the name of a condition where a person experiences irregular breathing while they are asleep. This can be caused by a wide range of factors, including nasal passage size and other oxygen-intake related issues. However, since the condition itself happens while they are asleep, most sleep apnea sufferers aren’t aware of their own symptoms. That is why it is important to pay attention to the warning signs of sleep apnea that you or a loved one can see.

1. Snoring

While snoring isn’t a surefire sign of sleep apnea, it can be a symptom of a breathing problem. If you or a loved one finds themselves snoring every night, it could be a sign of irregular breathing.

2. Grogginess

Not everyone is a morning person, that much is true, but if you find yourself lacking energy or feeling especially exhausted throughout the day, especially when you think you’ve gotten the recommended eight hours of sleep, this can be a sign of sleep apnea.

3. Staggered Breathing

If you find yourself constantly waking up to a choking or coughing sensation, or you’ve seen a loved one pause irregularly between breaths while sleeping, this can be a sign of sleep apnea.

4. Headaches

Frequent morning headaches can be a sign of sleep apnea, as your brain may begin to slightly suffocate from lack of oxygen throughout the night, leading to a throbbing-aching sensation the next morning. If you find yourself popping over-the-counter medication every morning to help with that throbbing headache, you might have sleep apnea.

5. Fatigue

Never getting enough sleep or always feeling exhausted is another symptom of sleep apnea. Since sleep apnea wakes you up throughout the night constantly, your body won’t get the rest it needs, leading to an overall lack of energy.

6. Dry Mouth and Sore Throat

This symptom is especially true during the warmer months. Sleep apnea sufferers tend to breathe through their mouths, leading to a dry mouth and a sore throat come morning. If you’ve been diligently refilling that humidifier but still wake up feeling like a frog got lodged in your throat, you could have sleep apnea.

7. Mood Swings

While everyone has their ups and downs, if you find yourself irritable or angry for no reason, it may be due to a lack of sleep, even if you think you’ve been getting enough rest each night.

8. Insomnia

Not getting the right amount of sleep can throw off your sleep schedule. If you find yourself sitting awake at night wishing you could sleep while you’ve been exhausted all day, it might not be your fault. It could be your body wishing it could sleep through the night.

9. Memory Loss

If you find gaps and general fogginess surrounding your sleep schedule, you may be suffering from oxygen deprivation while you sleep. This can lead to memory problems and other cognitive issues down the road.

10. Stress

Stress is a part of life, but if you find yourself on edge every morning for no real reason, it could be a cry for help from your body.

While sleep apnea is treatable, for many patients it goes unnoticed. If you think you may have sleep apnea, or are looking for treatment in the Mt Pleasant, SC area, contact our office. Here at Crossland Dental Associates, we work hard to keep you and your smile healthy.